Corner Gas creator Brent Butt puzzled by Gemini nomination snub

“Corner Gas” creator and star Brent Butt says it’s “kinda goofy” that his celebrated show has been shut out of the Gemini nominations this year, adding that he’s taking the snub “with a pound of salt.”

Brent Butt

“Corner Gas” creator and star Brent Butt says it’s “kinda goofy” that his celebrated show has been shut out of the Gemini nominations this year, adding that he’s taking the snub “with a pound of salt.”

Nominations for the awards, which celebrate the best in Canadian television, were announced Tuesday, but “Corner Gas” did not make the cut in a single category.

Butt said Wednesday from Vancouver that he’s surprised but is not upset.

“I always say in show business you have to take everything with a pound of salt,” Butt said.

“If you win an award, you can’t go around thinking you’re the bees’ pyjamas…. And when you don’t get an award, you can’t think, ’Well, this is a travesty of justice and I am outraged.’ You’ve got to put it in perspective.”

Butt said he’s received several emails from others connected to the show and notes that “everybody’s just kind of confused.”

“I understand not winning any awards. If we went to the Geminis and didn’t win any awards, you’d kind of roll with it and go, ’Oh, all right, whatever.’ But to not even have a nomination, that is kind of goofy. I’m not angry or outraged, I’m too busy trying to wrap my head around it, you know? To kind of go, ’Really? Not a nomination? In 99 categories, after 107 episodes? OK.”’

“Corner Gas” is widely considered the most popular Canadian sitcom of all time. It ended a critically acclaimed six-season run in April with a final episode that drew nearly three million viewers to CTV and the “A” channel. CTV says that’s the biggest audience that has watched a Canadian-made scripted television series since the network began keeping electronic records in 1994.

The quirky series has nabbed five Geminis over the years including the best comedy titles in 2005, 2006 and 2007. This is the first year the show has not been up for the best comedy trophy since debuting in 2004.

This year, Citytv’s dark comedy “Less Than Kind” leads the nominations among sitcoms with nine nods. It will face off against CBC’s “Rick Mercer Report,” CBC’s “This Hour Has 22 Minutes”, CMT’s “Three Chords from the Truth,” and Showcase’s “Testees” for the title of best comedy.

CTV’s cop drama “Flashpoint” leads overall with a record 19 nominations.

Nominees for the annual bash are determined by secret ballot by members of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Deliberations are confidential.

Academy head Sara Morton said jury members take their role very seriously.

“Traditionally, the purpose of the Gemini Awards has been to recognize the best television programming,” Morton said.

“It’s not, strictly speaking, about the popularity of a program, although the two often coincide.”

She noted that upwards of 20 sitcoms were competing for the title of best comedy this year.

“Without question, (’Corner Gas’) is a show that has changed Canadian television for the better, but when we’re looking at whether a show is nominated in a given year in a particular category, that depends not just on the particular show but also on the other shows entered into the same category.”

The Geminis have not been without controversy. A few years back, CTV announced it would no longer submit news coverage for consideration.

Former “Gas” writer Paul Mather, now working on a new sitcom with Fred Ewanuick — another alum from the show — said he, too, was bewildered by the snub.

“With all due respect to the Geminis, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that you wouldn’t nominate them,” Mather, who did not work on the show’s final season, said from Toronto.

“It does the Geminis themselves a disservice not to have Brent Butt and the gang there at the awards ceremony. Three million people watched that finale, that’s just a big part of Canadian TV this year and I think that it’s a missed opportunity for the Geminis not to recognize that. I don’t think it’s good for the industry and I don’t think it’s good for the Gemini Awards themselves. And I don’t think it’s fair.”

This year’s Gemini bash will take place Nov. 14 in Calgary and will be broadcast on Global and Showcase.

Just Posted

Sport of axe throwing growing in Red Deer

True North Axe Throwing wants sport to be ‘Canadian version of darts’

Optimism remains for Red Deer hospital expansion

Red Deer’s incoming UCP MLAs both have been strong supporters of expansion

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

PARIS — A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire… Continue reading

Former journalist pleads guilty to robbing two banks in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former journalist arrested almost two years ago… Continue reading

Austria fears for three top climbers missing in Banff National Park

BERLIN — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday his thoughts are with… Continue reading

As Vancouver fights over 4-20, Seattle’s Hempfest enjoys tolerance, some support

VANCOUVER — They both came from humble beginnings: small protests against marijuana… Continue reading

All eyes on the surging Greens as Prince Edward Island goes to the polls

After a brief provincial election campaign devoid of drama, voters on Prince… Continue reading

North Dakota company where 4 were slain seeks normalcy

MANDAN, N.D. — Camaraderie was so important for the “coffee club” at… Continue reading

Trump blasts ex-advisers who say he tried to stop Mueller

WASHINGTON — A day after celebrating the release of the Mueller report… Continue reading

Sanders claims she didn’t lie, despite Mueller finding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders pushed back Friday against… Continue reading

Most Read