Today's cuppa: Scottish breakfast tea at home, coffee in the hotel

Below find my syndicated feature story on tonight's season premiere of USA's "Psych," which is a hoot. And I just might be home watching it again on the HDTV tonight.

Psych_Dule_Hill_James_Roday USA

Network still wants to ‘Psych’ you out

 

By

Kate O’Hare

┬ęZap2it

 

“I

just left the mixing stage,” says “Psych” creator Steve Franks. “We mixed our

season premiere, which is very exciting.”

On

Friday, Aug. 7, USA Network’s faux-psychic comedy-mystery series returns for a

fourth season. It’s still set in Santa Barbara, Calif., but the season premiere

episode is set where the series has always been filmed — the Canadian province

of British Columbia.

Says

Franks, “(Producer) Andy Berman and I came up with it while I was directing the

sea lion episode last year. We were in the van every day, going to all our

sets, and we kept saying, ‘OK, We’re going to do the British Columbia episode.' "

Guest

starring Cary Elwes (“The Princess Bride," picture below and to the right) as an elusive art thief,

“Extradition: British Columbia” also allows series stars James Roday, who plays

fake psychic and private eye Shawn Spencer, and Dule Hill, who plays his

childhood pal and partner Burton “Gus” Guster, to show off their best

snow-bunny looks (Hill on the left in the picture above, Roday on the right.)

It

was a lot of fun for Franks as well.

“We’re

sitting there, scouting locations,” he says, “and I’m riding the chairlift to

the top of Whistler, and I’m like, ‘Wow, this is a job I should not be allowed

to have.’ “

As

to what the overall plan is for the year, Franks says, “We’re just trying to

take what we did last year and build on it. We went a little darker here and

there; we got a little more emotional.

“My

constant plan, my marching order every year, is to expand the things that Psych_James_Roday we

can get away with, on the silly side and on the intense side.

“So,

this year we’re going to do a Bollywood episode. Oh, yeah.”

“Bollywood”

refers to the prolific film industry based in Mumbai, India, known for elaborate musical productions. The episode itself is called

“Bollywood Homicide.”

“I

co-wrote it with Anupam Nigam, our Indian writer,” Franks says. “I’ve been

telling him for years that I’m going to make him write a Bollywood episode, and

it seemed like the perfect time.”

According

to Franks, Jay Chandrasekhar (“Super Troopers,” “Chuck,” “Lipstick Jungle”) is

directing, and he’s called on a family member to flesh out the cast.

“We

got the guy from ‘Heroes,’ ” says Franks, referring to Sendhil Ramamurthy, who

plays Mohinder Suresh on the NBC sci-fi drama.

“He

is disturbingly good-looking,” Franks says. “But he was great. He’s actually

one of Jay’s cousins. He was the dream guy to get for it, so it worked out very

well.”

Chandrasekhar,

who is also an actor, plays a role in addition to his directing duties in the

episode. But the fun doesn’t end there.

The

theme song for “Psych” is “I Know You Know,” performed by the Friendly Indians,

Franks’ band. It’s been reworked for episodes in the past (including a

Christmas theme and a Spanish version), and it’s getting changed again for

“Bollywood Homicide.”

“We’re

doing the theme song in Hindi,” Franks says, “which will be even more fun. It’s

disturbing, because I haven’t gotten to the things that I’m going to have to do

to sing the song. It scares me, because it was hard enough for me to do the

Spanish version.

“And

it’s all very loose translations of it. It’s the same idea. There’s no literal

translation for the song.”

If

you think Franks and crew can’t top Bollywood, think again. Also in the works

is an episode called “Let’s Get Hairy,” co-written by Roday and set to air in

October just before Halloween.

“Guy

walks into the Psych office,” Franks says, “and says, ‘Please don’t listen to

me, but I think I’m a werewolf,’ which will be fun.”

And

there’s still more, with an episode that digs into the past of Shawn’s nemesis,

Santa Barbara Police Department Detective Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson).

“We’re

doing a Western this year in the first five episodes,” Franks says. “It’s

called ‘High Noon-ish,’ and basically Lassiter drags Shawn and Gus out into the

middle of the desert.

“Gus

is convinced he’s finally snapped, and he’s going to kill them, and it turns

out there’s this town where Lassiter has known the sheriff since he was a kid.

Some things have been happening in the town, and they think there’s somebody

trying to sabotage the place and run this guy out.

“The

twist is that the town is like Knott’s Berry Farm. It’s a fake Western town, a

tourist trap way beyond its prime.”

Playing

the sheriff is veteran actor James Brolin, who’s there because, as Franks

explains, “We’re a cool show now. First two seasons, people would say, ‘

“Psych,” what’s that? Never heard of that.’

“Last

year, they started hearing about it. Now we’re getting calls from actors who

say, ‘Hey, I’d love to do the show.’ It’s like, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t believe

people have actually heard of us.’ “