The British are coming! The British are coming!

Just sat through the second episodes of Kidnapped and Jericho: third-episode verdicts next week of course, but they’re both looking okay at the moment.

However, while watching Jericho, I recognised the plain clothes policeman who helps out in Jericho: it’s Lennie James. He’s English – I remember him in Civvies but he’s been in other things since.

This got me thinking, because Brit actor Linus Roache is in Kidnapped, as are Carmen Ejogo and Delroy Lindo (what do you mean he’s American? I beg to differ my friends, he was born and raised in SE London, supports Arsenal and still thinks of himself as British according to his IMDB profile).

And there’s more:

  • Lost has three Brits at least (Naveen Andrews, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Dominic Monaghan) and probably has a few more secret ones up its sleeves, assuming Desmond and his girlfriend are in next season (I know if they are or not, but I’m not telling. You can go and spoil yourselves if you want).
  • CSI: NY has Claire Forlani and used to have Sonya Walger
  • CSI has Louise Lombard
  • Smith has Jonny Lee Miller
  • House has Hugh Laurie
  • Brotherhood has Jason Isaacs
  • The Wire has Dominic West and used to have Idris Elba
  • Justice has both Rebecca Mader and Eamonn Walker.

Some of them even get to keep their own accents.

What’s with the sudden British invasion of US TV? Is it simply because our TV is so pants at the moment, the actors have headed towards the US to find some decent scripts (and pay)? Or is there some decision being made somewhere that British actors are useful accessories for US TV shows?

I was going to do a table here to prove my point, but it got boring and fiddly so I won’t.

Incidentally, I suspect that they’re off to the US, simply because the opportunities are greater. If you have a quick glance at how many US shows have Australian actors (Brothers and Sisters, Nip/Tuck, Smith, House, Brotherhood, Lost to name but a few) and then have a look at Australian TV, you’ll see a similar situation. Alternatively, maybe the producers of certain shows just happen to like foreign actors, given the overlap in my two lists.

Answers on a postcard to…

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