Dan Levy spills Schitt's Creek season 1 secrets — including the possible cliffhanger ending
For season 3 of EW's BINGE podcast, EW digital director Shana Naomi Krochmal and senior editor Patrick Gomez are joined by the mastermind behind the Emmy-nominated CBC and Pop TV hit. Every Wednesday, the co-creator will share behind-the-scenes stories from the set as the trio recap the past five seasons in preparation for the sixth and final season, which will premiere in January.
In Wednesday's premiere episode, which you can hear below, the hosts discuss the unexpected origin story of the series, how they had to fight to keep the title, and all about season 1 of Schitt's Creek. Here are just a few highlights from this week's BINGE, which you can subscribe to on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. <iframe frameborder="0" height="200" scrolling="no" src="https://playlist.megaphone.fm?e=DGT6491979025" width="100%" class="" allowfullscreen="" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>
God Bless Speidi
Levy spent seven years at MTV in Canada hosting things like The Hills after-shows, an item on his résumé that turns out to be connected to Schitt's Creek. "Now, in retrospect, I can see the connection. At the time I didn't," Levy says on BINGE of how his insight into the lives of the invasively rich and famous provided fodder for his series. "What I found really fascinating was exploring that cultural awareness and saying now that we all know the day-to-day of these kinds of people, what would it look like if we played on that, took the money away, and examined what the family dynamic would be like without the money."
"So we have Heidi and Spencer's money troubles to thank," Gomez jokes.
What's in a Name
The Roses head to Schitt's Creek, a town with a name that drives home just how far this family had fallen. Turns out, using that name in the title was a journey.
"When our first season came out, a lot of people were destabilized by, I guess, the shock value of the name," Levy explains. In order to convince the network to let them keep the name, the Schitt's Creek team went as far as printing out white pages to prove to them Schitt is a real last name.
"I don't even know if there were people in Canada, there were just a couple in Ireland," Levy says. "Thank God for those people, because we got to keep our name."
Oh, Danny Boy
One of the standout moments of Season 1 involved Moira Rose singing "Danny Boy" during a funeral. But we actually only see a short portion of her performance in the episode. During one take, the director kept filming. "She sang that entire song, to the point where she started going into like, ‘Are you really going to keep doing this? Can I stop soon?'" Levy shares.
"It's this singular shot of Catherine singing and my dad sort of knowing that the song is a strange choice, and her interpretation of singing the song is so strange, and yet he's oddly preoccupied with this egg salad sandwich," he continued, reveling in the joy of pairing longtime collaborators Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara. "I mean he's my dad and sometimes I forget just what the magic they have together. That was definitely one of those moments where I was like, ‘These two are just gems.'"
How It Could Have All Ended
During the first season, the Roses had one goal: to sell the town and get back to their luxurious lives. But that milestone is unaccomplished at the end of season 1, which ends with a cliffhanger.
Levy's character perhaps takes the prospect of staying in Schitt's Creek the worst. "[David is a person] who never let people into his life, and who had constructed his persona based on things he could buy, whether it was clothes or friends or galleries, I think for him it really hit really hard," he says. As a result, he steals a car, leaves town, and that's the end of the season.
It could have also been the end of the series.
The entire first season was shot before it aired, so David driving off could have been the last we saw of the Rose clan. Levy's thinking? "‘Let's go balls to the wall on this and leave people wanting to come back,' especially if you know that you're not going to do everything you can to try and get a second season."
A Tearful Goodbye
"I knew that there was really, there was something in the alchemy of the show that felt really special," he says, "I remember wrapping our last day of season 1 and just bursting into tears, because it had been something that I had loved so dearly for so long. The thought of not getting to see these people and doing it all again was so heartbreaking for me."
Luckily for those behind the series — and us — they got to do it again.
Schitt's Creek's sixth and final season begins Jan. 7 on Pop TV.