Drama Casting & News
Daniel Henney’s U.S. drama picked up for fall
by | May 17, 2009 | 44 Comments

Get ready to see Daniel Henney on U.S. television — his pilot, CBS drama series Three Rivers, has been given the green light for the fall season.

(The network will make the official announcement on Wednesday, but the news has already been leaked and the show has been given the go-ahead to begin staffing writers.)

The series is a medical drama that centers around doctors who specialize in organ transplants, as well as organ donors and recipients. It stars Julia Ormond (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Alex O’Loughlin (Moonlight) as doctors; Daniel Henney also plays a transplant specialist.

The drama doesn’t appeal to me in the least — it seems much more like Three Pounds (remember that? no?) than ER — but will I be watching? Yup. (At least at first.)

And as much as I rag on Daniel Henney’s subpar acting ability, I’m really, really hoping he steps it up and shows he’s improved from his days of stiff delivery and wooden expressions and “I was hit by a bullet once” (a la Seducing Mr. Perfect — shudder).

Via Yonhap News


44 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. GeeNie

    AHHHHHHHHH Daniel Henney!!!!!!

    So do we know where this is gonna show? What channel? In the US?

  2. Carmie

    Oh man you are so right. I hate to admit it, but his acting isn’t the best in the world. I laughed at that last sentence you wrote. It’s true! He looked like he was just reading from the script when he said that line.

  3. Kender

    AHAHAHA, I loved the bullet bit. As soon as he said that, Jon Bon Jovi’s song “You Give Love A Bad Name” popped into my head. (“Shot through the heart and you’re to blame/You give love a bad name..”) Now I can’t think of that movie without thinking of that song, and vice versa. XD

    He does look very lovely in that picture, though, with his gravity-defying, over-gelled hair. I might tune in, if I remember. Then again, I don’t generally watch US TV (too busy to watch it when it airs, and I don’t like watching things streaming), though, so we’ll have to see.

    @1 GeeNie – The post says the channel is CBS, in the States.

  4. bspanda

    Good luck Daniel! Will be interesting to see how this drama goes. Truly his ‘acting’ could only go up/improve from ‘Seducing Mr Perfect’ right? LOL (although have to admit I enjoyed it – guilty pleasure)

    Saw him in ‘Wolverine’ the other night, he was less wooden and not as totally awful as I had sort of expected. But then again I wasn’t paying much attention to Daniel’s performance. I was, to paraphrase Po the Panda, blinded by the awesomeness of Hugh Jackman *sigh*

    BTW if you need to know the awesomeness of Hugh you should check out his appearance (with Daniel) on ‘Gold Miss’ during his Korean promotion for Wolverine. He was just such a good sport! Seemed to have go with it and have much more fun than Henney. Part 4 of the clip was my favourite – hilarious (and quite sweet). Here is it for those who have not checked it out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuuojvaRzA4&feature=PlayList&p=4FC17A8775F48B11&index=38

  5. Marie

    hmm interesting. He’s doing a lot better than the other actors/actresses who’re trying to break into the US market. I must admit I’ve never watched his previous projects and I had low expectations for his role in Xmen, but I must say…his acting wasn’t that bad! (or maybe because I got a little distracted trying to figure out the filming locations =D and of course, admiring his English haha).

  6. Nom Kitteh

    Woah! I am so happy for Daniel — and happy for his number one fans, his parents.

    And really, although the man cannot take a bad photo, the one above is an especially nice shot. He is such a great specimen of MAN -dom 🙂 .


  7. Samsooki

    I don’t know what to feel. I’m not sure what to think.

    If Three Rivers fails, then some of the blame might fall on Daniel Henney, however unfair that is. Even if Henney does a decent job, he will likely get taint. And if he gets taint, then so does every other Asian-American actor.

    If Three Rivers succeeds, then will Daniel Henney be catapulted into a higher tier of actors? If that does happen, though, what will that mean? Will it mean that Americans are ready for an Asian-American actor playing more “lead” roles, OR, are Americans merely positively receiving the non-Asian part of Henney (and/or just seeing Henney as an “exotic” good-looking guy)?

    I just wish that Henney will freaking rock the house on Three Rivers, and America realizes that there are talented Asian American actors out there who are interesting and talented and good looking and smexy. I want Daniel Henney to be the best actor on television, and I really hope for nothing less than that. It is unfortunate that the trailbreaker has the most unfair hurdle to cross, the heaviest burden, but sometimes, that’s the way that it is.

  8. mzpakipot

    I’ll check it out to support Dr. Kim..Maybe Hee-jin will have a cameo as his wife..

  9. Jane

    I look forward to seeing this. I don’t know if you’ve seen the new Wolverine movie, but I thought his performance as Zero was a major improvement on what I’ve seen from him in the past. Plus he made one hot mutant 🙂

  10. 10 Biscuit

    I haven’t really watched much American drama series for a while, but I will watch for Daniel Henney!

  11. 11 Amy

    Seducing Mr. Perfect was the first Korean movie I watched, and I can’t believe it didn’t single-handedly turn me away from cinema, period.

  12. 12 bd

    “although the man cannot take a bad photo…”

    Henney’s taken a bunch of bad photos recently w/ his long locks (Henney can’t rock the long hair look like some others can).

    As for his acting, I certainly hope it’s improved – I couldn’t get past the first 10 minutes of “Seducing Mr. Perfect” (yes – it was that bad; amazingly, there are actually some people who have posted that they thought his acting in “Mr Perfect” was decent).

    This show is the first time that an Asian-American male (well, half) gets cast as a doctor as a series regular AND be put into romantic situations/relationships (I’m assuming).

    Evidently, Henney’s character’s name is David Leone so it appears that his character is hapa.

  13. 13 travp16

    OMG!! I am totally watching this…just for him of course. Heroes and Lost don’t start until late in the season.

  14. 14 Wendy

    It’s laughable that an ‘actor’ like Daniel Henney is on the same show as Julia Ormond and Ao’L. Julia Ormond is one of the best British actresses in theater, television and film, whereas Daniel Henney is…nothing! He ‘acts’ in a couple of Korean dramas and movies, has a bit part in Wolverine (which was met with generally unfavorable reviews) and suddenly he’s bankable? What is CBS thinking? I just hope DH doesn’t bring the show down with him…

  15. 15 nycgrl

    haha. i had the same problems with seducing mr. perfect as other people. If you read other boards, you have people proclaiming the movie is good to great. Some girl even said it was actually her favorite movie and Daniel was really great in the role.

    On this board you have people who can recognize a hunky guy but don’t confuse what they are seeing with their eyes with what they are thinking with their brains.

    And JB is so dead on. That bullet scene was like the worst part of the movie. You literally groaned in pain (ahh my ears my ears, don’t speak, don’t speak ). His acting in that movie makes his acting in MNIKSS literally seem like an oscar worthy performance.

  16. 16 kimchii

    Never been much of a medical drama fan, but I think I’ll just watch it because of Daniel Henney.. I’m ashamed of the fact that it’s the only excuse I got because I probably wouldn’t even consider watching it otherwise.

  17. 17 bd

    @ Wendy

    Yeah, DH’s acting is subpar/wooden, but let’s all remember that Keanu Reeves managed to become a huge star (despite his wooden acting) based on the strength of his face.

  18. 18 yvhsien

    Except for ER (in the very beginning), I have not hooked on to any other medical dramas. But I think I’ll watch this one – at least the first couple of episodes – to see how DH does. His success will certainly have an effect on the opportunity for other Asian actors to play leading roles in Hollywood. For that reason, I hope the show does well.

    I’m not sure how I feel about his on-screen name – David Leone. I personally think hapa guys are cute but wonder about the perception of the audience regarding his role and character based on that name.

  19. 19 anna

    What saved “Seducing Mr. Perfect” is him being out of the shower half naked. That’s all I remember from that movie. Just stand there and look sexy. is enough.

  20. 20 Lucille

    I am happy for Daniel, but the last thing US TV needs is another horrible medical drama. However, I will watch the first couple of episodes. I also saw Wolverine and I didn’t think his acting had improved that much. Not enough that could he help carry a television show. I mean in Wolverine he played a wooden mutant. It was like that role was given to him knowing his limitations. Having said that, I was still excited every time he came on screen.

    @17 I too hope that the Keanu Reeves/Brendon Fraiser too bug also bites DH also. I would love to see him make it big.

  21. 21 Jessica

    I wonder if his character will have an Asian last name?

    I also wonder how “Asian” they’re going to make him.

    @ bd

    Well Keanu Reeves looks more White than Asian. With Daniel Henney’s complexion, I’m not sure the producers would take a chance on him like they did with Reeves.

  22. 22 mojadora

    i dont understand why people are so critical with daniel henney…
    he’s not that bad… and he look so gorgeous! haha

  23. 23 haezi

    wow, julia ormond. she was one of my favorites back in the 90s.
    while daniel henney’s success may help open doors for future asian actors, let’s not forget that daniel henney looks white and acts white. sure, he got his major start in korean dramas but he’s not really an asian actor so i don’t quite see him holding the baton as a forerunner for other asians. still, i hope he does well since a part of him is korean (and he does seem to embrace the culture)

    there are other asian actors who are actually doing well or at least getting a chance in the us market and daniel henney’s break means that american casting directors or whoever else in america is starting to watch asian movies and actors with more interest (otherwise, we wouldn’t get all those remakes). but, as a previous comment states, henney’s case is a lot like keanu reeves (who is some part chinese or so i heard).

  24. 24 Samsooki

    Okay, well, I wrote a post defending DH, but I after reading it, I deleted it because it doesn’t make sense. Bottom line: You don’t get to fight your battles with your fantasy weapons. You go to war with what you have, and right now, DH is just about it for now. It sucks that this is the case, because DH is not a very good actor. And he’s certainly not a great actor. DH is a model.

    I thought I could write a post defending DH – by saying that in 2005 and 2006, DH was just starting out and learning to act, and he had no formal training in acting, and he was compared and contrasted to Sun Bin (in MNIKSS). But that’s no excuse, because once he accepts a role, it is his responsibility to see that the role, however minor, is done properly. And he failed in his responsibility in both 2005 and 2006. And then I thought, well, DH was also in a foreign country, not having learned Korean at all, so it must have been hard for him. But then again, his character was supposed to only know English… all he had to do was act… And then I thought, maybe he was given too challenging of roles, but as I think about it, the only thing less challenging would have been if he were cast as a tomato or an onion in a school play about vegetables… (“I’m an tomato! I have lycopene and beta carotene which helps the body fight free radicals and keep people healthy!”)


    Yet, I hold out hope that Daniel Henney finds some inner reserve of extroversion and talent to mimic, talent to take on new personalities other than a withered tree, talent to make his face do more than either frown or smile.

    Acting is a really tough gig. The problem with acting is that if you don’t have talent, it shows through almost immediately, and there’s no amount of makeup or “blue steel’ or “magnum” looks that can make up for a lack of acting talent.

    If DH fails with Three Rivers, he will probably not only set back progress for other Asian Americans, but he might just about kill his own American acting career.

    This is a tough one…

  25. 25 KOK

    On the list of mediocre actors with Pretty faces DH is on the top, the guy simply can’t act. He can’t say his lines with a straight face either, aslong as he isn’t talking its fine but when he tries its god awful. And no one will buy DH as a transplant specialist.

  26. 26 jdb

    The American dream…. I don’t expect much about this but it’s another breakthrough for his career. For me he’s just another face coz basically his features and all are common in Asian American but I must admit he has screen charisma which I hope will take him on the upper ground. Getting lead roles? It’s a long way to go…

  27. 27 Marie

    AHH. I love Daniel Henney!!! Even with his terrible acting, he’s sooooo fineee. I didn’t actually recognise him in Wolverine until the very end in the credits, he looked really different to me – still cute mind you. Hope this new series in good – will be looking out for the first episode!

  28. 28 chu

    woah, that was quick. i gotta agree, his acting’s mediocre (the bullet scene in SMP still makes me LOL up to this day … i’d rather watch the OST MV!) but there’s something very likeable about him. so yeah, i’m tuning in on CBS this fall xD

  29. 29 hjkomo

    @ Samsooki – “the only thing less challenging would have been if he were cast as a tomato or an onion in a school play about vegetables…”
    ROFL! 😛

    I haven’t watched My Father. He supposedly improved (which wouldn’t be saying much, anyways) with that movie. Anyone with good reviews?

    Perhaps, Julia Ormond and Alex O’Loughlin (and some good writing & directing) can carry the drama enough so that it won’t be axed immediately. We can only hope…

  30. 30 Wendy


    I have to disagree with what you said about Keanu Reeves. It isn’t his acting that’s wooden, it’s the characters he’s require to play that are the stoic, cold action heroes, and those were the roles that made him famous, so a lot of people haven’t seen that he has real, emotional depth as an actor. His portrayal of Hamlet in the play, and his acting in the The Gift were almost universally praised. But because of the success of movies like the Matrix trilogy, Speed and Constantine, (where he has little room to emote), you assume that he can’t successfully portray a character with depth.

    However, I do concede that there are actors in Hollywood, and most other film industries, who don’t need to be particularly convincing at what they do.

    Which brings me back to Daniel Henney– becoming a famous actor is hard enough if you’re half-Asian, but as an Asian person with no (remarkable) talent, it’s going to be extremely difficult (if not impossible) for DH. Also, acting next to JO and AoL will just throw his lack of acting experience into sharp relief.

  31. 31 MichaelC2B

    I am so happy to know that Three Rivers will air this fall. If Alex O’Loughlin is in it I know that I will love it. The man can do no wrong on film.

  32. 32 bd

    “Well Keanu Reeves looks more White than Asian. With Daniel Henney’s complexion, I’m not sure the producers would take a chance on him like they did with Reeves.”

    @ Jessica

    Right – most people have no idea that Reeves is part Chinese/Hawaiian, which is why he has been cast in a wide range of roles while a contemporary of his (who is more like DH), Russell Wong, has been limited to stereotypical “Asian” roles.

    The irony of all this is that DH’s role as a transplant surgeon is stereotypical, except that there haven’t been any East Asian-Am male doctor characters on a network drama w/ the exception of BD Wong in L&O: SVU (whose character, btw, is total asexual) – but hopefully, DH’s role as a physician includes some “hanky panky” (that is all too common on medical dramas).


    “while daniel henney’s success may help open doors for future asian actors, let’s not forget that daniel henney looks white and acts white.”

    @ haezi

    Uhh, how exactly does DH look “white” when Hollywood initially kept casting him in stereotypical Asian male roles (which he turned down)?

    Do Kim Sung Soo, Oh Ji Ho, Jo Han Sun, Yoo Gun, etc. look “white”?

    As for “acting white” – I didn’t realize that Asian-Americans had to act like overseas asians.

    Henney acts no more “white” than other Korean-Am/Cn actors like Daniel Dae Kim, Rick Yune, Sandra Oh, Grace Park, etc.


    @ Wendy

    I have to disagree w/ you.

    Keanu Reeve’s acting gets universally panned and not just in action films (and action films doesn’t necessarily have to mean bad/wooden acting – compare Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Eric Bana, Christian Bale, Mel Gibson, etc. to the likes of Jeane-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal; KR’s acting in action films is definitely w/ the latter).

    KR’s acting in non-action flicks like “A Walk in the Clouds”, “The Devil’s Advocate”, “Sweet November” was a complete snoozefest.

    And speaking of Shakespeare, KR’s acting in “Much Ado About Nothing” was, shall we say, underwhelming.

  33. 33 Tippy


    Wondering if you know that you have been plagiarized?? Yup..it’s true…unless of course you are the secret administrator behind the Daniel Henney Fan page on Facebook??!! Hmmmmmm???!

    Both this article and the previous article have been copied and pasted…picture and all…

    Although, I don’t technically think it would be considered plagiarism since your site has been referenced…still…I took offense on your behalf!

    No, wait, I just checked…second article referenced, first one not…how rude!

  34. 34 javabeans


    Yeah, people take my posts all the time. There are some sites that basically copy every single post I publish. Sometimes it’s by splogs (spam + blog) and sometimes it’s by people who mean well and just want to share the content, but don’t know that it’s bad blog etiquette to lift content from another site, even if you credit the source. It’s annoying, but kind of one of those banes of the internet.

    (FYI, good blog etiquette is to cite the source and reference the original, but NOT reproduce the entire post word for word. Blogs should really generate their own content, imo, or else it falls into the category of splog.)

  35. 35 Tippy

    @ Javabeans:

    Two words: LAME-O…man, in university you can be kicked out of school for plagiarizing yourself; meaning if you have an original thought in one paper, use it again in another and don’t reference your initial paper, they can seriously charge you with plagiarism. Yet on the internet, it’s a big old free for all! Rats!

    ( but I must say…now I can’t stop saying ‘splog’…I’m thinking Dr. Seuss would have loved all these new technological words…blog, splog, bleme…although I am certain that he would be horrified at the atrocious spelling that seems to dominate the interwebs!)

    Splog, splog, splog, splog………..splog…

  36. 36 goldlilys

    Haha, I thought his acting career ended after his role in Spring Waltz, not until my cousin told and showed me his role in Xmen Wolverine Origins. I thought that was the best acting role he has ever done … small lines, just look hot and cute!! I admit he is HOT!! But really needs to stop trying to be an actor. He’s too stiff without any emotions. Ahh him and Dennis Oh should stick to modeling or go back to acting lessons.

  37. 37 yvhsien

    I have visited other blogs before looking for K-drama news content but JB’s blog is the only one now that I go to religiously to check for news. It’s very well written with support pics, info, videos etc. The writing is also objective and covers a wide range of K-drama topics.

    The others who visit the blog also seem to have some thoughtful opinions. I think the best writers attract good readers.

    Regarding the splog, I guess JB could take it as a compliment that the blog content is plagiarized. But on the other side, it’s not fun seeing your work being posted by someone else word by word especially when there is no reference. Maybe they need to make it illegal to splog.

  38. 38 Samsooki

    Looks like the CBS lineup has been announced.


    7 p.m. 60 Minutes
    8 p.m. The Amazing Race
    9 p.m. Three Rivers
    10 p.m. Cold Case

    So, Sunday’s 9 p.m. slot is now Daniel Henney time. 🙂

  39. 39 Jessica

    @ bd #32

    The irony of all this is that DH’s role as a transplant surgeon is stereotypical, except that there haven’t been any East Asian-Am male doctor characters on a network drama …

    LOL 🙂 Good point. That’s so ridiculous isn’t it?

  40. 40 Tippy

    I’ve said it before and I’ll mention it again…JACK YANG…brain surgeon…Cashmere Mafia…perhaps if the show lasted a few more seasons, he’d be more of a household name since the dude has been/is on tons of major network programs (Grey’s Anatomy, Nip Tuck…)

    And as for him being Asian and not being viewed as smexy…you can google image him smooching Lucy Liu…that’s pretty smexy in my books!

    Bonus points for him being part Canadian…woo hoo!

  41. 41 Cee

    I’ve watched My Father, and he did improve a lot, I was actually impressed. He had my friend bawling for the entire movie. 🙂

    But whatever, as long as I get to stare at him.

  42. 42 bond

    @ marie- Daniel Henney is American…there’s no reason to admire his English…

    You’re right, he’s not a good actor, but goddamn is he hot. I’ll probably watch too.

  43. 43 LuckyPty

    Waooo… I honestly belive I´m probably one of the few fews that like the SMP movie… I dont know to me the acting was acording to the roll, dried up-up tight-fronting-no heart guy…

    and I will watch the medical show…because desperate housewives is going doooown like Titanic.

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