TV News & Reviews

This fall, these Kansas City-area names will star in TV shows, including Paul Rudd

Although “Bless This Mess” may be the most Midwest-minded series airing this fall, it’s not the only new or returning show boasting Kansas City ties.

Paul Rudd on Netflix

Netflix’s eight-episode “Living With Yourself” features Paul Rudd, one of KC’s favorite sons, as Miles, a mild-mannered guy who finds he’s been cloned and replaced by a new and improved version of himself. NETFLIX

Paul Rudd (“Ant-Man”) of Overland Park stars not once but twice in the season’s most unusual entry, Netflix’s eight-episode “Living With Yourself” (Oct. 18).

Rudd plays Miles, a mild-mannered guy whose once-hot career has cooled and whose home life with wife Kate (Aisling Bea) is also in the doldrums. A co-worker suggests a novel spa treatment intended to make Miles a better person.

Instead, Miles finds he’s been cloned and replaced by a new and improved version of himself. Rudd plays both Miles and his clone.

Alex Saxon on ‘Nancy Drew’

Liberty native Alex Saxon (“The Fosters”), last revealed to be the killer on ABC’s now-canceled “The Fix,” returns to prime-time in The CW’s “Nancy Drew” (8 p.m. Oct. 9).

Saxon plays a character The CW describes as “amiable burnout Ace,” who works at the same Maine greasy spoon where Nancy (Kennedy McMann) is a waitress.

Liberty native Alex Saxon is Ace in The CW’s “Nancy Drew.” He’s pictured here with, from left, Leah Lewis as George, Tunji Kasim as Nick, Kennedy McMann as Nancy, and Maddison Jaizani as Bess. The CW Network

“He has a lot of secrets and those are still trickling down,” Saxon says. “At first Ace seems pretty aloof and maybe not as involved. But then you start figuring out that he has a very keen eye, he’s clocking everything. He’s sort of a step ahead of everybody, even within the group, figuring things out.”

Katherine McNamara returns on ‘Arrow’

Lee’s Summit native Katherine McNamara (“The Maze Runner”) segued from Freeform’s “Shadowhunters” to The CW’s superhero universe of shows during the 2018-19 TV season and she’s back for the final season of “Arrow” (8 p.m. Oct. 15).

“I basically went straight from one show to another, which I was eternally grateful for,” she says.

Katherine McNamara.jpg
Lee’s Summit native Katherine McNamara is back for the final season of “Arrow” on The CW as Mia Smoak. The CW Network

Jumping into another superhero series didn’t give her much pause.

“I’m an actor who wants to do everything and be part of every genre but the way that I justified it is that yes, it’s a similar genre, but the character is entirely different. Where Clary (on ‘Shadowhunters’) was that ember of hope. … Mia is a product of her environment: She is cutthroat and she will do what it takes to survive no matter what. It’s a very interesting way to approach a similar world but with a completely different perspective.”

On “Arrow” McNamara plays Mia Smoak, daughter of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards).

“(Mia) was raised largely in isolation … and Mia doesn’t play well with others,” McNamara says. “She has to learn how to be part of a team. And whether or not she’s successful with that is a big question for the first part of the season.”

More KC-area names on TV

The 2019-20 TV season also marks the end for two long-running series starring Kansas City, Kansas, natives — ABC’s “Modern Family” (8 p.m. Sept. 25) featuring Eric Stonestreet and Fox’s “Empire” (8 p.m. Sept. 24) with Trai Byers.

Heidi Gardner of Kansas City is a regular cast member on “Saturday Night Live,” which returns Sept. 28 on NBC. (Here’s hoping “SNL” alum Jason Sudeikis of Overland Park pops in to play Joe Biden again.) You can also see Gardner when she flips the switch at the 90th Annual Evergy (formerly KCP&L) Plaza Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 28.

And “MacGyver,” co-starring David Dastmalchian of Overland Park, will return midseason, sometime in early 2020, on CBS.

Freelance writer Rob Owen is at or on Facebook and Twitter as RobOwenTV.

The Star’s Sharon Hoffmann contributed to this story.

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