Emmys 2020: How the Astonishing Success of ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Made for an Anti-Climactic (and Necessarily Repetitive) Show after the First Hour and 7 Wins!

Emmys 2020: How the Astonishing Success of ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Made for an Anti-Climactic (and Necessarily Repetitive) Show after the First Hour and 7 Wins!

EUGENE LEVY Lead Actor Comedy Emmy

ABC Photo
When the Emmys show producers decided to break up the first-ever virtual telecast by blocking the categories by genre, an understandable attempt to limit technological issues with remote feeds as much as possible, none of them could have expected the Canadian filibuster that was the first hour of Sunday’s show.Schitt’s Creek, the little Canadian import comedy that aired stateside on a fringe cable network that barely exists any longer, cleaned up as no other series ever has on an Emmy telecast.

It wasn’t just that the show from Dan and Eugene Levy won all seven comedy awards handed out during the telecast, it’s that it won them one after another after another.

It was wild and borderline surreal chain of events, as the show kicking off with a win for lead actress Catherine O’Hara and then another for lead actor Eugene Levy.

It became a family affair, a clan celebration, when the younger Levy then won in acting, writing and directing, with Annie Murphy solidifying a sweep in the comedy performance races before the show was crowned top comedy.

By that point, it felt like an obligatory coronation.

The unusual performance for Schitt’s Creek is highly significant due to the fact that the comedy could do well in its sixth and final season after never winning before.  It showed that it’s never really too late with Emmy voters.

The project’s relatively small FYC budget — POP’s spending power is miniscule by that of Netflix and HBO — is also proof that splashy campaigns aren’t always necessary to break through.

Schitt’s Creek’s domination also means that the 2021 Emmy comedy race will have no incumbent. After Fleabag, that’s two years in a row for swan songs emerging as a favorite in the genre.

It’s almost as if Sunday’s telecast was two different awards shows. The first hour was both overwhelming and repetitive, due to the fact that the same winners were called upon to give similar speeches; Eugene Levy and Dan Levy each gave two or three speeches. (how many times can you thank and praise Catherine O’Hara, genius as she might be, by using different words?)

When the time came for limited series, variety, reality and drama races, the kudos became something of an afterthought, an anti-climax, sort of an eclectic postscript to the Schitt’s Creek sweep.