New York Times: How Much Watching Time Do You Have This Weekend?
How Much Watching Time Do You Have This Weekend?
By Margaret Lyons, New York Times
Dec. 14, 2018
No matter how much free time you have this weekend, we have TV recommendations for you. Come back every Friday for new suggestions on what to watch.
… Many Hours, and Take Me to Canada
When to watch: Now, on Amazon.
“Corner Gas” is one of the most popular shows in Canadian history, a single-camera, low-concept comedy set in the small town of Dog River, Saskatchewan. Brent Butt created and stars in the show as Brent, the owner of the local gas station and convenience store. “Gas” debuted in 2004, so it can feel a little bit slow by contemporary standards. But it’s a richly imagined world with well-defined characters and an easy sense of flow and structure. It is also the most Canadian show I have ever seen, and that’s saying something.
Corner Gas Now Available on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S., U.K, and Over 60 International Territories
Corner Gas, Canada’s Most Popular Comedy of All Time, Now Available on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S., U.K, and Over 60 International Territories
Corner Gas, Corner Gas: The Movie and Corner Gas Animated remain exclusively available on Crave in Canada
Beginning today, all 107 episodes of the six-season smash-hit Canadian comedy series Corner Gas and 90-minute film Corner Gas: The Movie are available outside of Canada on Amazon Prime Video, through Prime Video Direct, in over 60 countries and territories, including the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Kenya, South Africa, and the Philippines. In Canada, the Corner Gas live action series, movie and all-new Corner Gas Animated series are available exclusively on Bell Media’s Crave SVOD service.
“For years, fans have been asking when the original series and movie would be available on SVOD outside of Canada,” said Executive Producer Virginia Thompson. “We couldn’t be happier to bring Corner Gas to fans in new corners of the world this holiday season.”
Corner Gas centres around the colourful characters of Dog River – a fictional prairie town forty miles from nowhere. The award-winning ensemble cast stars creator, executive producer, showrunner and comedian Brent Butt as Brent Leroy, owner of a roadside service station, and Gabrielle Miller as Lacey Burrows, Eric Peterson as Oscar Leroy, Fred Ewanuick as Hank Yarbo, Janet Wright as Emma Leroy, Lorne Cardinal as Sgt. Davis Quinton, Tara Spencer-Nairn as Constable Karen Pelly, and Nancy Robertson as Wanda Dollard.
The Corner Gas series premiered January 22, 2004 on Canadian broadcaster CTV and was an immediate runaway hit. During its entire six-season run, Corner Gas was the #1 primetime sitcom (Canadian or American) in Canada, maintaining an impressive average audience of 1.4 million viewers over its 107-episode run. The series finale made television history when a record-breaking 3.02 million viewers tuned in on April 13, 2009. It remains the largest audience on record for a Canadian scripted television series.
The series received over 80 award nominations, including an International Emmy nomination. It won seven Gemini Awards including Best Comedy and Best Comedy Ensemble, nine Canadian Comedy Awards, four Writers Guild of Canada Awards, three Directors Guild of Canada Awards and 12 Leos.
The series originally aired in over two dozen countries worldwide, including Superstation WGN in the US, and became a Canadian cultural phenomenon, spawning two chart-topping books, sold-out comedy tours, a successful line of merchandise, a top-selling series of DVDs, a Christmas special and song, dozens of notable guest stars, including two Prime Ministers and a thriving tourist industry in Rouleau, Saskatchewan, where Corner Gas was filmed on location.
Corner Gas: The Movie renewed its love affair with fans in December 2014. The film sold-out theatres across Canada, attracted more than 7 million TV viewers and won the 2016 Golden Screen Award for the most-watched scripted program of the year.
The Corner Gas franchise is produced by Virginia Thompson of Vérité Films, and Brent Butt and David Storey of 335 Productions, in association with commissioning broadcasters CTV and The Comedy Network.
About Prairie Pants Distribution
Prairie Pants Distribution Inc. is the sales agent for Bell Media of the original 107-episode Corner Gas comedy series and the distributor Corner Gas: The Movie and the new Corner Gas Animated. The company is owned by Corner Gas Executive Producers Virginia Thompson, Brent Butt and David Storey.
Broadcast Source: Numeris
CTV electronic audience databases incorporate data beginning in 1994.
Audience prior to August 31, 2009 based on BBM Nielsen Media Research Mark II meters.
Cumulative average audience and overall reach calculated from Dec 8, 2014 to Jan 1, 2015, across CTV Total, CTV Two Total, Comedy, TMN1, TMN3, TMN4, and TMN5.
WEBSITE + SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
@BrentButt – Brent Butt
@MillerGabrielle – Gabrielle Miller
@FredEwanuick – Fred Ewanuick
@LorneCardinal – Lorne Cardinal
@TSpencerNairn – Tara Spencer Nairn
@NancyRtweets – Nancy Robertson
@cocokoslo – Corrine Koslo
@VirginiaTV – Virginia Thompson
Veteran Vancouver actress Janet Wright played Emma, the long-suffering wife of and mother to Brent Butt’s character Brent Leroy. She is the glue that holds this unusual family together.
Janet played Emma in all six seasons of Corner Gas the original live-action series as well as Corner Gas: The Movie. Sadly, Janet passed away in November of 2016, but her character Emma will live on in Corner Gas Animated, with the blessing of Janet’s family.
Janet was born in England, and moved to Saskatoon, SK, at a very young age. Janet and her three siblings all became successful actors. She has performed for virtually every major theater company in Canada, and was affiliated with the Vancouver Arts Club Theater from the early 1970s until her death, performing and directing in over 40 productions for that company alone.
Janet enjoyed the behind the scenes and technical end of production as much as she did acting. She directed for many major theater companies across Canada, including productions at the internationally renowned Stratford Festival.
Her film credits included The Perfect Storm (with George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg) and Bordertown Café for which she won a Genie award for best actress. Her television credits included appearances on series such as “Dark Angel” and “Lexx,” as well as Canadian classics such as “The King of Kensington” and “The Beachcombers.”
Janet was honoured with a Gemini for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series for her performance in the feature length television drama Betrayed as well as the 2007 Gemini for Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series for Corner Gas.
In an unusual bit of casting, Janet and Eric Peterson, who played Brent Butt’s parents, were friends for over 35 years, first appearing together on stage in the early 1970s. All three are proud Saskatchewan natives.
Brent Butt was born and raised in the small farming community of Tisdale, Saskatchewan (population 3000). He discovered early that being funny was a good way to get attention. He decided he was going to become a comedian when he was 12 and he watched a stand-up comic on television.
Brent honed his comedy in school, and at the age of 20, he moved to Saskatoon to pursue a career in stand-up. Within months of his first amateur night appearance, he was offered a tour on the road. After a year, he was headlining top clubs in Toronto. Within four years, he began touring internationally and was showcased in his own gala performance at the world’s largest international comedy festival – Montreal’s Just For Laughs – where he became a regular.
Brent appeared on numerous national and international television programs, including his own special “Bedtime With Brent Butt” and “Comedy Now – Funnypants,” earning a Gemini-nomination.
He was named “Best Male Stand-Up in Canada” at the 2001 Canadian Comedy Awards and was subsequently selected to represent his country on the World Comedy Tour in Australia. He followed that by hosting the Just For Laughs Asian Tour in Singapore. His invitation to appear on “All-Star Comedy Homecoming,” the 50th anniversary special for a major Canadian network, secured his reputation as one of the funniest people in the country, as he performed alongside the most noted Canadian comedians of the past five decades.
Over the years, Brent, who claims he never really went after an acting career, landed bit parts in Duets, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, the Bob Saget directed TV movie Becoming Dick, and episodes of “The Kids in the Hall,” “The X-Files” and “Millennium.”
He began cooking up his own series, Corner Gas, set in the tiny town of Dog River with an odd bunch of archetypal characters. Brent not only starred in the series, he also wore several hats including creator, writer, showrunner, executive producer and director of several episodes. The series premiered January 22, 2004, on CTV and became a Canadian icon with unprecedented ratings and numerous accolades. It went on to become Canada’s #1 comedy, broadcast in over 26 countries including the US, and aired for six seasons.
Corner Gas was nominated for a 2004 International Emmy Award, surviving three rounds of preliminary judging from over 500 judges in 38 countries. The series won numerous awards, including Gemini Awards, Canadian Comedy Awards, Director’s Guild of Canada Awards and Writers Guild of Canada Awards.
In 2005, Brent followed in the footsteps of Alanis Morissette and Shania Twain… not as a singer, but as host of the 2005 Juno Awards.
In 2007, Brent, along with his Corner Gas co-stars, took home the Gemini for best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series. In 2008, he was honoured to join the ranks of Bob Newhart, John Cleese, John Candy and others when he received The Comedy Network Sir Peter Ustinov Award at The World Television Festival in Banff.
In 2010, Brent created another sitcom for TV called “Hiccups,” starring himself and Nancy Robertson. They made 26 episodes over two seasons, winning multiple Leo awards.
In 2013, Brent was honoured with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to community and country. Later that same year, he made the transition to feature films and wrote and starred in his first feature, No Clue.
In 2014, Corner Gas: The Movie, written by Brent, Andrew Carr and Andrew Wreggitt, directed by David Storey, and starring the entire original cast, was shot in Saskatchewan. The landmark feature film rolled out via a national multi-platform event in December of that year, opening with an exclusive Cineplex Front Row Centre Events theatrical debut, followed by premieres on The Movie Network, CTV, and The Comedy Network. It was further complemented by a special collector’s edition DVD release.
In 2018, Corner Gas Animated, an all-new animated version of the iconic comedy franchise re-imagined by Brent, is to premiere on The Comedy Network.
Brent has made his home in Vancouver for the last 20 years and continues to tour the country with his unique brand of stand-up comedy, performing in theatres and as a much sought-after corporate entertainer.
Gabrielle Miller is a Canadian Screen Award, Gemini Award and Leo Award-winning actress with over 80 productions to her credit. She is best known for her roles on the runaway hit franchise Corner Gas, the critically acclaimed dramedy “Robson Arms” and the dark comedy “Call Me Fitz.”
In Corner Gas, she played the lead role of Lacey Burrows, which garnered a Gemini Award for Best Ensemble Performance in 2007, two Gemini nominations, two Leo Awards and three Leo nominations.
In “Robson Arms,” she played the lead role of Bobbi Briggs, a newlywed and newcomer to Vancouver, for three seasons. She won a Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series in 2009 and a Leo Award for Best Supporting Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series in 2007.
In “Call Me Fitz,” she played cut-throat vixen and ambitious journalist Melody Gray who set her sights on taking down Fitz.
She voiced one of the regular roles along with several supporting roles in Eva Longoria’s animated series “Mother Up!”
She stars in a number of Canadian films, including the multiple award-winning Down River; Moving Day, which earned her a Canadian Screen Award-nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role; and the critically acclaimed Sisters and Brothers, earning a Leo nomination for Best Lead Performance by a Female in a Feature Length Drama.
Recent TV credits include Garage Sale Mystery: Murder By Text, “Adventures in Babysitting,” “Good Witch,” “Haven,” Christmas At Cartwright’s and the feature The Steps.
Born and raised in Vancouver, she and her family are now based in the interior of BC.
Fred Ewanuick is best known for his lead roles in the comedy series Corner Gas and “Dan For Mayor.”
Fred returns as the voice of Hank Yarbo in Corner Gas Animated, a role he played in the International Emmy-nominated, Gemini-winning, #1-rated CTV sitcom Corner Gas and the Golden Screen Award-winning hit film Corner Gas: The Movie. The role garnered him a Gemini Award for Best Ensemble Performance in 2007, received two more Gemini nominations, two Leo nominations and a Canadian Comedy Award-nomination.
Fred also starred as Dan Phillips in the Gemini-nominated CTV original series “Dan For Mayor” for two seasons. He received a Canadian Comedy Award-nomination and a Leo nomination for his portrayal of a slacker in his early 30s who finds himself running for mayor in a small town.
Other series credits include the CTV comedy/drama series “Robson Arms” for three seasons, earning a Gemini nomination, and guest starring roles in “Intelligence,” “Blood Ties,” “Dead Like Me,” “Da Vinci’s Inquest,” “Twilight Zone,” “Dark Angel,” “Cold Squad” and “The Chris Isaak Show.” Fred made his television debut as “a spinning gnome” in “The Addams Family” series.
His feature work includes lead roles in Patterson’s Wager, Love and Other Dilemmas, Black Eyed Dog and Young Triffie’s Been Made Away With for Writer/Director Mary Walsh. He played supporting roles in Just Friends with Ryan Reynolds, French Immersion, and Chestnut: Hero of Central Park. He was the lead in the indie feature, The Delicate Art of Parking, which won him a Best Actor Award at Spain’s Peniscola Film Festival after premiering at the Montreal World Film Festival, where it won Best Canadian Feature. Other indie credits include a supporting role in Crossing, for which he earned a Leo nomination, and Absolute Zero. Fred made his film debut in MGM/UA’s A Guy Thing, followed by a role in The Santa Clause 2.
Raised in Port Moody, British Columbia, Fred was bitten by the theatre bug during a stint at Douglas College in New Westminster, BC, where he decided to pursue an acting career. Fred now calls Vancouver home.
Eric Peterson’s career in Canadian television and stage spans forty-five years. Noted for originating the role of Oscar in the long-running Corner Gas franchise, he stars in the original series, the feature film and in the new animated series.
His work in Canadian film and television includes credits such as Deepa Mehta’s Earth, Jerry Ciccoritti’s Trudeau, Peter Moss’s mini-series “Best Laid Plans,” guest star appearances on the series “What Would Sal Do?” “Slings and Arrows,” “Da Vinci’s Inquest,” “Murdock Mysteries,” “Dan for Mayor,” “The Republic of Doyle” and “Cracked,” as well as series regular roles: Leon Rabinovich in “Street Legal,” and Judge Malone on “This Is Wonderland.”
Eric’s stage career includes hundreds of plays on most major stages across Canada, as well as Broadway, London’s West End, the Edinburgh Festival and the Melbourne International Theatre Festival. He is noted for co-creating and originating Billy Bishop Goes to War on stage, television and feature film.
Eric is the recipient of the Gordon Pinsent Award of Excellence in 2009 for his stage work, as well as the Earle Grey Award, a lifetime achievement award for his film and television endeavors. He garnered a Gemini Award for Best Ensemble Performance and two Gemini nominations for his portrayal of Oscar in the Corner Gas franchise. Eric holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan, is a recipient of the Governor General’s Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award (Theatre) and a member of the Order of Canada.
Well known for his role as Sergeant Davis Quinton on six seasons of the International Emmy-nominated, Gemini-winning, #1-rated CTV sitcom Corner Gas and the Golden Screen Award-winning hit film Corner Gas: The Movie, Lorne Cardinal returns to reprise his role in Corner Gas Animated.
Lorne has amassed nearly 100 professional film & TV credits, including the series “Tin Star,” “Fargo,” “Arctic Air,” “Lonesome Dove,” and the features Unintentional Mother; The Humanity Bureau; Never Steady, Never Still; Rust; Flicka 2 and Insomnia.
He has written and directed for TV and produced the documentary Chasing Lear.
He is a sought after voice actor and starred in the award-winning animated series “Open Season: Scared Silly” as Sheriff Gordy.
He is a classically trained stage actor, and has acted in and directed a number of theatre productions, select credits include King Lear at the National Arts Centre and Black Elk Speaks at the Denver Center.
He has received numerous awards and nominations for his body of work, including a Gemini Award for Best Ensemble Performance and two Gemini nominations for his portrayal of Sgt. Davis Quinton in the Corner Gas franchise. He is the recipient of an honorary PhD from Thompson Rivers University.
Lorne is based on the west coast of British Columbia.
Tara Spencer-Nairn returns as the voice of deadpan police officer Karen Pelly in Corner Gas Animated, a role she played in the International Emmy-nominated, Gemini-winning, #1-rated CTV sitcom Corner Gas and the Golden Screen Award-winning hit film Corner Gas: The Movie, earning her and her cast-mates a Gemini Award for Best Ensemble Performance and two Gemini nominations.
A graduate of the Vancouver Film School, her big breakthrough came in 1999 when she was cast in the highly acclaimed New Waterford Girl. The film screened at the Sundance Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival and received seven Genie Award-nominations including Best Picture. She garnered rave reviews for her portrayal of the disaffected Lou – a Bronx-raised teenager who moves to a small Nova Scotia town and quickly turns it on its ear.
She subsequently starred alongside Don McKellar in the independent film Rub and Tug. The 2002 offering was Tara’s first foray into comedy and resulted in a Canadian Comedy Award-nomination for her portrayal of the street-smart Betty.
She has appeared in the recurring role of Sandy in the hit drama “The Listener” and in numerous other television productions including “The Outer Limits,” “The Strain,” “Murdoch Mysteries,” “Waking Up Wally (The Walter Gretzky Story),” “Flashpoint,” “Saving Hope” and “Degrassi.”
Tara was born in Montreal, raised in Vancouver and now calls Toronto home. The youngest of three siblings, the actress spent 12 years as a competitive gymnast before pursuing acting. She is married and the mother of two young sons.
Nancy Robertson returns as the voice of Wanda Dollard in Corner Gas Animated, a role she played in the International Emmy-nominated, Gemini-winning, #1-rated CTV sitcom Corner Gas and the Golden Screen Award-winning hit film Corner Gas: The Movie, earning her and her cast-mates a Gemini Award for Best Ensemble Performance and two Gemini nominations. She has also received various awards and nominations for her individual work.
Nancy produced and starred in the comedy series “Hiccups” for two seasons. Playback Magazine listed the series as the second highest-rated Canadian comedy on The Comedy Network. During the show’s run, Nancy received Leo Awards for her work, both as actor and producer.
Nancy has also had the pleasure of playing Doormouse in Nick Willing’s mini-series “Alice in Wonderland” for SyFy, the uptight Principal Moreno in the Movie of the Week Radio Rebel and a cameo appearance in Brent Butt’s feature film No Clue.