From 'Schitt's Creek' to Sandra Oh: A look at Sunday's Canadian Emmys hopefuls

TORONTO — Canada's reputation for producing great comedy exports will be on display at Sunday's Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, with several homegrown artists nominated for their humour.

Canadians from "Schitt's Creek," "Barry," "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee," "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and "Saturday Night Live" are among those in the running.

This country is also represented in drama categories, with Sandra Oh for "Killing Eve" and Jean-Marc Vallee with "Sharp Objects."

A handful of Canadians already clinched trophies at last weekend's Creative Arts Emmys, including Toronto-raised "Saturday Night Live" creator Lorne Michaels for best short form non-fiction or reality series.

Hamilton-born Luke Kirby won for his guest performance as comedian Lenny Bruce on Amazon Prime Video's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." Nova Scotia's Paula Fairfield shared a win for sound editing on HBO's "Game of Thrones." And a trio of Canadians won for their production design on the Toronto-shot Bravo/Hulu drama series "The Handmaid's Tale": Elisabeth Williams, Martha Sparrow, and Robert Hepburn.

Here's a look at some of the Canadian nominees for Sunday's show:

Revelry for the Roses

A groundswell of international love for the eccentric Rose family from the Ontario-shot "Schitt's Creek" finally paid off this year, with several Emmy nominations for the CBC comedy series, which also airs on Pop TV in the U.S.

The show, created by father and son Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy, is up for best comedy series. Hamilton-born Levy is also nominated for his leading role as placid patriarch Johnny Rose, while fellow star Catherine O'Hara of Toronto is a contender for playing his dramatic actress-wife, Moira.

The show also had a fourth Emmy nomination, for best contemporary costumes, but lost at last weekend's ceremony to the "Russian Doll" team.

Second go for Sandra Oh

This is the second year in a row the Ottawa native is nominated for lead actress in a drama series for "Killing Eve," which airs on Bravo in Canada and BBC America. Last year she lost out to Claire Foy for playing the Queen in "The Crown."

Oh stars in "Killing Eve" as a determined MI5 operative caught up in a mind game with a female assassin, played by Jodie Comer, who is nominated in the same category this year.

Oh was also nominated for a second Emmy this year — for guest actress in a comedy series for hosting NBC's "Saturday Night Live." That trophy went to Jane Lynch last weekend for playing comedian Sophie Lennon in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."

Big night for "Barry" actress

The dark HBO comedy starring Bill Hader as a hitman/wannabe actor is up for several awards, including one for Vancouver native Sarah Goldberg. She's nominated for best supporting actress in a comedy series for playing Sally Reed, an impassioned, self-absorbed classmate in Barry's acting class.

This is the first Emmy nomination for Goldberg, who started her career largely on the stage, with roles on Broadway and London's West End, where she was nominated for an Olivier Award for "Clybourne Park."

Does "Sharp Objects" still have an edge?

The HBO psychological thriller, which was directed end co-executive produced by Vallee, got eight nominations but has already lost out on five of those after last weekend. On Sunday, its chances include best limited series, with Vallee's Crazyrose Productions named in that nomination.

Amy Adams, who stars as an alcoholic journalist investigating a murder mystery in her hometown, is up for lead actress in a limited series or a movie. Patricia Clarkson, who plays her doting mother, is nominated for her supporting role.

More buzz for Bee

"Full Frontal with Samantha Bee," hosted by the titular Toronto-born comedian, has become an Emmys mainstay with nominations every year since its inception in 2016. On Sunday it's up for two trophies: best writing for a variety series, and best variety talk series.

Bee is directly named in the category of best writing for a variety series, as are a couple of other Canadians: Montreal's Barry Julien, a scribe on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert," and Michaels for "SNL."

 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 19, 2019.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press