Thursday, July 14, 2011

Canadians clean up at Emmy nominations

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The Kennedys, The Killing and The Borgias: Canadian writers, actors, directors and technicians didn’t make a killing, exactly, on Thursday when nominations were announced for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards, but they did clean up.
The Kennedys’ 10 Emmy nominations tied it with American Idol for ninth on the list of overall Emmy contenders. The HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce led all nominees with 21 nods, followed by Emmy perennial Mad Men with 19, and first-time nominee Boardwalk Empire with 18.
It didn’t pour but it rained, too, for the filmed-in-Vancouver AMC drama The Killing, which landed six nominations, equalling the mark set by The Borgias.
Pillars of the Earth, another Canadian co-production, earned seven nominations, including nods for outstanding miniseries, cinematography, music score and sound editing.
Pillars of the Earth and The Kennedys both scored best-miniseries nominations. They will vie with PBS’s Downton Abbey and HBO’s Cinema Verite, Too Big to Fail and nominations leader Mildred Pierce, when the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards are handed out Sept. 18.
The Kennedys’ nominations, meanwhile, include a nod for Campbell River, B.C.-born Barry Pepper, who played Bobby Kennedy in the controversial miniseries. The Kennedys has enjoyed a second wind after its original broadcaster, the U.S. History Channel, decided not to air it, over concerns over its historical accuracy. The Kennedys aired on the relatively obscure ReelzChannel in the U.S., but has enjoyed a wider audience in Canada, where it initially aired on Showcase and is currently being repeated on Global, on Mondays.
Pillars of the Earth is currently being repeated Tuesdays on CBC, after initially airing on The Movie Network and Movie Central.
Whale Wars, the Animal Planet docu-reality series that follows Toronto-born marine conservationist and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson and a crew of environmental protesters in their campaign against Japanese whalers, was nominated for a pair of Emmys.
The Canadian-made Stargate Universe, Degrassi, Camelot, David Foster and Friends: Hitman Returns and the made-in-Toronto Nikita and Rubicon also scored Emmy nominations, as did Thunder Bay, Ont.’s Paul Shaffer, nominated for his music direction of the 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Michael J. Fox, oft-nominated and a frequent past winner, was nominated again, for guest actor in a drama, for his performance in The Good Wife as crusading attorney Louis Canning.
And Toronto’s Will Arnett earned an Emmy nod, for guest actor in a comedy series, for his performance as Devin Banks in the Emmy-nominated comedy, 30 Rock.
Degrassi was nominated for outstanding children’s program, for the episode My Body Is a Cage. It will vie for the award against HBO’s A Child’s Garden of Poetry, Nickelodeon’s iCarly and Victorious, and Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place.
Camelot earned a nod for its main title-theme music by veteran Canadian composers Jeff Danna and Mychael Danna.
Toronto filmmaker Jeremy Podeswa was nominated for best series direction, for the Boardwalk Empire episode, Anastasia. Ironically, Podeswa will compete with Martin Scorsese for the award, for the same series. Scorsese was nominated for directing Boardwalk Empire’s pilot episode. Another high-profile contender in the category is Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Neil Jordan, who was nominated for The Borgias’ pilot episode.
In other Borgias Canadian nods of note, veteran Barrie, Ont., cameraman Paul Sarossy was nominated for outstanding cinematography, alongside the cinematographers of Boardwalk Empire and The Good Wife. Boardwalk Empire landed three separate nominations in the category.
The Borgias’ Emmy-winning Canadian composer Trevor Morris, who won previously for The Tudors, is nominated twice this time: for The Borgias’ main title theme music, and for Pillars of the Earth’s background score.
The Borgias was also nominated for its art direction, costumes and visual effects.
The filmed-in-Toronto The Kennedys was cited for its cinematography, by veteran Canadian cameraman David Moxness; art directors Rocco Matteo, Mun Yin Kwun and Enrico Campana; makeup, by Jordan Samuel, Colin Penman, Amanda Terry and Linda Dowds; hairstyling, by Jenny Arbour; sound mixing, by Henry Embry; and background music, by Sean Callery.
Pillars of the Earth scored nods for hairstylists Tricia Cameron and Loulia Sheppard; and makeup artist Colleen Quinton.
The Killing, meanwhile, was cited for its casting, which tapped Vancouver’s acting pool for several key roles. Veteran Vancouver casting agents Corinne Clark, Jennifer Page and Stuart Aikins were nominated by name, alongside The Killing’s Los Angeles-based casting directors, Junie Lowry and Libby Goldstein.
The Killing team will compete for the award against the casting directors of Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife and Mad Men.
The Killing also landed nominations for director Patty Jenkins, for the series’ pilot episode; and writer Veena Sud, also for the pilot.
The Killing scored a pair of high-profile acting nominations, as well: Mireille Enos, for lead actress, for her performance as Det. Sarah Linden, and Michelle Forbes, for her role as The Killing’s grieving mother, Mitch Larsen.


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