'Arrows' sharp at Gemini nods

Drama scores most trophies at Canada's TV awards

TORONTO -- The Canadian pay TV dramedy "Slings & Arrows" took top honors Sunday at the Geminis, Canada's TV awards, which took place this year in Regina, Saskatchewan.

The homegrown series about a madcap Shakespearean theater troupe that also aired in the U.S. on the Sundance Channel took home Geminis for best dramatic series and best drama writing. "Arrows" also earned Paul Gross a trophy for best dramatic actor, while co-lead Martha Burns picked up a trophy for best dramatic actress.

The other multiple winner in Regina was the CTV comedy "Corner Gas," which also airs on Superstation WGN. The sitcom about local folk in rural Saskatchewan won for best comedy, best sitcom writing and best ensemble acting in a comedy.

Another comedy set and shot in Saskatchewan, "Little Mosque on the Prairie," grabbed the Canada Award at the industry celebration, which aired live on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

This year's Geminis also were notable for a first-time public audience and host CBC flying up a slew of high-profile Canadian actors from hit U.S. series -- many of which air on Canadian television -- to contend or present during the telecast. These included Howie Mandel ("Deal or No Deal"), Andrea Roth ("Rescue Me"), Sarah Chalke ("Scrubs"), "Men in Trees" lead James Tupper and girlfriend Anne Heche, Jason Priestley and Kathleen Robertson.

This year's Geminis telecast also was preceded by a special edition of "Entertainment Tonight Canada" airing on Global Television direct from the red carpet in Regina.

The Gemini winners:

Best comedy series:
Corner Gas (Prairie Pants Prods., Verite Films, 335 Prods.)

Best dramatic series direction: Chris Haddock, Intelligence

Best dramatic series: Slings & Arrows (Rhombus Media)

Best comedy ensemble performance: Corner Gas -- Brent Butt, Lorne Cardinal, Fred Ewanuick, Gabrielle Miller, Eric Peterson, Nancy Robertson, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Janet Wright

Best sportscast host or interviewer: Ron MacLean, Hockey Night in Canada

Best individual comedy performance:
Phyllis Ellis, The Wilkinsons

Best music, variety program or series: 2006 MuchMusic Video Awards (MuchMusic)

Best news anchor: Gord Martineau, CityNews at Six

Best dramatic actor: Paul Gross, Slings & Arrows

Best dramatic actress: Martha Burns, Slings & Arrows

Best performance or host in a variety program or series: Words to Music: The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame -- Measha Brueggergosman, Kevin Breit, Lou Pomanti

Best comedy writing: Mark Farrell, Corner Gas

Best dramatic writing: Slings & Arrows -- Susan Coyne, Bob Martin, Mark McKinney

Canada Award: Little Mosque on the Prairie (WestWind Pictures)

Donald Brittain Award for best social/political documentary program: Fatherland (Barna-Alper Prods.)