Geminis add yuks for eyeballs

Canada's TV awards recruits comedians to boost viewers

TORONTO -- The Geminis, Canada's TV awards, are looking for tune-in firepower for this Saturday night's telecast from a slew of late-entry comics due on camera in Calgary.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television plans to give the cast from homegrown comedies "Corner Gas," "Royal Canadian Air Farce" and "Trailer Park Boys" prime time salutes at the industry kudosfest, which will go head-to-head on Global Television with the rival CBC's popular "Hockey Night in Canada" telecast.

All three series recently ended long runs on Canadian TV.

"We want to meet as many fans as we can in Calgary, and let them now that we're grateful that they watched the show for as long as they did," said J.P. Tremblay, who played Julian on the popular mockumentary "Trailer Park Boys" for six seasons to 2008.

The Canadian cop drama "Flashpoint," which airs on CBS, has the inside track at the 2009 Geminis with 19 nominations.

But the Gemini organizers hope adding yuks will lift it above the doom and gloom of other homegrown drama nominees like the war-themed "ZOS: Zone of Separation" series and the action hour "The Border."

Also booked as late award presenters is Brandon Firla and Zaib Shaikh from the popular CBC sitcom "Little Mosque on the Prairie," Rick Mercer, Mark McKinney and Geminis host Ron James.

The Geminis also hope to secure water-cooler cachet with TV viewers by bringing native Calgarian Cory Monteith of the Fox "Glee" series to town, as well as Jessica Lucas of CW's "Melrose Place."