Tag Archives: Eugene Levy

Schitt’s Creek: Annie Murphy promises more heart and Ew, David’s in Season 5

It was almost a year ago that Schitt’s Creek jumped from a show slowly growing in popularity to an overnight smash. It was last winter, during Season 4, when Patrick—played by Noah Reid—sang “Simply the Best” to David Rose (Daniel Levy), publicly professing his love during an open mic night, bringing worldwide attention to the comedy and donations to LGBT Youth Line in Canada and The Trevor Project in the U.S.  via iTunes and Spotify downloads.

Since then, Schitt’s Creek—which airs on Pop in the U.S.—was nominated for Best Comedy at the Critic’s Choice Awards. The cast will be attending the January 13 event. A special Christmas episode brought further attention to the program, ensuring it remains a holiday staple. Next, a theatre tour through February, culminating with a stop in Toronto.

But while awards shows and tours beckon, Annie Murphy says the focus of the series remains the same.

“Each season peels back a layer on the family and the people of Schitt’s Creek,” she says over the phone. “This season is no different. There is a lot of love, a lot of heart and lot of the goofy, wonderful laughs that we’re used to. And a lot of ‘Ew, Davids.’”

When viewers tune in on Tuesday at 9 p.m. on CBC, they’ll see a family that has truly become a part of the community. David and Patrick’s store, Rose Apothecary, is still in business, Alexis (Murphy) and Ted (Dustin Milligan) are still together and the Rosebud Motel is still standing thanks to Stevie (Emily Hampshire), Roland (Chris Elliott) and Johnny (Eugene Levy). Only Moira (Catherine O’Hara) is absent but that’s because she’s in Bosnia filming a movie. David, worried things are getting stale between he and Patrick, agrees to accompany Alexis and Ted on a double date that involves nature and heights, two things surely on David’s Must Avoid list.

“[We filmed] in a ropes course that I never knew existed,” Murphy says with a laugh. “I was feeling very confident going into it because I’m not afraid of heights. But once they strapped us in and we were up there on the platform with no barrier around it, we all had a bit of a moment up there. It was way higher than it looked, I can assure you of that.”

Murphy hints that changes are in store for Alexis in Season 5. Aware of what she’s put Ted through over the past few seasons—including cancelled wedding engagements—the fashionista realizes she has to devote more to their relationship than before. She puts herself into a scenario we haven’t seen her in.

And though the actions by Milligan, Murphy, Reid, O’Hara and Daniel Levy are all great in Tuesday’s return, it is Eugene Levy’s scenes that grabbed my attention. Levy has made a career out of being the straight man and leaving it up to his co-stars to grab the spotlight. He turns in the most sensitive performances I’ve seen from him, making for a commanding presence. They actually carry over from “Merry Christmas, Johnny Rose,” an emotional storyline in which Johnny tried to bring his family together for the holidays. It brought a tear to my eye. Turns out I wasn’t alone.

“Eugene really, really grounds all of the characters that surround him,” Murphy says. “In the Christmas episode especially, watching him play such a sad guy. When he’s releasing the tree and when he goes off to the café by himself, I had a hard time holding it together when we were shooting. I looked over and saw Dustin wiping away a tear. He’s such a wonderful human being and that really comes across in his acting.”

Agreed.

Schitt’s Creek airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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CTV partners with Netflix to premiere milestone SCTV reunion event special to Canadians

From a media release:

CTV announced today it is joining Netflix to become the exclusive Canadian broadcast partner of the upcoming, yet untitled, SCTV comedy special, which explores the enduring legacy of the iconic, EMMY® award-winning Canadian series SECOND CITY TELEVISION (SCTV). As previously announced, Academy Award®-winner Martin Scorsese directs and pays homage to the iconic Canadian sketch series that reunites past SCTV members Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Andrea Martin, Martin Short, Dave Thomas and, confirmed today, Rick Moranis.

The reunion special is set to make its debut in 2019. Under the partnership, Netflix will premiere the title globally in all territories, with the exception of Canada, where it will premiere exclusively on CTV. Following CTV’s airing, the SCTV comedy special will be available exclusively on Netflix in Canada and worldwide.

This Sunday, May 13, the original SCTV cast members will gather in front of a live audience at Toronto’s iconic Elgin Theatre. Dubbed “An Afternoon With SCTV”, the taping features Jimmy Kimmel moderating a panel conversation, as the comedic actors recount their various experiences about the making of the influential and legendary series.

Dubbed by Entertainment Weekly as one of the “100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time,” SCTV aired for six seasons between 1976 to 1984, becoming a pop culture touchstone. With 13 EMMY AWARD® nominations, SCTV was one of the first television series to consistently skewer television itself and chronicled the characters – both in front of and behind the camera – of a critically underfunded television station in Melonville.

The SCTV reunion special is produced by longtime SCTV Producer Andrew Alexander of Second City Entertainment, Emma Tillinger Koskoff of Sikelia Productions and in partnership with John Brunton and Lindsay Cox of Insight Productions (THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, THE LAUNCH), and is directed by Martin Scorsese for Netflix and CTV.

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Martin Scorsese to direct SCTV special for Netflix

From a media release:

Netflix today announced that Academy Award-winning director, producer and screenwriter Martin Scorsese will direct an untitled Netflix original comedy special exploring the enduring legacy of Emmy-winning sketch comedy show SCTV.

Scorsese will reunite comedy legends and former SCTV co-stars Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short and Dave Thomas in front of a live audience for An Afternoon with SCTV, moderated by Jimmy Kimmel. To be held at Toronto’s historic Elgin Theatre on Sunday, May 13 at 3 p.m., the filming will be part of the Netflix special, produced by longtime SCTV Producer Andrew Alexander of Second City, Emma Tillinger Koskoff of Sikelia Productions and Lindsay Cox of Insight Productions.

Canadian classic SCTV aired for six seasons between 1976 and 1984, quickly becoming one of pop culture’s touchstone comedies. The series’ stars include some of the most beloved and celebrated names in laughter, including the late John Candy and Harold Ramis.

Photo credit: Cara Howe for Netflix

 

 

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CBC renews Schitt’s Creek for Season 5

From a media release:

CBC has renewed the critically acclaimed hit comedy series SCHITT’S CREEK, created by and starring Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy, for a fifth season (14 x 30). Returning winter 2019, season 5 sees an increased order from 13 to 14 episodes.

Airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC, the SCHITT’S CREEK season 4 finale airs April 10 in Canada.

Currently in its fourth season, SCHITT’S CREEK is one of the top 10 Canadian entertainment programs, drawing a total reach of more than 1.4 million weekly and an average audience of 742,000 (2+ AMA) on CBC so far this season, with 41% of viewers in the 25-54 demographic.*


Related: Read our interview with Noah Reid regarding David and Patrick’s relationship


Since its debut in 2015, the series has been recognized with more than 50 award nominations and 18 wins to date, including Canadian Screen Award wins for Best Comedy Series (2016), Best Writing in a Comedy for Daniel Levy (2016), Best Comedy Performance for both Eugene Levy (2016) and Catherine O’Hara (2016, 2017) and Best Supporting Actress, Comedy for Emily Hampshire (2016, 2017).

SCHITT’S CREEK is a half-hour, single-camera comedy starring Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Daniel Levy, Annie Murphy, Chris Elliott, Emily Hampshire and Jennifer Robertson. The series follows a wealthy family who suddenly find themselves broke and forced to live in Schitt’s Creek, a small town they once bought as a joke.

Commissioned by CBC, SCHITT’S CREEK is produced by Not A Real Company Productions Inc. and created by Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy. The executive producers are Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy, Andrew Barnsley, Fred Levy, David West Read and Ben Feigin. SCHITT’S CREEK is produced in association with CBC and PopTV and distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

 

 

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Schitt’s Creek: Noah Reid’s Patrick is “simply the best”

Using a song to amp up a scene is tricky business. The wrong one can lead to a disconnect and snap the viewer right out of it. But when it’s done right, it can inspire, create emotion and become something iconic.

Schitt’s Creek did the latter last Tuesday when Patrick (Noah Reid) performed “Simply the Best” to David (Daniel Levy) during an open mic night at Rose Apothecary. The stripped-down, acoustic version of the Tina Turner classic was easily the most talked about scene of Season 4 and elevated Patrick and David’s relationship to something truly special, a fact Reid is still amazed and gratified by a week later.

“It’s wild,” Noah says during a chat on the phone. “I’ve been sort of following it peripherally through family who’ve said, ‘Oh my god, it’s in the iTunes Top 10.’ When we made the song, I was super nervous about it because I knew it had the potential to be a really big moment for both the characters and the audience.” Reid, who released his debut album Songs From A Broken Chair in 2016—and snagged a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Original Song for his work in the feature film People Hold On—was skittish about taking Tina Turner’s 1991 smash hit and turning it into a memorable moment for Patrick and David.

“Dan said that the lyrics never get their due because it’s such a pop anthem, so you think of the instrumentation and the chorus,” Reid recalls. He struggled with nailing down the tempo of his arrangement before finding inspiration in the guitar pattern of a tune by Afie Jurvanen (a.k.a. Bahamas) that lifted the song.


Related: CBC renews Schitt’s Creek for Season 5


The tune is the capper to what has been the wonderful growth of a relationship. Rather than the mean-spirited mockery that has become a trope of primetime comedies, Levy and his team have created something special. Yes, Patrick teases David and points at his partner’s neuroses (to the delight of Stevie and viewers), but it’s done gently and out of love.

Reid is mum regarding questions about whether Patrick will perform another song for David in the coming weeks, or what’s in store for the couple as Season 4 winds down, but was quick to answer if there was a song that connected a scene the way “Simply the Best” has with Schitt’s Creek viewers.

“The benchmark for me is probably Glen Hansard in Once,” he says. “The way that the songs were woven in and were such an integral part of the story. He’s such an incredible musician and singer and Markéta Irglová, who plays the pianist in that film, they had a really amazing connection too.”

Schitt’s Creek airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

You can purchase “Simply the Best” via iTunes or stream on Spotify. All proceeds from the downloads go directly to LGBT Youth Line in Canada and The Trevor Project in the U.S.

Image courtesy of CBC.

 

 

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