USA Network is taking a page from British broadcasters, whose series’ seasons are often complimented by holiday specials in November and December. USA is doing the same with popular drama Royal Pains, which is wrapping its fourth season tonight. The series will do Off-Season Greetings, a two-hour movie dedicated to the wedding of of Evan (Paulo Costanzo) and Paige (Brooke D’Orsay).
The holiday special, featuring flashbacks, a snowstorm and a reunion of old friends, will air Sunday, December 16. It is set several months after the summer finale and for the first time in the series’ history will show the Hamptons in the winter. It will be in lieu of a winter half-season of Royal Pains. For the past two seasons, USA aired summer cycles of 10-12 episodes, followed by 6-episode midseason runs of the series starring Mark Feuerstein. This time around, the network opted for a longer, 14-episode summer run that constitutes Season 4, joined by a two-hour holiday special.
This is USA’s second move to expand a popular series franchise with a movie. The network previously did it with the Burn Notice prequel centered on Bruce Campbell’c character, which aired in April 2011. The Royal Pains movie is more in the mold of the British series holiday specials as it is weaved into the series’ storyline.