O Canada! Four true north TV success stories

BEVERLY HILLS, CA–There are times when it seems as if half the actors on American television are Canadians–if not Brits, Aussies or Kiwis. It’s as if Hollywood was trying to address the growing number of Americans in the National Hockey League by allowing more Canadians into Hollywood.
Besides the usual suspects such as Tyler Labine (NBC’s notorious “Monkey Show,” Animal Practice) and Joshua Jackson (Fringe), there were sightings this summer 2012 press tour of Hannah Simone (New Girl), Carrie-Anne Moss (Vegas) and Shenae Grimes (90210).

Here’s a new name to remember: Tracy Spiridakos. The friendly Winnipeg-native is currently in North Carolina shooting J.J. Abrams’ NBC adventure series Revolution. She landed the gig in her first try at pilot season. Read more about Spiridakos, who misses her family back at Winnipeg’s Olympia Diner, here at one of four stories I filed off this tour for The Canadian Press (CP).

Kristin Kreuk is a familiar face on press tour for Smallville. This season, the pretty Vancouver native is the beauty in The CW’s Beauty and the Beast.
Kreuk shoots the series in Toronto, while Stephen Amell, the athletic Toronto lad who headlines The CW’s Arrow, shoots his series in Vancouver. In fact, it seems as if everything on The CW is either shot in Canada or stars a Canadian. I spoke with Warner Bros. Television president Peter Roth and a couple of CW execs about their Canadian crush. Read more about that here.

Matthew Perry is no stranger to press tour. The American-born, Ottawa-raised actor is back with a new comedy about group therapy, NBC’s Go On
Perry admits he didn’t have to do a ton of research to get up to speed on his character, a radio sports talk show host who goes to grief counseling after the death of his wife. As Perry says, “I have a ton of experience of sitting in circles and talking about my problems.” Read more about the 42-year-old, a big fan of Bob Newhart’s old shrink sitcom, here.

Kiefer Sutherland is always mobbed at press tour. One year, I teamed up with Globe and Mail TV writer Andy Ryan on a plan to get an exclusive. We figured out the exit Sutherland would have to take to escape a very intense press scrum and set ourselves up on the other side of the doors. Andy had something to lure Sutherland over–Canadian cigarettes. I made with the hockey stories. It was just a 2-4 of 50 away from the perfect Canadian trap.
Sutherland didn’t have to be tricked this time to talk about his latest Fox series, Touch. You can read that story here.

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