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‘Due South’ wins drama Gemini

TORONTO — For the third consecutive year, “Due South,” Alliance Communications Corp.’s ongoing saga about a Mountie and his dog on the streets of Chicago, was named best dramatic series Sunday night at the Gemini Awards, the Canadian television industry’s three-day fete of self-congratulation.

Alliance starts production on 26 episodes of “Due South” this month, having cobbled together financing from the CTV Television Network and a group of international broadcasters. CBS aired the show’s first season and bought it again as a mid-winter replacement last year but passed this time around.

Best actor went to David Cubitt for an episode of “Traders,” a critically-acclaimed series about high finance produced by Atlantis Communications Inc. “Traders” also nabbed the writing award for Hart Hanson’s “Dancing with Mr. D”; and best performance in a guest role for David Gardner’s work in “The King is Dead.”

Tina Keeper scooped up the prize for best actress in a continuing leading role for an episode of “North of 60,” Alliance’s series set in Canada’s north, while Barbara Williams won best actress for her leading role in Alliance’s TV movie “Diana Kilmury: Teamster.”

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. TV movie “Little Criminals” earned a writing award for Dennis Foon. Last year, “Criminals,” about kids in a violent inner-city world, won the international Television Critics Prize for best TV film at the Monte Carlo Television Festival.

The CBC’s “Net Worth,” a film about hockey players trying to organize a union in the 1950s, copped best TV movie for producer Bernard Zukerman, best director for Jerry Ciccoritti, best actor in a leading role for Aidan Devine and best actor in a supporting role for Al Waxman. Ciccoritti also won best direction in a dramatic series for an episode of the CBC’s youth drama, “Straight Up,” produced by Alliance.

Best comedy series was the CBC’s “This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” which also received best performance and writing awards for its ensemble cast; Cathy Jones, Rick Mercer, Greg Thomey and Mary Walsh.

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