The year so far has been crammed with so much great television that even with many standbys absent from the scene — fan favorites including “Better Call Saul,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Veep” have not broadcast episodes in 2018 — a list of the year’s great TV feels comprehensive, even with half the year to go. This list of 13 television shows and one TV movie, a mix of new and returning broadcasts, is an attempt to name some of what stood out most sharply to Variety‘s critics: Those shows that, in an unprecedentedly crowded landscape, demanded our attention and earned our appreciation. The first half of the year has been strong enough to make the eventual task of winnowing down a year-end best list seem very difficult indeed; for now, here are some shows from the past six months worth catching up on.
Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
The Canadian comedy about a rich family stripped of everything began as a delightfully silly showcase for its cast, including Dan and Eugene Levy (who co-created the show), the ever-incredible Catherine O’Hara, and the surprisingly formidable Annie Murphy. But four seasons later, “Schitt’s Creek” has evolved right alongside its characters to become more confident and mature. Dan Levy, who also serves as writer and showrunner, finds a worthy partner onscreen in Noah Reid’s Patrick. Murphy more than holds her own as her spoiled Alexis lets herself open up. And the reliable team that is Eugene Levy and O’Hara build on decades of working together to make their married characters ring both true and deeply absurd. — CF
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Four seasons ago, Pop TV comedy series Schitt’s Creek began with a compelling fish-out-of-water premise. Following the wealthy Rose family and their life of excess, the series really got cooking when they all went broke, resulting in them moving to a run-down town they once bought as a joke.
The Contenders Emmys 2018
While this conceit is essential to the series, for co-creator and star Daniel Levy, the show has always been about love. “It’s been about leaving them in this town to realize what is truly important. That was really the thrust of the show from the very beginning, and fortunately, you can tell so many stories about love,” he told TVLine’s Michael Ausiello last month during the comedy’s panel at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys. “It presents itself in so many different iterations. That’s been what the joy has been for us, to continue to reveal that to these characters.”
Co-creator Eugene Levy, appearing on the panel with his son as well as co-stars Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy, discussed Schitt’s Creek as a place of inclusivity, emblematic of the series’ values.
“Now, the town itself is a community that deals with people for who they are, and not what they are. This is not a black, white or brown show; it’s not about gay or straight; it’s not about city/country; it’s not about male/female,” he said. “People are accepted for who they are, and that’s the good-feeling vibe about Schitt’s Creek.”
For more from the cast of the series—as they discuss Moira (O’Hara)’s wigs and a sibling relationship crafted seamlessly for the screen—click above.
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Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury has acquired U.S. broadcast syndication rights to Schitt’s Creek, the single-camera comedy that is the top-rated original show on Pop, the cable network co-owned by Lionsgate and CBS.
The series, created by Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy, stars Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Chris Elliott, Daniel Levy, Annie Murphy and Emily Hampshire. It centers on a wealthy family who goes broke and moves to Schitt’s Creek, a small town they once bought as a joke. Season five of the series, renewed by CBC and Pop, is currently in production.
The show has grown steadily, albeit from a modest base. Its fourth season, which wrapped April 11, drew 116% more adults 18-49 than the average viewership in the first season. Total viewership has nearly doubled.
“It is not every day you can walk into a TV station with a comedy this good, with a cast this talented and be able to point to the kind of ratings growth, social buzz and critical acclaim that Schitt’s Creek has generated,” said Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, co-presidents of Debmar-Mercury. “We enter the off-network market as this renewed series is coming off of its highest-rated season in the U.S. and four consecutive seasons of audience growth.”
Commissioned by CBC, Schitt’s Creek is produced by Not A Real Company Productions and created by Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy. The executive producers are Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy, Andrew Barnsley, Fred Levy, David West Read and Ben Feigin. Schitt’s Creek is produced in association with CBC and Pop TV, and distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.
What a finale!! This week’s episode (which was season 4’s finale) was phenomenal. I can’t wait for season 5. I can’t wait, I can’t wait! I’ve added HD screencaps and missing stills. I will work on adding all the missing extras from season 4 soon as well as any missing Schitt’s Creek images to the gallery. Enjoy!
Run, don’t walk to Pop TV’s “Schitt’s Creek,” airing 8 p.m. Wednesdays
A good comedy makes you laugh. But a great comedy makes you feel something more, and Pop TV’s Canadian import “Schitt’s Creek” has me feeling all kinds of things in its fourth season.
I could go on and on about just how unbelievably sharp and funny the tale of the high society Rose family’s descent from the penthouse to the titular middle-of-nowhere small town is week in and out. Like Catherine O’Hara’s superlative and fearless role as the bewigged and discernibly accented Moira. Or Anna Murphy’s surprisingly tender portrayal of Alexis’ venture to college and a real relationship. Or the whole incredibly colorful cast that populate this welcoming little town — of which more viewers should be aware, I might add.
But as the series approaches its season finale this month (it airs 8 p.m. Wednesdays), nothing is hitting the spot for me quite like the blossoming relationship between David (writer/co-creator Daniel Levy) and Patrick (Noah Reid). So much so that I dare say, in an age where every show has a ’ship or two, they are television’s best couple.
I had this realization a few episodes back when I was crying literal tears of joy as Patrick, a newly out gay man, sang an acoustic version of Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best” to a romantically jittery David in front of a crowd of their neighbors all tucked inside the business they started together.
To say it was a moving moment accentuated by everything we know about David is an understatement. As he fights the smile that slowly grows across his face, the walls he built with affluence, a bad dating track record and a family history of pushing real feelings down deeper begin to melt away. Even his normally detached mother, Moira, can’t look away from the gesture that has captivated her son. If you need a definition of a swoon-worthy moment, cue this up.
But a great TV relationship isn’t built in one moment. In the episodes that preceded and followed the performance (including a reprised lip sync of the song from David), the two proved to be perfect complements to one another. David is still hilariously high maintenance, demanding a level of leisure he can’t quite achieve in Schitt’s Creek. But Patrick checks his diva, playfully calling him out or blatantly telling him no, something the Rose family isn’t used to hearing.
He grounds David and challenges his entitlement (like their battle over where to put the toilet plungers in the store) — but in a loving way.
In turn, David’s big personality gives Patrick — an adult looking to give his all to someone — a person with whom he can come to terms with who he really is. David never forces him to rush things (except unintentionally), and rather acts as a supportive presence that gives Patrick the confidence to wear his heart on his sleeve.
Most importantly, Patrick feels like the right step for David and everything the show has taught us about him. His warmth and generosity informs David’s desire for maturity and growth — a personal journey which the simplicity of Schitt’s Creek has helped David realize.
Not for nothing, but it has also never made a big deal that these are two men falling in love, a wonderfully progressive approach.
Television often paints love as a series of huge moments that form a happy ending, but it’s the smaller moments that usually carry the biggest weight if delivered properly. Serenading your guy with a Tina Turner classic is definitely grand, but the smaller steps they’ve both taken toward each other is what has truly defined their relationship.
“Schitt’s Creek” remains one of TV’s best comedies, but this season, for me, it’s David and Patrick who are simply the best.
Dan is on the new cover of Metrosource NY magazine. I’ve added scans to the gallery. Thanks to my friend Claudia for these magazine scans. Be sure to grab your own copy. Enjoy!
I’ve added a bunch of missing photos of Dan from Schitt’s Creek from seasons 1 – 4, including HD screencaps from the most recent episode. I’ve also added some new additions to some of Dan’s recent public appearances. Thanks to my friend Claudia for the North Vancouver magazine scan. Enjoy!
March 4 – Oscar’s Elton John After Party
January 24 – Arriving at Good Morning America
January 20 – Screen Actors Guild Award Nominees Celebration
Schitt’s Creek: 04×10 – Screencaps
Schitt’s Creek: 04×10 – Stills
Schitt’s Creek: 04×08 – Stills
Schitt’s Creek: 02×13 – Stills
Schitt’s Creek: 02×04 – Stills
Schitt’s Creek: 02×01 – Stills
Schitt’s Creek: 01×02 – Stills
Schitt’s Creek: Behind the Scenes
Schitt’s Creek: Promotional Images
Schitt’s Creek: Posters
Schitt’s Creek: Promotional Graphics
2016: Photo Session #013
2017: North Vancouver Magazine
I’ve added HD screencaps to tonight’s episode of Schitt’s Creek. What a FANTASTIC episode! Enjoy.
“Schitt’s Creek” actress Annie Murphy was also a late-joiner, but says she’s made “great strides” online, thanks to help from co-star Daniel Levy. “Great strides. I think before the show, I had tweeted maybe three times and now look at me!” Murphy jokes. “Sometimes I retweet things twice a week!” “I’ve also, over the course of four seasons, been like, ‘Hey, you want to live tweet maybe tonight because the show is on? I don’t know? Could help.’ You’ve shown up. You’ve shown up,” says Levy. “Flourishing social media presence!” Murphy found social media “overwhelming.” “I think I just got quite overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of information and not necessarily information that I wanted to absorb,” she admits. “But it’s unavoidable.” Season four of “Schitt’s Creek” premiered Jan. 24 on the Pop Network in the U.S.