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.
Hollywood Reporter: Amazon Prime Video to Stream Popular Canadian Sitcom ‘Corner Gas’ (Exclusive)
Amazon Prime Video to Stream Popular Canadian Sitcom ‘Corner Gas’ (Exclusive)
7:00 AM PST 12/12/2018 by Etan Vlessing, Hollywood Reporter
A record-breaking 3.02 million Canadian viewers watched the series finale on April 13, 2009.
Corner Gas, the most popular Canadian sitcom ever, is headed to Amazon Prime Video outside of Canada.
The streaming VOD service will offer all six seasons of the comedy, or 107 episodes and a 90-minute TV movie, about a host of oddball rubes at a gas station in fictional Dog River, Saskatchewan via the Prime Video Direct self-publishing service. Prime Video will stream Corner Gas in the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand and in around 60 international markets overall.
In Canada, the Corner Gas comedy, TV movie and an upcoming Corner Gas Animated series will stream exclusively on the Crave service, a division of Bell Media, which originally developed and financed the CTV sitcom. Corner Gas executive producer Virginia Thompson of Verite Films told The Hollywood Reporter that publishing to Prime Video answers demand from loyal fans of the sitcom outside of Canada after the series previously aired in over 24 countries, including on Superstation WGN in the U.S.
“This gives our established fans and new ones a chance to get to know the characters and the comedy, and build a fantastic fan base that hopefully will see Corner Gas Animated at some point in the future,” Thompson said. A record-breaking 3.02 million Canadian viewers watched the Corner Gas series finale on April 13, 2009.
The ensemble cast includes series creator Brent Butt, Eric Peterson, Gabrielle Miller, Fred Ewanuick, Nancy Robertson, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Lorne Cardinal and the late Janet Wright, who played the long-suffering matriarch Emma Leroy. Corner Gas became a Canadian cultural phenomenon as it spawned a book series, theatrical comedy tours, a merchandise line, DVDs and a Christmas TV special.
Canadian Prime Ministers Paul Martin and Stephen Harper had star turns on the comedy, as did 24 star Kiefer Sutherland and singer Michael Buble.
Unlike Canada-originated dramas, local sitcoms breaking into the U.S. market have been a rarity, despite the prominence of Canadian stand-up and sketch comedy talent working in New York City and Los Angeles. Trailer Park Boys, a comedy about low life in a Halifax trailer park, eventually made its way to Netflix.
The Corner Gas franchise is produced by Thompson, Butt and David Storey of 335 Productions, in association with CTV and The Comedy Network.
Tim McAuliffe is a comedy writer from Montreal, Canada. His credits include “This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” Corner Gas, “The Hour With George Stromboulopoulos,” the 2005 & 2006 Muchmusic Video Awards, “Video on Trial,” The 2008 East Coast Music Awards, “The Totally Untrue History Of…” and, most importantly, “The Top 100 Videos of All-Time with Carmen Electra.” He made a feature film about the 2008 U.S. elections in Washington D.C. with fellow 22 Minutes writer/performer Nathan Fielder.
Tim’s short film “‘88 Dodge Aries” was featured on ABC TV’s “The Best Commercials You’ve Never Seen,” and played at Montreal’s Just for Laughs and the Boston International Comedy Festivals. It was also displayed on The Jumbo-tron at Madison Square Garden during a Rangers game. Another short film, Branding Mupatu, was featured at a variety of festivals.
When not working, Tim spends time with his wonderful couch and two beautiful loveseats. His hobbies include cliff sailing, surf diving, and power zoning.
According to the Internet Movie Data Base, Kevin has worked on several shows besides Corner Gas, including “This Hour has 22 Minutes,” “Hanging with Mr. Cooper,” “Bustin’ Loose,” and of course a memorable season of “The Fall Guy” back in 1981 when Kevin was in Grade 9. Fortunately for television only two of those credits are true.
Kevin was with Corner Gas for all six seasons and when not in Regina, Kevin lives in Toronto with his wife and their three children. Despite all the travel, Kevin maintains a close relationship with whatshername, kid one, kid two and the other one.
The writing team won the 2007 Canadian Comedy Award for Best Writing Series and was nominated for a 2007 Gemini Award.
Paul Mather is a writer and comedian. He served as Story Editor on Season One of Corner Gas and as as Supervising Producer for Seasons Two, Three and Four.
Paul also served as head writer on “The Rick Mercer Report” and was a staff writer for two seasons of “This Hour Has 22 Minutes.”
For his screenwriting work, Paul has been recognized with several awards including the Canadian Screenwriting Award, Comedy and Variety, in 2005. He has also received two Canadian Comedy Awards for Pretty Funny Writing in 2004 and 2003.
Beyond screenwriting, Paul has a book to his credit. How Not to Completely Suck at Being a New Parent (with Scott Feschuck) was published by McClelland and Stewart in 2004.
Originally hailing from Leader, Saskatchewan, Dylan Wertz is an award-winning writer who has written for some of the biggest series in the country, including “InSecurity,” “renegadepress.com,” “Hiccups,” and all installments of Corner Gas. He is a Capricorn, enjoys the scent of vanilla, and lives in Vancouver with his wife and two rotten kids.
Andrew Carr has been a part of the Corner Gas franchise from the beginning. He worked as a writer and story editor for the live action series, a co-writer for the movie and now a supervising producer for the animated series.
Originally from Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Andrew’s career in comedy began in stand-up comedy where he performed in clubs and corporate events across Canada and the United States of America. He also made numerous appearances on television and events such as the Montreal “Just For Laughs” Comedy Festival and the Vancouver Comedy Festival.
Andrew has garnered numerous writing awards and nominations over the years including two Canadian Comedy awards and a Leo award. His other writing credits include being Executive Story Editor for “Little Mosque On The Prairie,” Supervising Producer for “Hiccups,” and Senior Story Editor for “InSecurity.”
Andrew makes his home in Greater Vancouver where he continues to write and develop shows for film and television.
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.