Nominations for the Prix Gémeaux, Quebec’s TV awards, were announced this week (the full list is here), and everyone is congratulating themselves over it. When you have 84 categories, and hundreds of nominees, just about anyone who did anything in television this year (and submitted their application along with a fee of up to $1,260) to the academy can claim a victory.
I have some bones to pick about the number of categories. (Five for best documentary? Three for best research? Five for best editing? Seven for best host?) There are enough that there’s actually three separate awards ceremonies. And according to financial statements, the Canadian Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, which runs the Gémeaux and the Canadian Screen Awards, gets $800,000 a year in award entry fees, representing about 18% of its overall budget (which is mainly spent on the awards shows themselves). Makes you wonder how much of the multiplication of categories is meant to suck as much money out of the industry as possible.
But let that not get too much in the way of acknowledging the nominees and who have worked hard in the past year.
The big story picked up by the francophone media is Série Noire, the Radio-Canada comedic drama about two television writers, which led with 16 nominations. The series had poor ratings because it was crushed every week by Les Jeunes Loups, a drama on TVA about the lives of newspaper journalists. With critical acclaim on one hand and low ratings on the other, Radio-Canada has yet to decide whether the series will be renewed for a second season.
A few other things I and others spotted:
- Mensonges, a series that premiered on Videotron’s Club Illico subscription service and is currently airing on TVA’s AddikTV channel, received 15 nominations.
- Unité 9 has no nominations because it didn’t submit any. Producer Fabienne Larouche has a long-standing beef with the Gémeaux and refuses to submit her productions. Ditto for TVA productions by Julie Snyder.
- Tamy @ Royaume-Uni, the Évasion travel series starring Tamy Emma Pepin that I talked about this spring, picked up three nominations, for best cultural show, best graphic design, and best host of a cultural or service show.
- 24CH, a behind-the-scenes show about the Canadiens which aired in both French and English, was nominated for best sports show. But it’s up against Radio-Canada’s Sochi Olympic coverage.
- Ces gars-là, the buddy sitcom on V starring Sugar Sammy and Simon Olivier Fecteau, had three nominations, for best directing in a comedy (Fecteau), best writing in a comedy (Sammy, Fecteau and India Desjardins), best supporting actress in a comedy (Mélissa Desormeaux-Poulin).
- Anne Dorval is nominated in the lead actress in a comedy series for two separate shows — Les Parent and Les Bobos. Similarly, Véronique Cloutier and Antoine Bertrand are nominated together twice for hosts of a comedy or variety show, for a regular episode and a special of Les Enfants de la télé.
- SNL Québec has a nomination for best performance in a comedy series for the cast as a whole.
- La Presse has two nominations for best host of an original series produced for new media: Hugo Meunier and Tristan Péloquin. Both are for videos produced for La Presse+.