TORONTO - "Flashpoint," "Call Me Fitz" and "John A: Birth of a Country" head into Sunday's inaugural Canadian Screen Awards with a leading four trophies apiece after an industry gala Thursday night handed out most of the prizes celebrating homegrown TV.
CTV's cross-border cop hit "Flashpoint," which ended in December, won awards for writing, direction, music score and picture editing. It's up for three more on Sunday, including best drama.
The HBO Canada comedy "Call Me Fitz," starring Jason Priestley as a lewd car salesman, also won for direction, photography and supporting actors Stuart Margolin and Joanna Cassidy.
And the CBC-TV prime minister portrait "John A: Birth of a Country" nabbed awards for direction, writing, and performances by star Shawn Doyle and supporting actor Peter Outerbridge.
The Canadian Screen Awards, honouring the best in film and TV, take place Sunday in Toronto with comedy star Martin Short as host. It airs on CBC-TV.
The Oscar-nominated film "Rebelle" is a leading contender in the film categories.
The awards replace the previously separate Gemini and Genie Awards.
Thursday's gala at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre handed out a total of 46 trophies in the categories of drama, children's or youth, comedy and variety.
CBC-TV's "The Rick Mercer Report" won three prizes, including best music, variety, sketch comedy or talk program or series.
The show also won trophies for Mercer's performance as well as its writing.
Several series netted two awards apiece, including The Movie Network/HBO Canada comedy "Less Than Kind," which won for writing and picture editing.
"Degrassi" won a directing nod and was named best children's or youth fiction program or series.
Best achievement in casting went to Space's recently cancelled comedy/horror series "Todd and the Book of Pure Evil," which also won a trophy for best sound.
Other two-time winners included Global's "Bomb Girls" (best production design or art direction and best costume design); "The Borgias," which aired on Bravo (best photography and best sound); and CBC-TV's "Artzooka!" (best children's or youth non-fiction program or series, and a host nod for Jeremie Saunders).
Lifetime's "Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story" clinched the title of best dramatic miniseries or TV movie.
Individual performance winners included Oscar-winner Christopher Plummer for his starring role in a filmed stage production of "The Tempest," which aired on Bravo, and Gordon Pinsent for his guest turn on CBC-TV's "Republic of Doyle."
Wendy Crewson also got a nod for her supporting role in CTV's medical drama "Saving Hope," while Emily Osment won for best actress in a drama or miniseries in ABC Family's "Cyberbully."
"Sex and the City" star Kim Cattrall, who voices the TVtropolis animated series "Producing Parker" that received two Canadian Screen Awards on Wednesday, got a special prize for her body of work.
On the web: http://www.academy.ca/