The CBC and its private-television rival, CTV, have traditionally led the pack when it comes to Gemini nominations. But this year, specialty channels are nibbling away at their share of the Canadian TV awards.
Take Lettuce, for example. That episode of the Foodessence show, produced by Salter Street Films in association with Life Network, garnered a nomination in the best-writing category. Foodessence was also nominated as best lifestyle series.
MuchMusic and Discovery Channel muscled their way into the category of best live special event coverage for '99 and Live From Mars, respectively. They will go up against stalwarts CBC ( Manitoba Votes 1999 and 2000 Today) and CTV ( Canada AM: EgyptAir Special).
As the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television unveiled its list of nominations, two clear competitors emerged in the TV-movie category. Both were CTV shows: Dr. Lucille: The Lucille Teasdale Story and The Sheldon Kennedy Story. Each has nine nominations.
Marina Orsini, who portrayed Teasdale, one of the country's first surgeons, was nominated for lead actress in a dramatic program or miniseries. The Sheldon Kennedy Story stars Jonathan Scarfe (lead actor), Polly Shannon (lead actress), Noel Fisher and Robert Wisden (both in the featured-supporting-role category) were all recognized for their work in the drama about a junior-hockey player who was sexually abused by his coach.
CBC's Da Vinci's Inquest, meanwhile, led the dramatic-series category with 10 nominations, including three in the same category: Nicholas Campbell, Donnelly Rhodes and Ian Tracey were all nominated for best performance by an actor in a continuing leading dramatic role.
Traders, which has been cancelled by Global, was nominated for two writing awards, and star Sonja Smits is up for best performance by an actress in a continuing leading dramatic role.
The race between Peter Mansbridge and Lloyd Robertson, for best news anchor, is on again this year, after Robertson's name dropped off the nominee's list in 1999 and Mansbridge took home his seventh trophy. For the second year in a row, CTV's Lisa LaFlamme and CBC Vancouver host Gloria Macarenko are pitted against the giants of journalism. CBC's Diana Swain, from Manitoba, rounds out the list.
In the navel-gazing category, 1999's 14th Annual Gemini Awards leads the pack with three nominations: one for comedian Rick Mercer, who hosted the gala, as well as for direction, and production design.
The 15th Annual Gemini Awards, hosted by comic Steve Smith ( The Red Green Show), will be broadcast live on CBC-TV on Oct. 30. The technical and journalism awards will be broadcast on Rogers Television on Oct. 28 and 29.
Here are some of the major nominees for the 15th annual Gemini Awards:
Best TV Movie or Dramatic Miniseries: Dead Aviators; One Heart Broken into Song; Dr. Lucille: The Lucille Teasdale Story; The Sheldon Kennedy Story; Murder Most Likely Best Dramatic Series: Da Vinci's Inquest; Drop the Beat; The Outer Limits IV; Stargate SG-1; Twice in a Lifetime Best News Information Series: counterSpin; the 5th estate; Marketplace; Undercurrents; Venture Best Lifestyle Series: Foodessence; Loving Spoonfuls; Moving On; Savoir Faire; shiftTV Best Documentary Series: Sextv; Downtown Angel of Medicine; The Sexual Century; The View from Here; Witness Best Comedy Program or Series: Bob and Margaret; Made in Canada; Dave Broadfoot: Old Dog, New Tricks; Double Exposure; Royal Canadian Air Farce; This Hour has 22 Minutes Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role: Sarah Chalke, Nothing Too Good For a Cowbody; Torri Higginson, The City; Kari Matchett, Power Play; Caroline Neron, Cover Me; Sonja Smiths, Traders; Julie Stewart, Cold Squad Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role: Ted Atherton, Nothing Too Good For a Cowboy; Nicholas Campbell, DaVinci's Inquest; Donnelly Rhodes, DaVinci's Inquest; Michael Riley, Power Play; Ian Tracey, DaVinci's Inquest Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Miniseries: Megan Follows, Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story; Deanna Milligan, Must Be Santa; Marina Orsini, Dr. Lucille: The Lucille Teasdale Story; Colleen Rennison, A Feeling Called Glory; Polly Shannon, The Sheldon Kennedy Story Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Miniseries: Brent Carver, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; Victor Garber, External Affairs; Paul Gross, Murder Most Likely; Jonathan Scarfe, The Sheldon Kennedy Story; Rainbow Sun Francks, One Heart Broken into Song Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program: Asylum: Falling Through the Cracks; Deep Inside Clint Star; The Holier it Gets; Kikkik; Legacy of Terror: The Bombing of Air India For a complete list of nominees, go to