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National Entertainment

Daniel and Eugene Levy discuss decision to end ‘Schitt’s Creek’ after season 6

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  • TORONTO — “Schitt’s Creek” fans, prepare to say goodbye to the Rose family.

    As the hit Canadian comedy series cements its status as a critical and cultural smash during its fifth season, father-and-son co-creators Eugene Levy and Daniel Levy have announced the story will come to an end next year.

    In a statement on Daniel Levy’s social media accounts Thursday, they revealed the beloved half-hour show will wrap up for good at the end of its sixth season. The 14 final episodes are due to begin in January 2020 on CBC in Canada and Pop TV in the U.S.

    It’s a decision the Levys reached a long time ago and is one they’re excited about, they stressed in interviews with The Canadian Press, noting they’ve envisioned this final chapter from the beginning.

    “I’ve always known how the show was going to end,” Daniel Levy, who is also the showrunner, said by phone from Toronto.

    “I’ve always seen every season of our show as a chapter in the story of this family’s life, and we have reached our inevitable conclusion in that story, so it was the right time and it was something that I had been building to for five seasons.”

    The Levys also play father and son on the sitcom, alongside Catherine O’Hara as the mother and Annie Murphy as the daughter of the Rose family, who lost their fortune due to a shady business manager and now live in a motel in a small town the dad bought as a joke years ago.

    Each character has carved out their own niche in the town over the years, providing nuance and a joyful spirit that has helped “Schitt’s Creek” grow in popularity from season to season.

    Where the show once was a modest gem, it now has a spot on Netflix, countless memes and mentions on social media, and accolades from top critics.

    “It’s really been quite unbelievable,” said Eugene Levy, a comedy treasure and “SCTV” alum who was born in Hamilton.

    “Having a show like ‘Schitt’s Creek’ in the autumn of my years, so to speak, is something not a lot of people get to experience.”

    The show has also spawned a live tour with sold-out audiences in Canada and the U.S., won several Canadian Screen Awards, and was up for a Critics’ Choice trophy in January.

    “I’m sure people will be questioning, ‘Why walk away when so many people are watching it?'” Toronto-born Daniel Levy said, noting he tries not to pay attention to the show’s buzz because he doesn’t want it to affect the creative process.

    “But the reality is, we’ve always been about the show, and I hope that when people watch this last season, they’ll understand that we did nothing but respect that experience.”

    Levy said he had a feeling around season 3 that the Roses’ story was halfway through and would be done come season 6. His dad was fully supportive and they’ve been carefully constructing the storylines to reach that conclusion ever since.

    “We’re going out on a nice, natural high and never really wanted to risk taking it any further into what I might call the law of diminishing returns,” said Eugene Levy.

    Executives at CBC and Pop say they’re sad the show is ending, but they admire the Levys’ commitment to wrapping it up on their own terms.

    “It’s creative genius, and who am I to mess with creative genius?” said Sally Catto, general manager of programming for CBC English Television, noting the show has grown the public broadcaster’s audience, particularly its younger demographic.

    “It really also became an anchor for a new era of (scripted) comedy at the CBC,” she added.

    “I truly think it will be, always, one of the greatest comedies ever created in this country.”

    Pop channel president Brad Schwartz, who also worked with Daniel Levy when he was at MTV Canada, said it’s their highest-rated original series and has helped define the network.

    “It’s devastating,” he said of the decision to end it. “It’s one of the most proud pieces of content I’ve ever been involved with.

    “You don’t get shows like this very often in a career.”

    Daniel Levy said he hopes the final season will provide closure and “tell the funniest, the sweetest, the most joyful episodes of our show we’ve ever told.”

    And he isn’t ruling out returning to the characters one day.

    “I would never say that this is the end. If we get an idea somewhere down the line that feels fresh and necessary and relevant, I would absolutely entertain any form of revisiting these lovely, strange characters.”

    Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press


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    National Entertainment

    Loughlin, Giannulli plead not guilty in college scam

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  • BOSTON — Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are pleading not guilty to charges they took part in the sweeping college admissions bribery scam, according to court documents filed Monday.

    Loughlin and Giannulli said they are waiving their right to appear in Boston federal court for their arraignment and plead not guilty to the two charges against them. The judge must approve their request for a waiver to appear.

    The couple is charged with paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though neither is a rower.

    Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky on the sitcom “Full House,” and Giannulli haven’t publicly addressed the allegations against them.

    They are among 50 people charged in the nationwide scam, which authorities say also involved rigging college entrance exam scores.

    It’s the biggest college admissions case ever prosecuted by the Justice Department. The scandal embroiled elite universities across the country and laid bare the lengths to which status-seeking parents will go to secure their children a coveted spot.

    The couple and more than a dozen other parents were hit last week with a money laundering conspiracy charge on top of the mail fraud conspiracy charge they were already facing. Several other indicted parents have also filed court documents entering not guilty pleas.

    Fellow actress Felicity Huffman, who starred in ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and 12 other parents have agreed to plead guilty . Huffman is scheduled to appear in Boston on May 21 to enter her plea.

    Rick Singer, the consultant at the centre of the scheme, pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy on March 12, the same day the allegations against the parents and coaches were made public in the so-called Operations Varsity Blues investigation.

    Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press



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    National Entertainment

    Guess who’s moving?Burton Cummings complained of noise from dance studio

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  • MOOSE JAW, Sask. — A Saskatchewan fitness studio is moving after multiple noise complaints from Canadian rock legend Burton Cummings.

    Kyra Klassen, who owns Dance Fitness with Kyra in downtown Moose Jaw, says she’s ready for a fresh start and the studio is changing locations May 1.

    “It’s disappointing it had to escalate to this. However, we are super thankful and feel blessed by the outpouring of support from our community,” Klassen said in a message Friday.

    “We are excited to be able to move forward and get back to doing what we love to do: serving the fitness needs of Moose Jaw and area.”

    Klassen said she moved into the mixed-use building nearly one year ago. The Guess Who singer lives in a neighbouring residential building.

    There were no problems for the first five months, but then Klassen said she started to get messages, complaints and visits from Cummings himself.

    Klassen has said she worked with her landlord to add soundproofing to the studio and didn’t think she was breaking any laws.

    Police eventually laid six noise bylaw charges. She is to appear in court April 18.

    The dispute also led city council to look at zoning in the area. During a council meeting March 11, a motion was unanimously approved to prepare a report re-evaluating how business licences are issued in areas of the city’s commercial district where there are also residential properties.

    A manager for Cummings has said the musician had no comment on the situation.

    Klassen said she was shocked the dispute went so far. To keep everyone’s best interest at heart, she realized she couldn’t share the land with the singer.

    “We are moving and super excited about it,” she said.

    “Moving forward and starting fresh!”

    Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press


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