Schitt's Creek stars on their 15 Emmy noms and plans for a Canadian backyard viewing party
Schitt's Creek scored 15 Emmy nominations for its sixth and final season on Tuesday morning, including its second Best Comedy Series nod. Showrunner, star, and co-creator Dan Levy, who's currently quarantining in Canada after temporarily relocating back home from Los Angeles, sounds stunned when reached by phone. "It's hard to process that," he tells EW. "The kind of volume of it, it's unbelievable."
The ensemble show was also the only comedy or drama series to land nominations in all four possible acting categories, with each member of the fictional Rose family making the list: Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara for leads in a comedy and Dan Levy and Annie Murphy for supporting roles. (Watchmen pulled in a full set of acting noms for Limited Series.)
"It obviously feels very Schitt's Creek to get a bunch of award recognitions and not be able to actually go to the awards," Levy jokes. His dream Emmys night, assuming there's still no safe way to come back to California for a full ceremony, would be a backyard affair at his parents' Canadian home, "surrounding ourselves at a safe social distance with as many team members as we possibly can."
"That's really the focus on going to the Emmys in the first place — getting to see your friends and co-workers all dressed up and getting celebrated for the work that they're doing," he says. "So hopefully if Canada can keep the coronavirus at bay, we would have maybe like a dinner party and celebrate with the people who got the show to this incredible place. It'll be an intimate affair, one that I think will have a lot of heart, and the proper amount of Canadian humility."
Levy received four total nominations. In addition to his work as a performer and producer, he was nominated as a writer and co-director (with Andrew Cividino) for the series finale, "Happy Ending." And the show scooped up two nods for editing, one each for casting and sound mixing, another writing honor (David West Read, for "The Presidential Suite") and three nominations for the creative team — makeup, hairstyling, and costumes.
"For me what's been so incredible is the fact that so many of our team members were recognized this year," Levy says. "You couldn't hope for a better sort of conclusion to your final season."
O'Hara, also currently in Canada since California's COVID-19 numbers surged, says she'd managed to forget about the impending nominations until last week. "You think, well of course it'd better to be nominated than not. But still, of course I'm surprised because there are so many deserving people out there and deserving shows," she says. "I'm so happy for Daniel and Annie to have been nominated, and all our hair and makeup and wardrobe. They are equally responsible, with us, for our characters."
O'Hara, who says she's only about 20 minutes away from where Levy is self-isolating, spent her morning talking to her onscreen family: "I texted Daniel and Eugene right away, and then Eugene called and we had just a delightful happy conversation about how he's so happy for Daniel, of course. He's such a loving father, and a proud father, rightfully so."
Dan Levy, who was conveniently also out of the country for last year's nominations — the show's first ever — was offline all morning as the announcements came in. "I don't like to set myself up for failure, so I just had people texting me, and it was just pleasant surprise after pleasant surprise really," he says. "I guess I've tried to get as far away from Hollywood as possible when it comes to these kinds of things. I'm just on a lake, breathing in some fresh Canadian air."
"Truly couldn't be better icing on a better cake," says Murphy, a first-time nominee for her portrayal of Alexis Rose. Over the years as Schitt's has been honored at various awards shows, Murphy has often been in the same category as O'Hara, but for the Emmys the cast is spread out. "It's a relief because I've already spent many years losing to Catherine O'Hara — and it's been an honor every single time. I write it on my resume, 'lost to Catherine O’Hara,' and it's an absolute treat to do that. It will be nice to lose to someone else this year."
The show itself has a perfect small-town model for a tiny red carpet and screening — Moira Rose's The Crows Have Eyes 3: The Crowening had its streaming premiere in town. "That is what I would look to for my family hosting the Emmys," Levy says. "It would inevitably go wrong, but I think it would start off really cute." (Murphy's pledge: "I will be sure to gather up as many birds as I can find between now and then and release them at the appropriate moment.")
O'Hara, who laments having left what she now owns from Moira's wardrobe back in Los Angeles, has her own suggestion for a hometown Emmys night: "Like a little graduation party. Or just a drive-by, or a boat-by party! I'll put on a very special bathing suit."
Murphy says she'll wear an electric blue pajama onesie, possibly with the arms and legs cut off if it's too warm in September. "Invitation or not, party or not, I will be there the night of the Emmys with a bucket of KFC, ready to celebrate," she pledges. "At least we've already set our sights on the partying and the fashion — that's telling."
O'Hara also has low-key expectations for any small-town encounters for her or Levy, even in Canada. "They're not going to be overly impressed, nor should they be, but they have been very kind," she says.
Levy says, "Hopefully when my quarantine is up, I will be going into town to pick up some butter tarts, which are a Canadian delicacy, and I'll just hopefully walk around town with a T-shirt that says 'Emmy nominee' and see how many people notice. Probably nobody."
The Pop TV/CBC show, which before last year had won big at the Canadian Screen Awards but never been honored by the Emmys, had four noms in 2019. Any one of the 15 possibilities this September would be Schitt's first Emmy win.