After five seasons, “Schitt’s Creek” received its first-ever Emmy nominations.
Dan Levy, co-creator of “Schitt’s Creek,” was waiting for his friends to get back from buying groceries when he learned that the series had finally made its mark at the Emmys.
The cult-favorite sitcom broke through the TV clutter to score its first-ever Emmy nominations.
“I am on vacation in Tuscany and my friends had gone to get groceries so I was completely alone when I got the news,” Levy wrote via email. “I just kept pacing around the house screaming. Alone. It was certainly strange and a wonderfully embarrassing moment.”
The series scooped up four nods: comedy series (competing alongside “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Veep,” “Barry,” “Fleabag,” “Russian Doll” and “The Good Place”), as well as lead actor in a comedy (Eugene Levy), lead actress in a comedy (Catherine O’Hara) and contemporary costumes (for “The Dress” episode).
Quite the turn of events for the sleeper hit series.
The Canadian-made comedy — which Levy co-created with his comedy vet father, Eugene — follows a formerly wealthy family as they adjust to living in a small-town motel. Longtime friends Eugene and O’Hara play the patriarch and matriarch of the fish-out-of-water Rose family. Eugene‘s Johnny is usually the straight man to the drama-filled existence of his former soap opera star wife, Moira (O’Hara). Dan plays son David, and Annie Murphy plays daughter Alexis.
While Canadians embraced the show early on — it’s received multiple Canadian Screen Awards — the series mostly flew under the radar in the U.S. when it premiered on basic cable network Pop TV in 2015. But it steadily gained attention, no doubt aided by episodes landing on Netflix in 2017. Along the way, its comedic sensibility has earned it the status of a pop culture cool kid for its wealth of GIF-able and meme-worthy moments.
“I had no expectations when it came to awards because we are so small,” Dan said from Tuscany, Italy. “We focus on the work and continuing to improve season after season. To be recognized five seasons in is a wonderful acknowledgment of the hard work and dedication of our cast and crew. I am overwhelmed with pride right now.”
Eugene echoed his son’s sentiments: “Better now than in our second season and then having things peter out,” he said by phone. “We started out as kind of the little engine that could. We’re up here in Toronto doing our thing, trying to make the best character comedy that we can and trying to create characters that are indelible and endearing and funny.”
He and O’Hara aren’t newbies on the Emmys circuit. Both have taken home gold for writing during their time on the cult sketch comedy series “SCTV.” But Tuesday’s nominations are the pair’s first for lead acting.
“It’s so nice. I try not to get sucked in — especially after being in that movie ‘For Your Consideration,’” O’Hara said, referring to the 2006 Christopher Guest film about a group of actors who learn a not-yet-completed film they are in is generating awards buzz. “I try not to get sucked into the whole world of expectations. There are so many deserving shows and deserving people. It’s just a really lovely surprise.”
O’Hara described the show’s slow-simmer journey as somewhat of a callback to traditional TV success stories. “That’s fine — take your time,” she said by phone from her cottage in Ontario, Canada. “I hope the show continues to have a good long life. And that people continue to discover it. It’s kind of old school in a lovely way. Before the internet, shows were given the chance to grow and characters to develop and find their footing. It’s been wonderful all along. Whether or not this happened — no, this is good. I don’t want to undermine this. This is lovely.”
The show’s nominations are also a first for CBS Corp.-owned Pop TV. The network recently made headlines when it announced it picked up “One Day at a Time” for a fourth season following the show’s cancellation on Netflix.
It all comes ahead of “Schitt’s Creek’s” upcoming sixth and final season, which wrapped production last month and is slated to premiere next year.
“It feels like a delicious cherry on the top of a wonderful and life-changing experience,” Dan said. “To have just wrapped our last season and to get this news? It’s just the best. And to be included among some of my all-time favorite shows! It’s surreal.”
OK, but what would Moira think of all this?
“I think Moira would pop a bottle of expensive Champagne, put on her favorite wig, catch a glimpse of herself in the mirror,” he said, “and softly-yet-assuredly say, ‘Well, it’s about time.’”