Entertainment

Canadian Screen Awards: Schitt's Creek makes history with record 26 nominations

Schitt’s Creek and Anne With An E lead the comedy and drama television nominations respectively for the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards, while the historical drama The Song of Names has the most film nominations.

Cancelled Anne With An E leads TV drama nods with 17; The Song of Names leads film categories with 9

CBC's Schitt's Creek earned a record 26 Canadian Screen Award nominations, with multiple nods in several categories.

Schitt's Creek and Anne With An E lead the comedy and drama television nominations respectively for the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards (CSAs), while the historical drama The Song of Names received the most film nominations.

CBC's Schitt's Creek, a sitcom about a once wealthy family living in a small town, is nominated for a record-breaking 26 nods, including best comedy series alongside the following shows:

  • Jann.
  • Kim's Convenience.
  • Letterkenny.
  • Workin' Moms.

The riches-to-rags series, which stars co-creators Eugene Levy and son Daniel Levy, has the most television nominations ever in a single year at the CSAs. It has multiple nominations in several categories.

That includes best comedy writing, in which four of the five nominated episodes in the category belong to Schitt's Creek. The fifth nominee is an episode of the acclaimed Crave comedy Letterkenny.

CBC's Eli Glasner on Schitt's Creek's record noms, a new wave of Canadian film contenders 

Dan and Eugene Levy's popular sitcom nabbed a record 26 nominations for the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards. 6:47

In the comedy acting categories, the Levys are both up for best lead actor and on-screen mother-daughter duo Catherine O'Hara and Annie Murphy are both nominated for best lead actress.

Three Schitt's Creek actors are nominated in the supporting actor category: Chris Elliot, Dustin Milligan and Noah Reid. Another three are nominated for supporting actress: Emily Hampshire, Jennifer Robertson and Sarah Levy.

The homegrown series, which is currently in its sixth and final season, has enjoyed significant popularity south of the border since it launched in 2015 on Pop TV in the U.S. and subsequently became available on Netflix in 2017. It was nominated for outstanding comedy series at the 2019 Emmy Awards.

Schitt’s Creek has ushered in a new era of appreciation for Canadian comedy. While Canadian comedians have long had success in the U.S., Canadian comedy shows are now booming. Deana Sumanac-Johnson looks at why this is happening now. 2:36

Anne With An E leads TV drama nods

The CBC/Netflix series Anne With An E, which was cancelled despite a passionate online plea from fans to keep it on the air, received 17 nominations — including best drama series, best direction and best writing.

The series, which aired its third and final season on CBC last year, was an updated take on the Canadian classic Anne of Green Gables.

Anne With An E, which concluded its third and final season last year, leads the TV drama categories.

CTV's crime drama series Cardinal is close behind with 14 nominations, including best drama series.

The remaining three nominees in the category are:

  • Coroner.
  • Mary Kills People.
  • Vikings.

CBC received 269 nominations overall, including 29 nods for CBC News. Notable nominees include CBC News: The National, Marketplace and The Fifth Estate.

Song of Names, Twentieth Century get multiple film nods

The Song of Names, a historical drama from veteran filmmaker François Girard, was the leading film nominee with 9 nominations. It earned nods in a raft of production categories, including for its art direction, costume design, sound, original score and visual effects.

The Twentieth Century, filmmaker Matthew Rankin's comic reimagining of the story of former prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, earned eight nominations, including best picture. The other films nominated in the category are:

  • Anne at 13,000 ft.
  • Antigone
  • The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open.
  • White Lie.

Antigone — Montreal-based director Sophie Deraspe's tale of an immigrant family in trouble with the law  is close behind with seven nods. It was Canada's official selection for Oscar consideration in the category of best international feature.​​​ Deraspe is also nominated for achievement in direction and editing. Antigone's lead, Nahéma Ricci, is nominated for her role in the film.

Antigone, starring newcomer Nahéma Ricci, right, earned 7 nominations including in the category of best picture. (Antigone 2019)

Ricci will be up against two stars of another film, The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open.

Both Violet Nelson and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers are nominated for their roles in the powerful story about two women from different walks of life who meet by chance during a crisis.

CBC's Zulekha Nathoo speaks with Canadian filmmakers behind Antigone and The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open. 1:47
 

Several of the behind-the-scenes film categories, traditionally dominated by men, are demonstrating increasing gender parity this year.

Two of the five nominees for cinematography, three of the seven nominees for director and three of the six nominees for editing are women.

The Canadian Screen Awards gala will be broadcast on CBC from Toronto on Sunday, March 29, with the majority of awards being handed out earlier that week.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said incorrectly that Antigone is the film with the most nominations. In fact, The Song of Names received the most film nominations.
    Feb 18, 2020 11:37 AM ET

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