In an effort to win higher viewership, Canada’s French-language television awards will be handed out three months early this year.

The Gemeaux Awards Gala, which used to take place in December, will be held in Montreal Sept. 26.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television intends to make the awards show an early fall event from now on.

“There is a bigger audience watching in September,” said David Novek, prexy of the Quebec section of the academy.

Productions du Cerf’s historical miniseries “Shehaweh” is nominated for 14 Gemeaux Awards this year, including best dramatic series, best actress (Marina Orsini) and best actor (Maurice Barrier) in a dramatic series.

“Shehaweh’s” closest competitor in the nominations race is the newsroom drama “Scoop,” which picked up 12 nominations.

“Scoop” male lead Roy Dupuis is in the running in the actor category, but the series’ female star, Macha Grenon — one of French Canada’s hottest young actresses — was once again overlooked by the academy.

Two well-known helmers also did well. Alain Chartrand’s TV movie “Le Jardin d’Anna” garnered nine nominations and Michel Brault’s “Shabbat Shalom” netted eight. Both were nominated in the drama director category.

The Gemeaux Awards take place at Place des Arts in Montreal and will be broadcast live by pubcaster Radio-Canada.

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