Admit it. You like to watch.
The Long Island princesses who say "ahhh" to Dr. Hank Lawson on Royal Pains. The way ex-con Neal Caffrey charms his way to FBI immunity on White Collar. The sex appeal of Michael Westen's Miami spy circuit on Burn Notice. Sure, characters are welcome but you watch USA Network because someone somewhere is always scheming, punching, backstabbing or slipping naked into a ridiculously expensive pool.
Check out behind-the-scenes photos from the "Boys of Summer" cover shoot
TV's guiltiest pleasures? Oh, yeah. But they're also three of the most popular shows on cable, and TV Guide Magazine kicked back with the dudes who star on them. In a breezy oceanfront house in Malibu, Mark Feuerstein from Royal Pains, Matt Bomer from White Collar and Jeffrey Donovan from Burn Notice hung around after our cover shoot for some freewheeling, chest-thumping, my-show-is-bigger-than-yours guy talk.
TV Guide Magazine: So, do you watch each other's shows?
Donovan: Hate 'em both.
Bomer: Wait. Why? I love your show.
Feuerstein: I do, too!
Donovan: It's because both you guys are better looking than me and your shows are getting more successful than mine. Other than that, the shows are great. Never miss them. The funny thing is, people talk about all three shows as a set. They've all got pretty skies, cool locations, foxy women and our characters are always figuring out how to solve things.
Feuerstein: With duct tape.
Bomer: Without our shirts on.
TV Guide Magazine: Is it written into your contracts that you have to go shirtless a certain number of times?
Feuerstein: Hank's only done it twice.
Bomer: Neal did it twice, too.
Donovan: Everybody thinks we do it a lot but I only did it twice during the second season and not once last season or this season. So far.
Feuerstein: Perhaps the memory of Michael Westen's bare chest is so ingrained in the American psyche, it feels as if you are always doing it.
Donovan: Please note that during this interview, Mark has his shirt off.
Bomer: And for the record, I'm doing dumbbell flys right now.
TV Guide Magazine: What's new for your shows this season?
Bomer: We're focusing on a lot of the things people responded to last season, mostly the relationships. We expand on Neal's relationship with Peter. Neal dealing with the Kate aftermath. He's determined to find the people who killed her in the plane explosion from our last episode.
Feuerstein: That was such a cool finale.
Bomer: It was really tough, actually. When we shot that scene, I started profusely sobbing. It wasn't anything I planned or expected. But I was inconsolable. I think it's because I had worked something like 93 days in a row and everything was about getting to Kate, and then the moment came and—baboom!
Donovan: These shows are like that. Each season on Burn Notice, we've tried to top ourselves—bigger explosions, bigger casts, bigger guest characters, but we still only shoot our episodes in seven days. So it's all about packing each scene with as much intensity and action, comedy and drama as possible. But this season, we have a new character, Jesse Porter, played by Coby Bell from Third Watch. He's a spy. He gets burned just like Michael Westen so Michael tries to help him get back in. It's a new dynamic for the show because for three years it was the Sam, Fi and Mike show. Now it's Sam, Fi, Mike and New Guy. And that's good because we don't know how to deal with the new guy, so awkwardness ensues.
TV Guide Magazine: Royal Pains has a new guy, too. What's it like having the Fonz play your dad?
Feuerstein: Henry Winkler plays a hustler and a cad who took all our money. But he is truly the nicest guy in Hollywood. I was such a huge Happy Days fan.
Donovan: (shaking his head) Don't do it, man.
Feuerstein: Don't do what?
Donovan: Don't say 'Aaaaaaay' to the Fonz. Or did you already? You know he must get that a hundred times a day.
Feuerstein: Oh, he loves it. I'm trying to get him to introduce me to Ralph and Potsie.
TV Guide Magazine: How do you account for the cult popularity of your shows?
Donovan: Do cults like our shows?
Feuerstein: I have to say the network as a whole does a great job putting these shows together. It's like they've found the sweet spot of cable televison's newfound power. There's nothing on TV quite like these shows. If you're on a network show, it's either some wacky sitcom or a drama where you're servicing a procedure. On USA you get to be a little funny, a little serious, a little wacky, a little sexy.
Donovan: And kick some serious butt.
For more, including the guys' takes on their worst jobs, coolest traits and guiltiest pleasures, check out the new issue of TV Guide Magazine, on newsstands June 17!