Gemini awards take dramatic turn
By Etan Vlessing
TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - Dramas took pride of place Tuesday as the 2008 Geminis, Canada's TV awards, unveiled nominations in Toronto.
"Murdoch Mysteries," based on Maureen Jennings' detective novels, led all comers with 14 nominations, including best drama and guest actor nominations for Vincent Walsh, Gavin Crawford, Stephen McHattie and Dmitry Chepovetsky.
Close behind was "Durham County," with 13 mentions, including best drama and best actor nods for Hugh Dillon ("Flashpoint") and Justin Louis.
Rounding out the drama competition is "The Tudors," with 12 nominations; "The Border," with nine; and the West Coast crime drama "Intelligence," with five nominations, including best actor for Ian Tracey.
Other multiple nominees include two miniseries: "The Englishman's Boy," with 12 nominations, and "Would Be Kings," with eight.
The big splash for drama marks a departure from years past when the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. dominated the competition with its news and factual shows. This year the public broadcaster earned nine nods for its flagship newscast, "CBC News: The National," and 11 for perennial Gemini contender "The Fifth Estate," an investigative news show.
The spotlight on homegrown dramas also comes as they penetrate U.S. network schedules, with the Toronto-set cop drama "Flashpoint" on CBS' Thursday night schedule and NBC set to begin airing "The Listener," which centers on a paramedic with telepathic powers, in the fall.
Another surprise Tuesday was the failure of the CBC's "Little Mosque on the Prairie" to make the comedy category for the second consecutive year. The comedy lineup will see "Corner Gas" once again vie for top honors with "This Hour Has 22 Minutes," "Odd Job Jack" and "Rent-A-Goalie."
The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television will hand out pre-broadcast Geminis over three nights from October 20 through October 22. The highest-profile awards will be presented during a live November 28 broadcast in Toronto.
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