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'The Tudors' takes backseat to CBC mini-series and gritty cable drama during glitzy ceremony
Posted By THE CANADIAN PRESS;
Posted 5 hours ago
The gritty cable drama "Durham County" and the CBC miniseries "The Englishman's Boy" ruled over the sexy historical series "The Tudors" at the Gemini Awards, picking up multiple trophies at a glitzy televised event recognizing the most high-profile categories of the annual Canadian TV love-in.
"Durham County," which airs on the Movie Network and Movie Central, earned three awards, including best actor for Justin Louis, best actress for Helene Joy and best direction for Holly Dale. Dale's award was handed out in a non-televised portion just before the gala hit the air on E and Showcase.
Joy said she was thrilled by the win, noting backstage that her challenging role as the cancer-stricken Audrey at times took a toll on her psyche.
"I wasn't doing too well," Joy, a dual citizen of Canada and Australia, said of her early days on the dark and twisted series about a Toronto detective who moves his family to the suburbs and suspects that his neighbour is a serial killer.
"It did affect me badly and I didn't feel so good for a couple of weeks there. But it's a fabulous show that has a great (ending. My character) comes through in the end."
CBC's "The Englishman's Boy" was named best dramatic miniseries, while its star Nicholas Campbell took the best actor title. Those wins were in addition to four Geminis it picked up at a ceremony last month.
Producer Kevin DeWalt said he knew from the moment he read Guy Vanderhaeghe's novel, on which the project was based, that he had to put the story on screen. But he says it took him 10 years to gain the clout and financing to do the $12-million production.
"The feeling is that historical Canadian history isn't what Canadian audiences want," DeWalt said backstage, clutching his hardware.
"I think it's important for Canadians to hear our own stories, for us in the West to tell our own stories and particularly in Saskatchewan, (to tell) our Saskatchewan stories. But for now, it's never been harder to do historical drama in this country."
Jonathan Rhys Meyers' King Henry VIII drama "The Tudors," also on CBC, was among the big winners at a private ceremony held last month, netting four trophies. It was shut out of the three categories it was nominated in on Friday.
The best drama series was the Vancouver-based "Intelligence," a CBC crime show that was cancelled this year despite being embraced by critics.
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Former "90210" hunk Jason Priestley hosted Friday's star-studded party, garnering laughs in an opening bit that riffed off his fame south of the border and questioned the authenticity of his Canadian citizenship. Current "90210" star Shenae Grimes was among the homegrown luminaries that appeared as presenters, along with "Kids In the Hall" funnyman Dave Foley, "Friday Night Light"'s Taylor Kitsch and "The Tudors"' Natalie Dormer.
Meanwhile, the rock 'n' roll mockumentary "Cock'd Gunns," an IFC show, won for best writing in a comedy series and best ensemble performance in a comedy.
The glamorous night put the spotlight on the industry's most coveted awards, but most Geminis were handed out last month at a series of non-televised ceremonies.
Early winners included the CBC's "The National," "The Fifth Estate" and "Hockey Night in Canada," which each snagged three trophies.
On Friday, CBC's veteran news parody "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" beat out CTV's ratings giant "Corner Gas" for best comedy, while George Stroumboulopoulos was named best talk show host for his nighttime chatfest, "The Hour With George Stroumboulopoulos," also on CBC.
The best actress trophy for work in a dramatic program or miniseries went to Natasha Henstridge, who appeared in CTV's "Would Be Kings."
Citytv's 19th century detective series "Murdoch Mysteries" had led the pack with 14 nominations overall but walked away with just two wins in the non-broadcast portion of the awards.
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Gemini Awards handed out in Toronto:
* Best dramatic series: "Intelligence."
* Best comedy program or series:"This Hour Has 22 Minutes."
* Best dramatic miniseries: "The Englishman's Boy."
* Best reality program or series:"Project Runway Canada."
* Best performance by an actor in a continuing leading dramatic role:Justin Louis, "Durham County" (episode "What Lies Beneath").
* Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a dramatic program or miniseries: Nicholas Campbell, "The Englishman's Boy."
* Best performance by an actress in a continuing leading dramatic role:Helene Joy, "Durham County" (episode "Guys and Dolls").
* Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a dramatic program or miniseries: Natasha Henstridge, "Would Be Kings."
* Best ensemble performance in a comedy program or series: Inessa Annie Frantowski, Brooks Gray, Andy King, Rebecca McMahon, Leo Scherman, Morgan Waters: "Cock'd Gunns" (episode "A Taste of Success").
* Best host or interviewer in a
general/human interest or talk program or series:George Stroumboulopoulos, "The Hour With George Stroumboulopoulos."
* Best host or interviewer in a sports program or sportscast: Ron MacLean, "Hockey Day in Canada."
* Best news anchor: Ian Hanomansing, "CBC News at Six."
* Best writing in a comedy or variety program or series: Brooks Gray, Andy King, Leo Scherman, Morgan Waters: "Cock'd Gunns"
(episode "Ready, Aim, Fire").
* Best direction in a dramatic series:Holly Dale, "Durham County" (episode "What Lies Beneath"). http://www.timminspress.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1325475