Tackling the lead in UPN's Jake 2.0 (airing Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET beginning Sept. 10) would make most actors wish they possessed the title character's technologically enhanced super-brains and brawn. But former Popular pushover Christopher Gorham needs only his own adrenaline to keep up with the physically demanding role of a government drone who, through a freak accident, is transformed into a top-secret agent.

"I really thrive in this environment," the wannabe action hero says happily. "I don't feel like there's a lot of pressure on me [to carry the series], because I have this great team behind me that's creating this show, [so] I just kind of have to show up and do my job."

Gorham sure makes it sound easy. But in fact, despite his status as an almost-famous Hollywood climber, he was hesitant to accept the steady gig. The hold-up? The makers of Jake initially wanted to shoot in Toronto, where their chosen one had just wrapped work on Showtime's short-lived sci-fi drama, Odyssey 5.

"[The Toronto-to-L.A. commute] was really difficult for me," he explains, "because my wife [Popular glamazon Anel Lopez Gorham] is an actress, and she couldn't just relocate [and give up her career], and I didn't want her to do that. So it was a lot of back and forth, and it's a really long flight to Toronto.

"So [the location] was one of the very first hurdles I had to get over," he continues, adding gratefully that, to his amazement, "they kind of moved the whole thing to Vancouver. It's a miracle that I'm here."