Canadian talent, locations shine on U.S. prime time TV

Pop Goes The News — The fall television season is underway and Canadian talent, crews, and locations are all over the U.S. networks.

In all, there are more than two dozen people born or raised in Canada starring on U.S. prime time shows.

Canadian talent also shines on U.S. cable channels and streaming services.

B.C. is represented by Thomas Middleditch on HBO’s Silicon Valley, Molly Parker on the Netflix series House of Cards, and  Carrie-Anne Moss on Netflix’s Jessica Jones.

Toronto-born Eric McCormack stars in the Vancouver-shot series Travelers, which airs on Showcase at home and on Netflix everywhere else in the world.

U.S. cable channel Syfy has a schedule packed with made-in-Canada shows, including Toronto-shot 12 Monkeys, Killjoys, Incorporated, Dark Matter and The Expanse; Vancouver-shot The Magicians, Aftermath, and Van Helsing; Winnipeg-shot Channel Zero; and Calgary-shot Wynonna Earp.

Those shows feature plenty of homegrown talent, including Montreal’s Emily Hampshire and Tim Rozon, Regina’s Cas Anvar, London, Ont.’s Luke Macfarlane, Vancouver’s Aaron Ashmore, Calgary’s Melissa O’Neil, Vancouver’s David Cubitt, Toronto’s David Hewlett, Ottawa’s Melanie Scrofano, Dartmouth’s James Tupper, and Timmins, Ont.’s Natalie Brown.

FX has the Toronto-shot series The Strain — which stars Thunder Bay, Ont. native Kevin Durand — and FXX has the made-in-Toronto comedy Man Seeking Woman starring Ottawa-born Montrealer Jay Baruchel.

BBC America airs Toronto-filmed Orphan Black starring Regina-born Tatiana Maslany.

MORE: Canadians among early winners at Emmys

Vancouver and Toronto are home to a number of American series, including returning favourites like Once Upon A Time and buzzed-about newcomers like Designated Survivor.

Just about every superhero show on TV is made in Vancouver: Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl.

So, how does Canada figure on the prime time schedule at the four big U.S. networks and The CW? Here’s a night-by-night look:


Once Upon a Time (8pm ABC/CTV) is filmed in B.C. (Storybrooke is actually the Steveston neighbourhood in Richmond) and while there are plenty of Canadians working behind the scenes, none of the principal cast is Canadian.


The new drama series Conviction (9pm ABC/CTV) is shot in Toronto and includes local actor Shawn Ashmore (a native of B.C.) in the main cast. The Odd Couple (CBS/City) stars Matthew Perry, who grew up in Ottawa, and Scorpion (CBS/City) includes Medicine Hat, Alberta native (and former University of Calgary student) Jadyn Wong as Happy Quinn.

Production of the second season of Supergirl (The CW/Showcase) is taking place in and around Vancouver so — although none of the main cast is Canadian — watch for homegrown talent in the background and in minor roles.

(For added Canadiana, let’s not forget that the Supergirl character was co-created by Toronto-born Joe Shuster.)

Jane the Virgin (The CW) is back for a third season, and so is Det. Michael Cordero Jr., played by London, Ont. native Brett Dier.

Ottawa-born Donal Logue stars as Harvey Bullock in Gotham (Fox/CTV), which returns for a third season. It’s followed on the schedule by Lucifer (Fox/CTV), a series shot in and around Vancouver that includes Tricia Helfer of Donalda, Alberta.


The Flash (The CW/CTV), now in its third season, is filmed in Vancouver so there is plenty of familiar scenery and lots of Canadian talent behind the scenes. The series also features Ottawa’s Tom Cavanagh as Dr. Harrison Wells.

No Tomorrow (The CW) is a new fantasy series — based upon a Brazilian show — starring Edmonton-born Tori Anderson and Montreal’s Jesse Rath.

The comedy New Girl (Fox/City) is back for a sixth season. Its stars include Hannah Simone, who was born in England but grew up in Alberta and B.C.


The drama series Designated Survivor (ABC/CTV) is one of the most American new shows on prime time television — but it’s very Canadian. Filmed in Toronto, it stars homegrown talents Kiefer Sutherland and Italia Ricci.

A.J. Cook of Oshawa, Ont. returns for another season as J.J. on Criminal Minds (CBS/CTV) and the cast of Code Black (CBS/CTV Two) includes Ben Hollingsworth, a graduate of Montreal’s National Theatre School of Canada who was born in Brockville, Ont.

The ensemble of Chicago P.D. (NBC) includes Montreal-born Elias Koteas as Alvin Olinsky. Ottawa’s Barbara Eve Harris has a recurring role on the series.

Returning superhero series Arrow (The CW/CTV Two) is not only shot in Vancouver but stars Toronto-born Stephen Amell in the title role as well as Vancouver’s Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak.

Frequency (The CW) is a new series filmed in Vancouver.


The new season of Grey’s Anatomy (ABC/CTV) includes Toronto-born Caterina Scorsone as Amelia Shepherd, and Notorious (ABC) is a new series featuring Kevin Zegers of Woodstock, Ont.

The Vancouver area provides the backdrop for both Legends of Tomorrow (The CW/CTV Two) and Supernatural (The CW) — with the former starring London, Ont. native Victor Garber.

Heading the cast of the new baseball series Pitch (Fox/Global) is Kylie Bunbury, who grew up in Minnesota but was born in Hamilton (her father Alex Bunbury played on Canada’s soccer team).

Superstore (NBC/Global) returns for another season of retail fun managed by Ottawa-born actor — and Kids in the Hall vet — Mark McKinney.

Among the doctors on Chicago Med (NBC/Global) is Oliver Platt, who was born in Windsor, Ont. (but, to be fair, only spent the first few months of his life in Canada).

On The Blacklist (NBC/Global), Nova Scotia native Diego Klattenhoff, who moved to Toronto as a teen, is back for another season of intrigue as Special Agent Donald Ressler.


The cast of the comedy Dr. Ken (ABC) includes Toronto’s Dave Foley.

On Shark Tank (ABC/CTV Two), a pair of Canadians — Toronto-raised Robert Herjavec and Montreal-born Kevin O’Leary — listen to pitches from entrepreneurs.

The reboot of MacGyver (CBS/Global) features Sandrine Holt, who grew up in Toronto.

Back for another season of fun in the sun on Hawaii Five-O (CBS/Global) is Vancouver’s Grace Park, and on Blue Bloods (CBS/CTV), Winnipeg native Len Cariou returns as patriarch Henry.