TV dramas lead the field for Gemini Awards

TV dramas Slings & Arrows, ReGenesis and Intelligence joined longrunning news series The Fifth Estate among the leading nominees announced Tuesday for the 22nd Gemini Awards, Canada's annual celebration of the best in English-language television.

Little Mosque snubbed in major comedy categories

TV dramas Slings & Arrows, ReGenesis and Intelligence joined longrunning news series The Fifth Estate among the leading nominees for the 22nd Gemini Awards.

Slings & Arrows was among the leading Gemini nominees, including for appearances by the late William Hutt and Sarah Polley. ((The Movie Network/Canadian Press))

Announced Tuesday, the annual prize celebrates the best in Canadian English-language television.

The three dramas will compete for the best dramatic series title, with Jozi-H and Whistler also scoring nominations in the prestigious category.

Slings & Arrows, set backstage at a Shakespearean theatre festival, led the field with 14 nominations.

The show's nominations were dominated by nods for the many celebrated performers who made appearances last season, including stars Paul Gross, Susan Coyne, Martha Burns and the late William Hutt, as well as guests like Sarah Polley and Stephen Ouimette.

ReGenesis, about scientists at a biotechnology lab, scored 12 nominations, with numerous nods for its actors, including Peter Outerbridge and Wendy Crewson.

Right behind with 11 nominations each are the investigative documentary series The Fifth Estate andWest Coast crime drama Intelligence, acknowledged for its writing, direction, sound, musical score and lead performers Ian Tracey, John Cassini and Klea Scott.

Other productions winning multiple nominations include:

  • Dragon Boys.
  • Doomstown.
  • Robson Arms.
  • Corner Gas.
  • Answered by Fire.
  • Roxana.
  • Shades of Black.
  • In God's Country.
  • The Robber Bride.
  • Words to Music: The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Little Mosque snubbed for comedy series

Nominated for best comedy program or series are ratings powerhouse Corner Gas and stalwarts Royal Canadian Air Farce and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, with Odd Job Jack and Rent-A-Goalie rounding out the list.

Actors Zaib Shaikh and Manoj Sood in a scene from sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie, which drew headlines around the globe upon its debut but failed to make the Gemini nominee list for best comedy series. ((CBC))

Surprisingly absent from the category's nominees was the new sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie, the lighthearted comedy about Muslims in a small Saskatchewan town that grabbed headlines around the globe upon its debut last season.

The show was also left out of running for the best ensemble comedy performance trophy, with the casts of Air Farce, Rent-A-Goalie, Corner Gas, Comedy Inc., The Business and 22 Minutes nominated.

Little Mosque did pick up two nominations in craft categories: best direction in a comedy program or series and best writing in a comedy, variety program or series.

The TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride will compete for the best TV movie title, competing with Doomstown, Eight Days to Live, In God's Country and Last Exit.

Director Allan King, seen here in Toronto in August 2006, is nominated for his documentary Empz 4 Life. ((Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press))

Veteran documentarian and past Gemini winner Allan King is once again nominated for a Donald Brittain Award for best social or political documentary, scoring a nod for his Empz 4 Life. His competition includes the documentaries Bombay Calling, Cottonland, Faith Without Fear, Fatherland and Martyr Street.

The news categories were dominated by CBC nominees, with Global, TV Ontario and Toronto's City TV also receiving nods. In 2006, CTV News withdrew from the awards, saying that the time involved in preparing entries was not worth the effort.

Select Gemininominees include:

  • Newscast - CBC News: The National; CityNews at Six; Global National.
  • News anchor - Ian Hanomansing, CBC News: Canada Now National Edition; Gord Martineau, CityNews at Six; Kevin Newman, Global National.
  • News information series - CBC News: Sunday; Marketplace; The Fifth Estate.
  • Host or interviewer in a news information program/series - Gillian Findlay, The Fifth Estate; Hana Gartner, The Fifth Estate; Steve Paikin, The Agenda with Steve Paikin; Evan Solomon, CBC News: Sunday Night; David Suzuki, The Nature of Things with David Suzuki.
  • Sports play-by-play announcer - Bob Cole, Hockey Night in Canada; Chris Cuthbert, CFL on TSN; Gord Miller, IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.
  • Sports studio analyst - Matt Dunigan, CFL on TSN; Kelly Hrudey, Hockey Night in Canada; Bob McKenzie, IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.
  • Individual performance in a comedy program/series - John Cleese, Just for Laughs Gala Series; Phyllis Ellis, The Wilkinsons; Elvira Kurt, Halifax Comedy Fest 2006; Rick Mercer, Rick Mercer Report; Teresa Pavlinek, The Jane Show.
  • Actor in a continuing leading dramatic role - John Cassini, Intelligence; Paul Gross, Slings & Arrows; William Hutt, Slings & Arrows; Peter Outerbridge, ReGenesis; Ian Tracey, Intelligence.
  • Actress in a continuing leading dramatic role - Martha Burns, Slings & Arrows; Susan Coyne, Slings & Arrows; Klea Scott, Intelligence.
  • Performance in a performing arts program/series - Guillaume Côté, Moving to his Music: The Two Muses of Guillaume Côté; Jeff Healey, Opening Night; Chanti Wadge, Karen Young's Canticum Canticorum.
  • Animated program/series - Captain Flamingo; Naughty Naughty Pets; Ruby Gloom; Skyland; Sons of Butcher.
  • Children's or youth fiction program/series - Alice, I Think; Degrassi: The Next Generation; Jacob Two-Two; Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story; Wapos Bay.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television will honour winners in the news, documentary, sports, lifestyle, youth and variety programming categories during three Toronto ceremonies on Oct. 15, 16 and 17.

A televised Gemini Awards gala will follow in Regina, which is hosting the festivities for the first time. The telecast will air live from the Conexus Arts Centre on Oct. 28.