‘Royal Pains’ a Hit for Feuerstein and USA
MAYBE THIS TIME: Mark Feuerstein has been on the cusp of having leading-man status for several years now, but it looks like he may actually have a bona fide hit on his hands with the USA show "Royal Pains." His co-star Reshma Shetty says he certainly deserves the success. "Mark is such a charming man in real life, and his character is so molded to him. I hope it's his time. Sometimes projects that are really good don't work out for whatever reason, but hopefully people will keep watching and be as excited about it as they are now," says the British actress, who plays Feuerstein's onscreen physician's assistant Divya Katdare.
So far the cast couldn't be more pleased with the show's numbers. "It was like the second-highest USA networks premiere show. For the first time ever in the network's history, we got more people watching the second episode. Then the episode after that we got a million more viewers. It's been overwhelmingly positive, to say the least," notes Shetty. "I think it gets better with every episode, and what I like is that there's something for everyone. The show doesn't only focus on the rich people in the Hamptons and the ideas that we have about what that life is like, but it also shows a doctor who wants to do the right thing. He's there to help everyone from the fishermen who work on the coast to the rich socialites."
THE JUDDS: Naomi and Wynonna Judd are doing "a full-out concert" at Connecticut's Mohegan Sun resort next week. It's one of the occasional dual performances put on by the superstar mother-daughter act, who went separate ways in 1991, toured together in 2000, then went seven years before singing together publicly again, with tales of rifts along the way.
"We get offers, which is always such a sweet pat on the back," notes Naomi. "We were together at the Fan Fair concert the other day. It was a treat for us. On the bus, Wynonna and I were giggling, laughing and sharing. We have respect for each other's boundaries now. The entire concert, I never had to worry that she was going to tear my hair out," she adds with a laugh.
But seriously, "For anyone out there who is struggling with your relationship, I highly recommend counseling," says Naomi, who successfully battled the Hepatitis C that caused her to back away from her career 17 years ago. She went on to become a health advocate and celebrity guru of self-help and healing, who's written several books and hosted her own mind-body-spirit-centered talk show "Naomi's New Morning." She adds, "A few good communication techniques can make a world of difference.
Naomi's role as one of the judge-mentors on CMT's hit reality competition series "Can You Duet?" is what has most of her attention right now. She really is emotionally involved. "I watched the first show of this new season sitting on my couch with my dogs, eating my popcorn. As a consumer, when I saw Big Kenny pass on Jonathan, I thought I was going to have a stroke," she admits, referring to fellow judge Big Kenny Alphin. "In my head, I'm screaming, 'This is one of the rawest and most exquisite talents I've ever heard — ever!'"
MEANWHILE: As for potential new Judds going into show business, Naomi says that Wynonna's 14-year-old son Elijah has been serving as their go-fer. "He's such a sweet-natured kid." And her daughter Grace, 13, "says she wants to be a singer. But I think right now she's just getting all the [perks] of celebritydom and all that." How would Naomi feel about Grace going into show business? "I would rather see her be a nuclear physicist or paleontologist," she replies. Why?" "Because I'm fascinated by those fields." This is from a woman who actually has nuclear physicists and a paleontologist — Jack Horner — among her friends. She tells us she may go out on a dig soon with Horner, who's known as "Jurassic Park's" technical advisor among other things.
HOME TEAM ADVANTAGE: "On the court, I'm extremely serious and aggressive. Who I am at home probably showed a little bit more while we were making this show," says three-time WNBA MVP and four-time Olympic Gold Medalist Lisa Leslie, talking about ABC's "The Superstars" competition show. Leslie is half of the red team, along with actor Dan Cortese, on the program that pairs celebs and athletes in various contests, such as kayaking with immense manmade waves and an on-and-off race across a bridge that called for getting on and off a bicycle along the way. "My problem was I couldn't focus. Some things seemed funny to me," says Leslie. However, "Week after week, hopefully I'll win over people with my no-give-up attitude, no matter what the challenges are," she notes. In the end, "I had an awesome time."
Leslie, currently sidelined with a sprained right knee, says that these days, her life revolves around her and husband Michael Lockwood's daughter, Lauren. "It's totally changed my world — being a mom. I love it. She's already starting to read, and she just turned 2. She can count to 30. She's awesome. On ABC, on our first home game this year, she grabbed the microphone and sang, 'Yes, Jesus Love Me,'" Leslie recounts, giggling. "At least you can tell I'm teaching her good things at home."
With reports by Emily Feimster.
To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2009 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.