Off the Map

Martin HendesonNew Zealander Martin Henderson has nabbed himself the lead role in a new Australian drama series.

The former Shortland Street actor – who has since featured in several US series including Off The Map and House – will play the lead in Channel Ten’s Secrets & Lies.

Henderson will play a character called Ben, an everyday family man who finds the body of a young boy and quickly becomes the prime murder suspect.

The drama begins filming in Brisbane and other locations around Queensland this week. Continue reading »

Off The Map axed

New Zealander Martin Henderson will be looking for a new job following the cancellation of his new medical drama series Off The map. The series ran for only one season.

Sheen happy with Kutcher replacement

Charlie Sheen believes  that Ashton Kutcher is the right man to replace him on Two and a Half Men, tweeting over the weekend: “#Winning Congrats to the cast and crew…CBS & WB..! My best to @aplusk [Kutcher]!! The show must go on… You got the right guy! c (sic).”

Brothers and Sisters axed

Brothers and Sisters has been officially axed by ABC in the US, alongside V and No Ordinary Family.

Charlie’s Angels picked up

The Charlie’s Angels reboot has been picked up by ABC for a series order. The pilot featured Minka Kelly, Annie Ilonzeh and Rachael Taylor as the three lead characters.

$#*! My Dad Says cancelled

New comedy series $#*! My Dad Says has been given the axe by NBC in the US after airing only 18 episodes.

Seems Friday the 13th was unlucky as ABC (US) announced that Brothers & Sisters, V, No Ordinary Family, Better With You and Off The Map, all of which screen on TV2, have been ofiicially cancelled.

9:30pm Tuesday, April 5 on TV2

Kiwi Martin Henderson stars in TV2’s uplifting drama, Off The Map, from the creators of Grey’s Anatomy, which follows five doctors who go to the ends of the earth to try to remember why they wanted to become doctors in the first place.

Mamie Gummer who plays Dr Mina Minard, Off The Map’s strong-willed infectious-disease specialist, is also the look-alike daughter of screen legend, Meryl Streep.

One of the acting projects Gummer is most proud of included working with her mother and an ensemble cast of talented female actresses such as Glenn Close, Vanessa Redgrave, Claire Danes and Toni Collette. She told the American TV Guide, “It was such an incredible constellation of women.”

Gummer’s co-star Zach Gilford, who plays Dr Tommy Fuller, studied at Northwestern University alongside the actress. Gilford remembers the stir her mother’s presence caused when she attended a university play the two were acting in. “Having her there was a pretty big deal,” recalls Gilford. “We all wanted to make her cry.”

Not to be overshadowed in all area of her life by her famous mother, Gummer is an active explorer and diver and she plans to utilise the set location in Hawaii to peruse her hobby. “I haven’t been diving here yet, but there are a couple of ship-wrecks to explore,” she exclaims.

And though her on-screen love life may be complicated, in real life Gummer is planning her wedding to long-time love and theatre actor Benjamin Walker. The small screen star admits that the distance between them while she is filming in Hawaii and he is acting on Broadway is tough, but they make it work. “You just do it,” Gummer says. “The new iPhone4 with Face-Time is amazing.”

In this week’s episode, the drama continues in the jungle when a water taxi crash leaves Ben (Martin Henderson) and Tommy (Gilford) to tend to patients out in the field and Lily (Caroline Dhavernas) with a gut-wrenching decision, while Ryan (Rachelle Lefevre) and Mina (Gummer) treat one of the city’s most irritating ex-pats.

9:30pm Tuesday, March 22 on TV2

The pressure intensifies in the jungle for Dr Ben Keeton (Kiwi Martin Henderson) and his medical team after a chopper crash tonight in TV2’s uplifting new drama, Off The Map.

After the Medevac helicopter crashes into the dense jungle, the team must plough into action to save the lives of their patients and the pilots. While Ryan (Rachelle Lefevre) searches for a missing girl who is close to her heart, Lily (Caroline Dhavernas) learns a deplorable secret that Mateo’s (Nicholas Gonzalez) been keeping, and Keeton is pushed further into his shell.

Ryan also finally reveals to her love interest, Keeton, a painful secret she has been living with since her childhood. Twilight star Rachelle Lefevre, who plays Ryan on screen, told the American TV Guide that despite the fact all the doctors are dealing with some kind of personal daemon; Ryan seems to be the most guarded. “I feel like Ryan might be the hardest character to pin down out of all the doctors,” she says.

Lefevre describes her character as a free spirit who is constantly on the go as to distract herself from the painful reality of her past. “Ryan practices medicine the same way she lives – impulsive and on the fly,” says the actress. “She jumps right in and gets both hands dirty – emotionally and literally. Because of what happened to her in the past she never misses the chance to throw her clothes off and jump in the waterfall.”

The Canadian-born actress says she possesses a similar zest for life and likes to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. “Not necessarily the public nudity [aspect], but the spirit [of Ryan] is definitely me,” she admits.

And despite the fact Keeton may be ready to declare his true feelings for the flame-haired beauty, the wild nature of the jungle and its inhabitants seem intent on disturbing any stability. “Their relationship is gloriously ill-defined and complicated. They’re trying to figure out where they stand,” says Lefevre.

Kiwi actor Martin Henderson looks set to move on from his new medical drama Off The Map after scoring the lead role on new NBC drama pilot The Crossing.

Henderson will front the pilot that is set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era. He is cast as a war soldier who settles in the town and is welcomed unwittingly as its saviour.

The former Shortland Street actor will be joined coincidentally by his Off The Map co-star Rachelle Lefevre, who has landed the female lead.

NBC and the producers of the pilot are gambling on the fact that Off The Map will not be returning for a second season following a softly-rated first season run in the US.


9:30pm Tuesday, February 22 on TV2

Things are heating up in the jungle for Dr Ben Keeton (Kiwi Martin Henderson) and his medical team when an electric shock leaves the city and the clinic in the dark in TV2’s uplifting new drama, Off The Map.

The tiny town of ‘la ciudad de las estrellas’ is buzzing this week with the annual festival, but when a live wire electrocutes a young man and causes a citywide blackout, Mina (Mamie Gummer) and Otis (Jason George) fight for his life.

Meanwhile, a dangerous mudslide leaves a young pregnant couple in peril and the doctors scrambling to save them both.

With compelling medical-based drama being the central to Off The Map, many comparisons have been made with Grey’s Anatomy, but for leading man, Martin Henderson, the two series’ are poles apart.

“I think it’s inevitable that people are going to make those comparisons,” reveals Henderson. “It’s the same producers. So there’s a certain tone and style to the show that’s inherent in that, because it comes from the same voice. But given that the setting is vastly different and what the characters and what the setting demands of the characters is so vastly different than anything you’re ever going to see in a hospital in Seattle or clinic in LA, I think, differentiates it greatly.

However, Henderson has come to accept that the Grey’s Anatomy audience may well be just as receptive to the jungle-based medical drama. He says, “I think if you like that show, then you’re going to like this show because of those reasons and more, and I think it’s very different because of that. But people are always going to make those comparisons.”

And with attractive doctors and nurses floating around, there’s bound to be some romance, but Henderson is tight-lipped about what lies ahead. “I think that [Ben’s] situation is so complicated and I cannot give it away, obviously. But as the first few episodes go, more and more is revealed about the predicament he’s in with his love life.”

TVNZ launched its new programming schedule last week and the ratings prove it’s a winner with New Zealand audiences. 

TV2 continues to be the channel 18-39 year olds want to watch as it dominates the ratings and serves up the biggest and most-entertaining shows year after year. Last week 16 of the top 20 programmes among 18-39 year olds were on TV2. Top performers include returning local drama Go Girls, and international winners Desperate Housewives, Hell’s Kitchen and Cougar Town, as well as new hit series No Ordinary Family, Drop Dead Diva and Kiwi star Martin Henderson’s new show, Off The Map.

TV ONE’s new line-up remains the preferred channel for 25-54 years olds as favourites Packed To The Rafters, Criminal Minds as well as local programmes Fair Go and North returned this week to strong ratings. Piha Rescue and Border Security continue to lead the must-watch programmes for TV ONE viewers.

TV ONE’s ratings last week were up 19 per cent compared with the same time last year. Also, the much-anticipated second series from Nigel Latta, The Politically Incorrect Guide To Teenagers, launches on Wednesday 16 February 2011, and the second series of the hugely popular MasterChef New Zealand kicks off on Sunday 20 February 2011.

Head of TV ONE and TV2, Jeff Latch, says that TVNZ continues to deliver the shows that more New Zealanders want to watch.

“We’re delighted that New Zealanders have kept their televisions firmly tuned to TV ONE and TV2 as we launched our new season of shows for 2011 – proving our blend of exciting, dramatic, and above all entertaining content resonates with Kiwis.”

Head of Sales and Marketing, Paul Maher, says the latest ratings figures prove that TVNZ is the best place for customers to see results.

“We strive to deliver the best value for money across our entire schedule, everyday of the week, week in and week out. Our ratings success for our new season launch proves that New Zealanders are voting with their remotes and our customers are reaping the rewards for supporting our best shows.”

9:30pm Tuesday, February 8 on TV2

Kiwi, Martin Henderson stars in TV2’s uplifting new drama, Off The Map, from the creators of Grey’s Anatomy, which follows five doctors who go to the ends of the earth to try to remember why they wanted to become doctors in the first place.

Henderson, who has been dubbed by the American press as the new ‘McDreamy’, plays the legendary and enigmatic Ben Keeton, a talented city surgeon who walked away from it all to found a free health clinic in a small town called ‘la ciudad de las estrellas’ in the South American jungle. Henderson describes his character to the American TV Guide as somewhat conflicted: “Ben’s written a book about practicing alterative medicine and has set up this clinic providing free health care,” the actor enthuses. “But there’s some stuff in his past he hasn’t quite cleaned up.”

Henderson also hints that there will be some onscreen chemistry between Ben and Doctor Lily Brenner, a newcomer to the tiny South American town, who is escaping demons of her own. “Lily and Ben are headed on a bumpy road to romance,” he reveals.

Gorgeous Caroline Dhavernas, who plays Lily, is a little coyer about the possibility of a hook-up. “I don’t know if anything’s going to happen with Ben, but there’s certainly interest,” she admits.

Not only will love blossom in the jungle but the bevy of doctors who have escaped to work in the clinic will make lasting friendships, confront real physical danger and attend to their own emotional baggage.

Mamie Gummer, daughter of Meryl Streep, plays the disgraced young doctor named Mina Minard. She tells us the reason her character escaped to the jungle. “Mina is the daughter of a high-up hospital administrator in New York, and made a fatal diagnosis that has sent her down here to do penance.”

When the actors were asked if any of them had had their own real-life ‘Off The Map’ experience, Valerie Cruz who plays Doctor Zita Alvaraz, was quick to respond. “I recently got into a spot of bother while venturing off the beaten track,” she explains. “Over the summer I was hiking in Tucson and had to be medevaced in a chopper after a giant horsefly flew into my eardrum.”

TV One’s Undercover Boss is an airline owner tonight at 8:30 before I Shouldn’t Be Alive.

Hell’s Kitchen fires up again on TV2 at 7:30 before Go Girls returns for its third season.  Following at 8:30pm is Martin Henderson’s return to the small screen in Off The Map, a new medical drama from the same folk who gave us Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice.

Target returns to TV3 at 7:30, followed by Missing Pieces and then new cop drama in our favourite place on earth, Hawaii Five-0 at 8:30.  NCIS Los Angeles takes the 9:30pm slot.

America’s Next Top Model makes its debut on the revamped Four at 7:30.

Prime has River Cottage, Best of Top Gear and the Golden Globe winning Boardwalk Empire.