CBC tops list of Gemini contenders


Toronto, - Led by its news department and comedy shows, CBC-TV laid claim to 160 Gemini Award nominations announced today.

The number is up slightly from 156 last year and includes program content produced, co-produced or telecast by CBC.

The Geminis, honouring the best in Canadian television, will be handed out during three consecutive gala nights Nov. 2, 3 and 4.

CBC and Newsworld news and current affairs programs garnered 43 nods in all, while Made in Canada, the Halifax-based series from Salter Street Films, has 13, including dominating the best-writing category with all five entries. The CBC arts program Opening Night also collected a whopping 21 nominations.

Trudeau, the high-profile mini-series based on the life of the former prime minister, netted six nominations, including one for Colm Feore as best actor in the title role. But the show didn't make the cut for the five nominated TV movies or mini-series. Canada: A People's History was named in only two Gemini categories.

In the dramatic series category it was a close race among shows from all three main networks.

Two West Coast crime dramas, CBC's Da Vinci's Inquest and CTV's Cold Squad, were neck and neck with 10 and nine nominations respectively. CTV's already-cancelled legal drama The Associates also has nine, while Global TV's filmed-in-Toronto Blue Murder enjoys seven.

The best movies and mini-series are led by CTV's Torso, the dramatization of an infamous 1940s murder case in Hamilton, with nine nominations. Others nominees include Jinnah on Crime, Society's Child, Stolen Miracle and Armistead Maupin's Further Tales of the City.

Besides Da Vinci and Cold Squad, top dramatic series include Ken Finkleman's Foreign Objects and the cable series Bliss and Dice.

Other top comedy shows include This Hour Has 22 Minutes, An American in Canada (the pilot only, the series hasn't begun yet), Buzz and Women of the Night.

Besides Feore in Trudeau, other leading dramatic actor contenders include Michael Ironside for CBC's biker mini-series The Last Chapter, and Irish actor Colm Meaney for Random Passage. The best actress category includes Wendy Crewson (A Killing Spring), Aoife McMahon (Random Passage) and Kathleen Robertson (Torso).

Top series actors in the running include Demore Barnes (The Associates), Donnelly Rhodes (Da Vinci's Inquest) and Maurice Dean Wint (Blue Murder).

In the actress category there's Tamara Hickey (The Associates), Julie Stewart (Cold Squad) and Janet Kidder (Tom Stone).

CBC's Peter Mansbridge, CTV's Lloyd Robertson and Global's Kevin Newman, are all vying for best news anchor.

The awards offer a new twist this year as well.

A nationwide search was launched in August to find a fan who will make a presentation to the winner of Gemini's Hottest Star competition. A special jury viewed audition tapes and that winner will be announced Oct. 15.

Meanwhile the public is being called upon again to vote online (www.geminiawards.ca) for the Hottest Star award which will be presented at the final awards gala Nov. 4.

The Geminis are overseen by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, a non-profit professional association dedicated to promoting, recognizing and celebrating achievements in Canadian TV and film.

Here are the nominees in some of the top categories for the 17th annual Gemini awards, honouring the best in Canadian television.

Best TV Movie or Dramatic Mini-Series Armistead Maupin's Further Tales of the City, Jinnah On Crime, Society's Child, Stolen Miracle, Torso

Best Dramatic Series Bliss, Cold Squad, Da Vinci's Inquest, Dice, Foreign Objects

Best Comedy Program An American in Canada, Buzz, Made In Canada, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Women of the Night

Best Music, Variety Program or Series The 2002 Juno Awards, The Guess Who: The Concert, History Bites, Live at the Rehearsal Hall, The Thrill on the Hill: Canada Day 2001

Best Talk Series CBC News: Hot Type with Evan Solomon, CBC News: Mansbridge One On One, Health on the Line, So Gay TV, Vicki Gabereau

Lead Actor in a Drama or Mini-Series Shawn Doyle (A Killing Spring), Colm Feore (Trudeau), Tyler Hynes (Tagged-The Jonathan Wamback Story), Michael Ironside (The Last Chapter), Colm Meaney (Random Passage)

Lead Actress in a Drama or Mini-Series Wendy Crewson (A Killing Spring), Barbara Garrick (Armistead Maupin's Further Tales of the City), Aoife McMahon (Random Passage), Pascale Montpetit (The Stork Derby), Kathleen Robertson (Torso)

Best Actor in a Drama Demore Barnes (The Associates), Martin Cummins (Dice), Donnelly Rhodes (Da Vinci's Inquest), John Shea (Mutant X), Maurice Dean Wint (Blue Murder)

Best Actress in a Drama Tamara Hickey (The Associates), Janet Kidder (Tom Stone), Victoria Snow (Paradise Falls), Julie Stewart (Cold Squad), Venus Terzo (Da Vinci's Inquest)

Best Individual Performance in a Comedy Jayne Eastwood (The Endless Grind), Peter Keleghan (Royal Canadian Air Farce), Bette MacDonald (Halifax Comedy Fest Gala), Nikki Payne (Halifax Comedy Fest Gala)

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