TORONTO -- Bravo's papal drama The Borgias and CBC's long-running political satire The Rick Mercer Report were named the country's best drama and comedy series at the Gemini Awards on Wednesday, while Jason Priestley's raunchy comedy Call Me Fitz took home the most awards.

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TORONTO -- Bravo's papal drama The Borgias and CBC's long-running political satire The Rick Mercer Report were named the country's best drama and comedy series at the Gemini Awards on Wednesday, while Jason Priestley's raunchy comedy Call Me Fitz took home the most awards.

Standup superstar Russell Peters hosted the televised bash from Toronto, where guests included Catherine O'Hara, Alan Thicke, Hugh Dillon and Nicole Appleton.

CHRIS YOUNG / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Rick Mercer and Gerald Lunz, right, hold their award Wednesday.

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CHRIS YOUNG / THE CANADIAN PRESS Rick Mercer and Gerald Lunz, right, hold their award Wednesday.

"In case you just tuned in, no I'm not Ian Hanomansing," Peters joked off the top of the show, referring to the popular Vancouver-based CBC news anchor.

The Borgias beat out the Showcase mystery Endgame, The Movie Network/Movie Central's teen series Skins, CBC's sexy period serial The Tudors and CTV's cop series Flashpoint, which had led the race overall with 17 nominations.

Flashpoint collected three trophies at an industry bash last week -- including best supporting actor, best guest actor and best dramatic writing -- but was shut out of the televised segment of the awards.

The Rick Mercer Report beat out Fitz for best comedy but Priestley's HBO Canada series picked up a trophy for comedic actress nominee Tracy Dawson, giving it a leading seven wins overall. Dawson said it was a privilege to work on the outrageous show, in which Priestley stars as a morally bankrupt used-car salesman.

"I think it's really unique and original and something that I certainly haven't seen in Canadian television before. The work I get to do is unlike anything I have ever gotten to do," said Dawson, who started out as a writer on the show. "It's a total joyride of hilarity and dirty nonsense. Just disgusting."

Tracy Dawson: best comedic actress

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Tracy Dawson: best comedic actress

Fitz collected six trophies at an industry bash last week. Those earlier prizes included best director, best writing, best supporting actor and best supporting actress in a comedy. It had 16 nominations going into the race.

Two of the acting trophies Wednesday went to performers from cancelled series -- Callum Keith Rennie won best dramatic actor for Showcase's Shattered and Peter Keleghan won best comedic actor for his work on CBC's 18 to Life.

"It's kind of bittersweet," Keleghan said of the win backstage.

"It's not the icing on the cake, I was thinking that it might be the dirt on the coffin or something. It's over, it's done, I'm glad some part of it was celebrated. I had the greatest time."

Rennie, who played a homicide detective suffering from dissociative identity disorder, said he suspects the show was too dark for audiences to survive.

 

-- The Canadian Press