Stars of Global shows descend on Toronto for annual UpFronts

Kevin Zegers, pictured in July 2013. Chelsea Lauren / Getty Images

TORONTO — Stars from hot Global shows The Blacklist, Sleepy Hollow, Chicago PD and Chicago Fire were in Toronto on Wednesday — and they were joined by stars from some of the new shows added to Global’s prime time schedule.

The network took the wraps off its fall schedule at a press conference Wednesday morning at Toronto’s Trump International Hotel and Tower and then dazzled advertisers with an UpFront presentation at the Elgin Theatre.

Among the familiar faces were Megan Boone and Ryan Eggold of The Blacklist; Orlando Jones of Sleepy Hollow, Jesse Lee Soffer of Chicago PD and Charlie Barnett of Chicago Fire.

Also on hand was Leslie Odom Jr. of the new political drama State of Affairs; Matt Ryan of the supernatural thriller Constantine and Canadian actor Kevin Zegers of the mystery series Gracepoint.

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The 10-episode drama filmed this year in Oak Bay, B.C. and around Victoria is a remake of the acclaimed British series Broadchurch (which aired on Showcase). It stars David Tennant and Anna Gunn as detectives probing the mysterious death of a young boy.

Zegers plays local newspaper reporter Owen Burke.

“He’s not a great journalist at the beginning, I have to say,” Zegers explained. “He’s a little bit lazy and there’s not a whole lot going on in the small town.”

Zegers, who lives in Los Angeles, said it felt good to be back working in his native country.

“Everyone always makes me feel welcome when I come back and hugely supportive of stuff that I’ve done,” he said. “I’m very proud to be from here.”

Also joining the Global line-up is State of Affairs, a drama series starring Katherine Heigl as a CIA agent charged with targeting threats to the U.S.

Leslie Odom Jr. plays Chief of Staff Mitchell Manning.

“What’s a better foundation for drama? You have power, you have ambition, you have sex… that’s the stuff of drama,” Odom said when asked about the insatiable appetite for political shows.

“We’ll see many more of these shows and as long as you can keep plots interesting and characters interesting.”

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READ MORE: Full coverage of the UpFronts

The actor said Canada could have its own political series based solely on Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

“Are you kidding me? That mayor you have?! You’ve got a show coming,” said Odom.

Another new drama is Madam Secretary, which goes inside the personal and professional lives of the U.S. Secretary of State, played by Tea Leoni. Keith Carradine and Tim Daly are also in the cast.

Stalker is a creepy new show starring Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott as L.A. cops who specialize in tracking down, well, stalkers.

Also coming to Global is Constantine, based on characters from the comic book series Hellblazer and starring UK actor Matt Ryan.

“It’s action-packed and it’s scary,” Ryan said. “It’s not a kid’s show. There are lighter elements to the character but it isn’t for the faint-hearted.”

Does he personally believe there are demons amongst us?

“I don’t know if there are demons, per se,” Ryan replied, “but I do think there are things that we don’t see — energies, entities, forces that we don’t see and things going on.”

Joining the wildly popular NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles on Global will be NCIS New Orleans, starring Scott Bakula.

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The comedy Marry Me, starring Casey Wilson and Ken Marino, is also coming to Global.

Returning homegrown favourites Remedy and Border Security will also find a place in the line-up.

And Big Brother Canada, a huge hit for Slice for the past two seasons, will be moving to Global next winter.

Bell Media’s CTV takes the wraps off its fall schedule on Thursday at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Beau Bridges will be there to announce the network’s acquisition of his series The Millers, starring Toronto’s Will Arnett. The first season aired on Global.

Among CTV’s new shows are The McCarthys and How To Get Away With Murder.

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