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Made in Canada, the caustic CBC comedy that stars Rick Mercer, led the field of nominations yesterday for the 17th Gemini Awards, with a tally of 14 votes in everything from best comedy to best ensemble cast.

The runner-up was another CBC show, Da Vinci's Inquest, which garnered 10 nominations, including best dramatic series. Last year, Da Vinci's Inquest, which stars Nicholas Campbell as the ex-narc/ex-alcoholic coroner, won its third consecutive Gemini for best dramatic series.

Next in line for gold-plated statues was CBC's Cold Squad, now entering its fifth season from Keatley MacLeod and Alliance Atlantis, and the CTV movie Torso by Shaftesbury Films, about the notorious Evelyn Dick, who was accused in the 1940s of killing her streetcar-conductor husband and cutting up his corpse. Both of these shows received nine nominations each.

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The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television will salute the best of Canadian TV at the Gemini Awards gala Nov. 2 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Funny man Sean Cullen will host the event.

Made in Canada, starring Mercer, who Maclean's magazine calls "the sharpest satirist on television," earned nominations in several categories including best direction in a comedy program, best writing, best picture editing and three for best ensemble performance in a comedy. The show stars Peter Keleghan, Dan Lett, Leah Pinsent and Jackie Torrens.

Other winners of multiple nominations included CTV's now-defunct The Associates (with eight), Global's Blue Murder (seven), and the much-praised CBC special The Overcoat, based on a darkly comic tale by Nikolai Gogol about an architectural draftsman (Peter Anderson) whose purchase of a magnificent overcoat paves the way to his destruction.

In best comedy, Made in Canada is up against Buzz, An American in Canada, This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Women of the Night.

Under best dramatic series, Da Vinci's Inquest goes head to head against Bliss, Cold Squad, Dice and Foreign Objects.

As expected, Colm Feore was nominated for best actor in a leading dramatic role for his turn as prime minister in Trudeau. He's competing in that category with Shawn Doyle ( A Killing Spring), Tyler Hynes ( Tagged: The Jonathan Wamback Story), Michael Ironside ( The Last Chapter), and Colm Meaney ( Random Passage).

Wendy Crewson is up for best actress in a leading dramatic role in A Killing Spring. Others in that category are Barbara Garrick ( Armistead Maupin's Further Tales of the City), Aoife McMahon ( Random Passage), Pascale Montpetit ( The Stork Derby) and Kathleen Robertson ( Torso).

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In a continuing leading dramatic role, the best-actor nominations are Demore Barnes ( The Associates), Martin Cummins ( Dice), Donnelly Rhodes ( Da Vinci's Inquest), John Shea ( Mutant X) and Maurice Dean Wint ( Blue Murder).

The actresses in the running for best lead in an ongoing drama include Tamara Hickey ( The Associates), Janet Kidder ( Tom Stone), Victoria Snow ( Paradise Falls), Julie Stewart ( Cold Squad), and Venus Terzo ( Da Vinci's Inquest).

In other categories, Peter Mansbridge (CBC), Kevin Newman (Global) and Lloyd Robertson (CTV) are each in the running for best news anchor.

The nominees for best lifestyle/general-interest series include Great Canadian Rivers, My Messy Bedroom, Opening Soon, SexTv and The Surgeons.

There were five nods for best practical information series, including Anything I Can Do, Broken House Chronicles, Debbie Travis' Painted House, Designer Guys and The Shopping Bags.

Under best talk series is CBC News: Hot Type with Evan Solomon, CBC News: Mansbridge One on One, Health on the Line, So Gay TV and Vicki Gabereau.

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The following were nominated for the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program: Aftermath: The Remnants of War, Culture Jam: Highjacking Commercial Culture, In the Line of Fire, Offspring and Waging Peace: A Year in the Life of Caledonia Junior High.

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