Corner Gas to end after 6th season

From a media release:

Brent Butt Announces Corner Gas Season Six to be Final Season of Hit Series – Canada’s hit comedy series to wrap-up in 2009

Corner Gas creator and star Brent Butt, on behalf of Prairie Pants Productions, announced today that the series will come to an end following the conclusion of its upcoming sixth season.

Production on the final 19 new episodes, to be broadcast in 2008-2009 on CTV and The Comedy Network, begins May 15 in Regina and Rouleau, Saskatchewan. The series’ finale will air sometime in Spring, 2009.

“It’s a very difficult decision, but the right decision, and one I felt I had to make,” said Brent Butt, who is also a writer, director and executive producer of the series. “When I told CTV about my decision, they made it clear that they were keen to do more seasons. They didn’t want it to end yet. But for the good of the show, I wanted to exit gracefully, on top of our game, when we’re at our prime — because that’s how I want viewers to remember Corner Gas: at its very best.”

“This is not goodbye, it’s see you later,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “Brent and his team have accomplished something that has never been achieved before. They said it couldn’t be done, but Corner Gas did it anyway. The series has paved the way for other Canadian productions by proving that if you make great TV, Canadians will watch.

“It’s been a great collaboration between CTV and the Corner Gas creative team and we’ve always respected what should be the right creative choice. We look forward to another great season of laughs, and seeing what this team comes up with next.”

Butt will continue to develop projects for CTV and The Comedy Network as production wraps on the finale season of Corner Gas. Originally developed by Butt for The Comedy Network and CTV, Corner Gas went into production in the summer of 2003. After an innovative publicity and promotional campaign, including a free-gas giveaway that brought traffic to a halt on the streets of Toronto, Corner Gas premiered on Jan. 22, 2004 with 1.15 million viewers. The series went on to become a cultural phenomenon, spawning a chart-topping book, sold-out comedy tours, a successful line of clothing and merchandise, a top-selling series of DVDs and a thriving tourist industry in Rouleau, Saskatchewan, where the series if filmed.

By the time the series concludes next year, 107 episodes of the half-hour series will have aired. Corner Gas has been nominated almost 60 times for numerous awards, including an International Emmy Award, Gemini Awards, Leo Awards, Director’s Guild of Canada Awards, Canadian Screenwriting Awards and Canadian Comedy Awards. The series has won six Gemini Awards, including “Best Comedy Series.” The program is seen in more than two dozen countries, including Australia on SBS and in the United States on Superstation WGN.

Since its premiere five seasons ago, Corner Gas has remained Canada’s #1 comedy and the most-watched Canadian scripted series. Often the only Canadian series to make the list of the Top 20 most-watched programs in Canada, the inhabitants of Dog River regularly outdraw all of its US Network timeslot competitors – even in simulcast – in any given week, including Prison Break and Heroes.

Corner Gas continues to air with all-new episodes Mondays at 9:30 p.m. ET on CTV and Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The Comedy Network. Corner Gas stars Brent Butt as Brent Leroy; Eric Peterson and Janet Wright as Oscar and Emma Leroy; Gabrielle Miller as coffee shop owner Lacey Burrows; Fred Ewanuick as best friend Hank Yarbo; Lorne Cardinal and Tara Spencer-Nairn as police officers Davis Quinton and Karen Pelly; and Nancy Robertson as retail assistant Wanda Dollard.

Butt leads a six person writing team which includes Supervising Producer Kevin White (This Hour Has 22 Minutes) along with Mark Farrell (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Made In Canada) as producer/writer; Emmy winner Norm Hiscock (Saturday Night Live, King Of The Hill, Kids In The Hall) as consulting producer/writer; Andrew Carr (Comics) as story editor/writer; and Dylan Wertz as story editor/writer.