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McKiwi to become next McDreamy?

Samantha Lee
Samantha Lee
Martin Henderson

Martin Henderson looks set to become ABC’s latest heart-throb in the new series Off the Map, executive produced by the creator of Grey’s Anatomy Shonda Rhimes, and created by Grey’s Anatomy writer/producer Jenna Bans. 

Henderson stars as Dr Ben Keeton on the show, about a group of doctors seeking a new start by practicing medicine in the Amazon.

Henderson is best known for his role in New Zealand’s Shortland Street as Stuart Neilson. He also starred in the film Bride & Prejudice, and appeared in The Ring.

He has appeared in Britney Spears’ music video Toxic and guest starred in House, for which he was nominated for a Best Actor award by the Australian Film Institute.

The story line for Off the Map centres on Ben, along with his friends Otis and Zee, played by Jason George and Valerie Cruz, who have set up a clinic in the South American rainforest called La Clinica Cruz del Sur (The Southern Cross Clinic). They practice while facing all the challenges of an under staffed, under stocked medical clinic, using the Amazon as their medicine cabinet.

 They also train new doctors, setting the show up for a revolving door of interesting characters. All the doctors have vastly different reasons for being there, and romance, drama and action ensue as the different personalities collide.

Henderson has big shoes to fill in attempting to recreate the McDreamy and McSteamy effect perpetuated by Grey’s Anatomy stars Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane, however the internet is buzzing about the show, and fans have already given him the moniker “McKiwi” (apparently preferred by Henderson over “McHottie”, which was the original attempt by fans to coin a name.) 

Off the Map premiered in the US on January 12, 2011. Despite a later initial timeslot of 10pm due to network coverage of the memorial service in Tucson, Arizona, the show still pulled 7.5 million viewers, with ABC coming out as the top network for the night.

Off the Map’s producers are using innovative ways to promote the show; “Dr Ben Keeton” has a Twitter account and doles out custom prescriptions to his 9,000 plus followers while claiming “Martin and I get confused all the time. The main difference is he’s an actor and I’m a doctor in the Amazon saving lives.”

They also have a Facebook page with downloads, live chat links with the stars of the show and links to episode previews.

As Henderson puts it, “What other show could offer you action, adventure, comedy...sting rays, zip lines, landslides, anacondas, under water amputation...”

Off the Map will screen in New Zealand on TV2 later this year.

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