CBC news show tops Gemini nominations

Pubcaster CBC’s flagship nightly news show, “Prime Time News,” leads the race for the 1994 Gemini Awards — Canada’s English-language TV prizes — with 10 nominations, including best anchor nods for “Prime Time” hosts Peter Mansbridge and Pamela Wallin.

The nominations are for the show’s first season on-air. CBC’s decision last year to replace “The National” and “The Journal” with “Prime Time News” and move the news package from 10 to 9 p.m. was one of the more controversial events in recent CBC history.

The 55 Gemini Awards will be handed out over the course of three galas to be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre March 3-6, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television announced at a press conference Tuesday.

It is a record year for independent productions, with 47% of the nominees coming from the indie sector. The rest are network productions.

The Productions Tele-Action/National Film Board of Canada miniseries “The Boys of St. Vincent,” Alliance Communications series “North of 60” and “CTV News” are tied in second place with nine noms apiece. The Atlantis Films telepic “The Diviners” garnered eight nominations.

In the best TV movie category, “The Diviners” is competing with Atlantis’s “Adrift” and three CBC productions, “I’ll Never Get to Heaven,””Liar Liar” and “Gross Misconduct.”

“North of 60” will go up against Alliance’s “E.N.G.,” CBC’s “Street Legal,” Realistic II Prods.’ “Beyond Reality” and Paragon Entertainment’s “Forever Knight” for dramatic series.

The only competition faced by “The Boys of St. Vincent” for the miniseries Gemini is Alliance’s “Woman on the Run: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story.””Boys” helmer John N. Smith was nominated for best direction in a dramatic program or miniseries and Henry Czerny is up for best actor.

Six contenders nabbed six nominations each, including recently canceled CBC series “Street Legal,” CBC arts show “Adrienne Clarkson Presents,” Rhombus Media’s “My War Years: Arnold Schoenberg” and CBC movies “I’ll Never Get to Heaven” and “Liar Liar.”

Valerie Pringle, host of CTV’s “Canada A.M.,” and Albert Schultz, one of the stars of “Street Legal,” will host the March 6 Gemini Gala, which will be televised on CBC.

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