Schitt's Creek

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Schitt's Creek
Schitt's Creek logo.png
GenreSitcom
Created by
Starring
Country of originCanada
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes71 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Eugene Levy
  • Daniel Levy
  • Fred Levy
  • Andrew Barnsley
  • Ben Feigin
  • Kevin White
  • David West Read
Producer(s)
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22–48 minutes
Production company(s)Not a Real Company Productions
DistributorITV Studios Global Entertainment
Debmar-Mercury/Lionsgate Television (U.S. only)
Release
Original networkCBC Television
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseJanuary 13, 2015 (2015-01-13) –
present (present)
External links
CBC Television's Schitt'$ Creek

Schitt's Creek (stylized as Schitt$ Creek) is a Canadian television sitcom created by Dan and Eugene Levy that premiered on CBC Television on January 13, 2015.[1] The series is produced by Not a Real Company Productions.[2] On March 6, 2018, the series was renewed for a 14-episode fifth season,[3] which began airing on January 8, 2019.[4] The series’s sixth and final season consisting of 14 episodes began airing on January 7, 2020.[5][6]

The series has won various accolades, including an ACTRA Award and 18 Canadian Screen Awards.[7] It is the first Canadian comedy series to be nominated for a Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Comedy Series and the first to win an MTV Movie & TV Award, winning Best Comedic Performance for Daniel Levy in 2019.[8] It is also the first program from Pop TV to receive Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series.[9]

Synopsis[edit]

The wealthy Rose family—video store magnate Johnny (Eugene Levy), his wife and former soap opera actress Moira (Catherine O'Hara), and their adult children David and Alexis (Daniel Levy and Annie Murphy)—lose their fortune after being defrauded by their business manager. They are forced to rebuild their lives with their sole remaining asset: a small town named Schitt's Creek, which they had bought for their son as a joke birthday gift back in 1991.[10]

The Roses relocate to Schitt's Creek, moving into two adjacent rooms in a run-down motel. As the family adjusts to their new lives, their well-to-do attitudes come into conflict with the more provincial residents of Schitt's Creek, including mayor Roland Schitt (Chris Elliott), his wife Jocelyn (Jenn Robertson), and the motel's manager, Stevie Budd (Emily Hampshire).[10]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113January 13, 2015 (2015-01-13)March 31, 2015 (2015-03-31)
213January 12, 2016 (2016-01-12)March 29, 2016 (2016-03-29)
313January 10, 2017 (2017-01-10)April 4, 2017 (2017-04-04)
413January 9, 2018 (2018-01-09)December 19, 2018 (2018-12-19)
514January 8, 2019 (2019-01-08)April 9, 2019 (2019-04-09)
614January 7, 2020 (2020-01-07)TBA

Cast[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

  • Rizwan Manji as Ray Butani, the only real estate agent in town and a former member of the town council
  • Marilyn Bellfontaine as Gwen Currie, Bob's wife.
  • Robin Duke as Wendy Kurtz (season 2 & 5), dress shop owner and David's former employer
  • Jasmin Geljo as Ivan (seasons 2 & 3), a baker who supplies the motel with pastries
  • Ennis Esmer as Emir Kaplan (season 5), a travel blogger and Stevie's former love interest

Development and production[edit]

Conception[edit]

Daniel Levy came up with the idea for the show while watching reality television. He told Out.com, "I had been watching some reality TV at the time and was concentrating on what would happen if one of these wealthy families would lose everything. Would the Kardashians still be the Kardashians without their money?"[11] He turned to his father, Eugene Levy, to help develop the show; Eugene Levy came up with series title. Daniel Levy decided to make the location of Schitt's Creek vague, but in August 2018 said that it is in Canada.[12][13]

The Levys initially pitched the show to several networks in Canada and the United States. Cable networks HBO and Showtime passed on the series, while broadcast networks ABC (United States) and the CBC (Canada) expressed interest. The show was first sold to the CBC, but the Levys decided against ABC as its U.S. broadcaster due to the network's alleged history of creative interference. Schitt's Creek eventually found a U.S. home on Pop TV after striking a deal with network head Brad Schwartz, who had previously hired Daniel on MTV Canada.

During the early stages of development, various networks suggested the title of the show be changed to make it sound less profane. The Levys resisted these suggestions and argued "Schitt" was a legitimate last name. To prove their point, they brought pages copied from a phone book to the CBC showing listings for individuals with the "Schitt" surname. The CBC agreed and allowed the Levys to keep the original title.[14] The name has still faced censorship issues during promotional tours in the United States, with many networks shortening the title or providing extra disclaimers before using it on-air.[15]

Annie Murphy was cast as Alexis after Abby Elliott, who was initially slated for the role, had to drop out.[12] Eugene Levy suggested his Second City Television co-star Catherine O'Hara for the role of Moira Rose.[12]

Daniel Levy initially envisioned the series ending with season five, but agreed to a sixth season after receiving a two-year renewal following the show's fourth season.[16]

Production[edit]

Schitt's Creek is produced by Not a Real Company Productions in association with CBC and Pop TV.[2] Pop TV joined the production team in season two after the series' first season was produced solely in association with CBC.[17] ITV Studios Global Entertainment also partnered with the CBC and Pop to distribute the show worldwide.[18] Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy, Fred Levy, Andrew Barnsley, and Ben Feigin have served as executive producers throughout the show's entirety.[19][20][21] Other executive producers have included writers Kevin White (seasons two and three) and David West Read (seasons five and six).[19][20][22][23] Eugene Levy served as showrunner alongside co-creator and son, Daniel Levy, during the series' first season; Daniel Levy took over as sole showrunner beginning in season two.[24]

Schitt's Creek was part of a "new direction" in programming taken by both CBC and Pop TV during the 2014-15 television season.[25] Premiering alongside 12 new primetime shows on CBC, the series represented one of the network's efforts to produce more "serialized, scripted" content, as well as more "cable-like" shows.[26][25][27] The series was also the first original, scripted program to air on Pop TV after its re-branding in January 2015. Formerly known as TV Guide Network, Pop TV was re-branded as a channel "filled with optimism, passion, funny and excitement."[28]

Filming style and locations[edit]

Schitt's Creek is filmed using a single camera set-up with no live audience or laugh track.[29] The interior scenes for the first two seasons were filmed at Pinewood Toronto Studios in Toronto,[14] while interior scenes for season 3 were shot at Dufferin Gate Studios in Toronto.[30] The remainder of the series is filmed on location in Goodwood, Ontario, the Regional Municipality of Durham of the Greater Toronto Area, and Mono, Ontario, where the motel scenes are filmed.[31]

The series has filmed in several additional locations throughout Ontario during its run. Main Street Stouffville, Ontario served as a filming location for an unspecified number of scenes in the series' first two seasons. Scenes involving the fictional retailer, Blouse Barn, in seasons two and three were filmed on location on Main Street in Unionville, Ontario.[32][33] In season four's "The Jazzaguy," scenes involving a spa retreat were filmed on location at Monte Carlo Inn in Vaughan, Ontario.[34] Exterior filming also took place at Rattlesnake Point in Milton, Ontario for season five's "The Hike."[35] In season six's "Smoke Signals," the series shot on location at Graydon Hall Manor, a wedding venue in Toronto.[36] The opening shot of the first season features Lisa Vanderpump’s former Beverly Park estate as the facade of the Rose family estate.

Music[edit]

Schitt’s Creek features several musical performances from its main and supporting characters. The majority of these performances feature the town singing group, the Jazzagals. The Jazzagals' main members are Moira Rose, Jocelyn Schitt, Twyla Sands, Ronnie Lee, and Gwen Currie. Throughout the series, they have covered “It's Raining Men;” “Baby, I'm Yours;” "Takin’ It Home;" "Silent Night;" and "Islands in the Stream."[37]

In season one's "Carl's Funeral," Moira sings an a cappella version of "Danny Boy" as a distraction when Johnny's eulogy goes awry. She performs the same song a second time later in the episode.[37]

In season four’s “Asbestos Fest,” David and Moira perform a duet known as “The Number.” This medley of holiday songs was regularly performed at the annual Rose Christmas party and included “Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” “Deck the Halls,” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” The song was arranged by Moira's portrayer, Catherine O’Hara.[38]

In season four's “Open Mic,” Patrick sings an acoustic cover of Tina Turner'sThe Best” as a declaration of love to David. The song was arranged and performed by Patrick's portrayer, Noah Reid.[39] After airing on Schitt’s Creek, Reid's version of the song was released on Spotify and iTunes, where it reached #1 on the Canadian charts. All proceeds from the single were donated to the Ontario charity, LGBT Youth Line.[40]

In season five's “The Hospies,” Alexis auditions for a community theatre production by singing “A Little Bit Alexis,” the theme song from her defunct reality show of the same name. Alexis’ portrayer, Annie Murphy, who wrote and performed the song for the show, says she drew inspiration from the pop songs of Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan. Menno Versteeg and Nixon Boyd of the Canadian band, Hollerado, also helped produce the song.[41] “A Little Bit Alexis” was released as a single on Spotify and iTunes, where it reached #28 on the Canadian charts.[42]

In season five's “Life Is a Cabaret”, several main characters perform “Willkommen” from the musical Cabaret. Stevie also sings a second number, “Maybe This Time,” as her Cabaret character, Sally Bowles, in the same episode.[43] Both songs were performed in front of a live audience during filming.[44]

Broadcast[edit]

Original broadcast[edit]

Schitt's Creek has been co-broadcast in Canada and the United States since 2015. The show initially premiered on the CBC in Canada on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 9:00 pm/9:30 pm NT with back-to-back episodes.[1] It made its debut in the United States on Pop TV on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 10:00 pm ET/PT.[45][46] Pop moved the series to an 8:00 pm ET/PT time slot with an encore broadcast at 11:00 pm ET/PT for seasons two through four; it returned to its original 10:00 pm ET/PT time slot for season five.[19][20][21][47] The series maintained staggered premieres throughout its first five seasons, with new episodes debuting in Canada before being broadcast in the United States. The series' sixth and final season debuted simultaneously in Canada and the United States on January 7, 2020.[6]

Other broadcasts[edit]

As of 2019, the series also airs on 4Music in the UK; Viacom 18 in India; Fox Asia; and ABC Comedy in Australia.[48][49] It was previously broadcast in New Zealand by TV2 and TVNZ on Demand, in Australia by ABC and its iView streaming service, and on Comedy Central in India.[50][51] The five seasons appear, though not always together, on different streaming television services worldwide. Netflix carries the full series for viewers in the U.S., UK, Ireland, Japan, South Africa, and Australia. CW Seed, a streaming service for the American CW network, also carries the first four seasons for viewers in the U.S.[52]

In December 2019, fans on social media accused UK television station 4Music of censoring some scenes featuring "intimate dialogue" and kissing between the show's LGBTQ characters.[53] Co-creator and star, Dan Levy, also addressed the alleged censorship on social media calling it "highly disturbing" and "dangerous." 4Music responded to the allegations of censored kissing with an apology, stating that the removal of a kiss between two male characters was "human error" and would be restored for future broadcasts. The station did not specifically respond to the allegations of censored dialogue between LGBTQ characters.[54]

Syndication[edit]

In 2018, Debmar-Mercury, a division of Lionsgate, acquired the U.S. syndication rights to Schitt's Creek. The series is scheduled to debut in syndication on Fox Television Stations throughout the U.S. during the Fall 2020 television season.[55]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The first season of Schitt's Creek received generally positive reviews. It holds an approval rating of 61% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 23 reviews, with an average rating of 6.38/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The title is one of the best jokes of Schitt's Creek, but performances from Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara give the writing a comedic boost."[56] On Metacritic, the first season has a score of 64 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "generally favourable reviews."[57] Vinay Menon of the Toronto Star wrote that the show "is one of the best CBC comedies in years."[58] After being picked up by Pop, the Los Angeles Times described the show as "very funny, beautifully played, [and] sometimes touching,"[59] although Mike Hale of The New York Times called Schitt's Creek "drab and underwritten."[60]

Subsequent seasons of Schitt's Creek have been more positively received, with the show growing in popularity after debuting on Netflix in January 2017.[61] On Rotten Tomatoes, seasons 2, 4 and 5 have approval ratings of 100%, with season 4's consensus reading, "The comedic real estate value rises for Schitt's Creek in its fourth year, the series gradually maturing into appointment viewing with a big, beating heart beneath its absurdity."[62][63][64] Bridget Read of Vogue wrote that while the series "started off with typical fish out of water scenarios," it has "fully come into its own, with a whole cast of Twin Peaks-meets-Christopher-Guest-universe characters that are as equally endearing."[65] In New York Magazine, Maggie Fremont wrote that "the show takes a few episodes to get into its groove, but once it does, you’ll never want to leave."[66] The series has placed on annual best-of lists published by Esquire,[67] Glamour,[68] The New Yorker,[69] and Variety.[70] In 2019, the series was named "The Best Show on TV Right Now" by TV Guide.[71]

The series has also been praised for its portrayal of a pansexual character, played by Dan Levy,[72][73] as well as for how David's sexuality is simply accepted by the other characters with no expressions of homophobia in the storyline.[74]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In 2015, Schitt's Creek's first season received two Directors Guild of Canada awards from three nominations. At the 2016 ceremony, season 1 received nine Canadian Screen Awards from 16 nominations. Schitt's Creek's second season received 13 nominations at the 5th Canadian Screen Awards.[75] In 2018, the series received nominations from the US-based MTV Movie & TV Awards and the Critics' Choice Television Award. In 2019, the series was nominated for 15 Canadian Screen Awards and four Primetime Emmy Awards, winning the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role (Catherine O'Hara) and Best Comedy Program or Series at the Canadian Screen Awards. The same year, the series won Dorian Awards for TV Comedy of the Year and Unsung TV Show of the Year from the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics.[76][77][9]

Other media[edit]

Home media[edit]

Title Release Format Region Discs Distributor Ref(s)
Schitt's Creek: The Complete First Season
August 11, 2015
DVD
Region 1 (CA)
2
eOne Films
[78]
Schitt's Creek: The Complete Second Season
April 26, 2016
DVD
2
[79]
Schitt's Creek: The Complete Third Season
April 11, 2017
DVD
2
[80]
Schitt's Creek: Seasons One & Two
November 1, 2016
DVD
Region 1 (U.S.)
4
Lionsgate
[81]
Schitt's Creek: Series 1, 2 & 3
April 5, 2017
DVD
Region 4 (AU)
6
Acorn
[82]
Schitt's Creek: Series 4
February 6, 2019
DVD
2
[83]
Schitt's Creek: Series 5
August 7, 2019
DVD
2
[84]
Schitt's Creek: Series 1, 2 & 3
May 24, 2017
DVD
Region 4 (NZ)
6
Acorn
[85]
Schitt's Creek: Series 4
March 14, 2019
DVD
2
[86]

Promotional[edit]

During the show's later seasons, the main cast participated in a series of interactive fan events. A live audience promotional tour known as Schitt's Creek: Up Close & Personal featuring cast members Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Dan Levy, Annie Murphy, Emily Hampshire, and Noah Reid premiered in September 2018 in Los Angeles. The event included behind-the-scenes stories; a live question and answer session with the cast; and an audience participation trivia game. Following the initial event's success, the tour was expanded to include stops in several additional U.S. and Canadian cities in 2019. Daniel Levy stated that the tour was meant to both promote the show and thank fans for their support.[87]

In November and December 2019, Schitt's Creek's U.S. broadcaster, Pop TV, staged two immersive fan events in Los Angeles and New York City. These events allowed participants to visit the titular town via a series of "reimagined" sets featured on the show.[88]

To promote the series' sixth and final season in January 2020, CBC and Pop TV commissioned "groundbreaking" billboards featuring a same-sex kiss between the show's engaged couple, David and Patrick.[89] Series creator Daniel Levy said it felt "irresponsible" not to put the characters kissing on a billboard, as it isn't "something we see every day" and is "banned in multiple countries."[90]

References[edit]

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