“It really has been the unexpected gift that really gave back to us in many ways,” Schitt’s Creek co-creator and star Daniel Levy said of the acclaimed comedy’s six-season run. “All we really wanted to do was put out a show about people who were trying to improve themselves,” the executive producer added as co-stars Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy and Annie Murphy looked on virtually during Deadline’s Contenders Television: The Nominees event.
Having had a strong showing last year, Schitt’s Creek soared this year to be one of the dominant shows in the 2020 Emmy race with 15 nominations. That’s a record number of nominations for a comedy in its final season.
It’s a result Daniel Levy attributes in no small degree to the times we live in.
“I think in a way the fact that the stories we were telling ended up overlapping with the huge political shift in America that brought a very dark cloud to many people to provide joy and to provide stories that were hopeful about people changing for the better,” he said. “I just think that we happened to slide into people’s lives in a time when they needed that kind of boost. And as a result the connection between the show and the viewers became that much more intensified because of the circumstance we are all kind of living in.”
His point was followed by his father’s phone ringing during the Pop TV panel, and all four actors collapsed into laughter in a very Schitt’s Creek way.
When it comes to the Emmys, Schitt’s Creek flowed hard this year. Among the plethora of approbations the show is riding high on is the big kahuna of Outstanding Comedy Series. Plus there are nominations for legends Eugene Levy and O’Hara in their respective lead categories and supporting nominations for Daniel Levy and Annie Murphy. The latter was the first Emmy nomination for Murphy, and the younger Levy actually picked up a total of four nominations with nods for both writing and co-directing the “Happy Ending” series finale that aired on April 7.
“The most pleasant of surprises, I think for all of us,” Daniel Levy remarked of the nominations the show snared above and below-the-line ahead of the September 20 Emmy ceremony on ABC.
Co-created by Levy and his SCTV legend father, Schitt’s Creek tracked the fall, evolution and return of sorts of the once-wealthy and self-absorbed Rose family. The brood is reduced to living in a motel in the awkwardly named town patriarch Johnny (Eugene Levy) once bought on a whim for his son (Daniel Levy.).
Reveling and rolling around all the family dynamics such a scenario presents, a pivotal element of the show has been the marriage between Eugene Levy’s one-time video store mogul and O’Hara’s ex soap star.
“Ultimately in our show for Johnny and Moira being married for so many years, I think that the working relationship that Catherine and I have had over a lot of years now created that comfort factor in a marriage in a very effortless kind of way,” Eugene Levy said of his former SCTV, Best in Show and The Mighty Wind co-star. “It was just there.”
“We seem to work the same way, we take our comedy very seriously,” O’Hara said of her work with Levy over the years and on Schitt’s Creek. “Second City really trained us in the world of collaboration, supporting each other and looking out for each other and raising each other’s game. And thankfully everyone seemed to work that way on this show.”
It is a sentiment that is shared by O’Hara’s on-screen daughter Murphy.
“I miss it so much,” the star of AMC’s upcoming Kevin Can Go F- Himself admitted of the now concluded Schitt’s Creek that wrapped over a year ago. “I kind of got hit with the sad a couple of months ago,” the actor added of the end of this war of the Roses.
Check out the video above, and click here to watch all of Sunday’s Contenders TV panels.