CTV signals end of Corner Gas
Brent Butt announces sixth season will be last for hit comedy
Apr 11, 2008 04:30 AM
Corner Gas and the denizens of the fictional Saskatchewan town will call it quits when production of the sixth season wraps up later this year, the series' creator and star announced yesterday.
The final episode of the series – which has won six Geminis, including three for Best Comedy – will air in the spring of 2009.
Brent Butt, who is also the series' director and executive producer, broke the news yesterday to cast and crew over lunch in Vancouver, where he lives, though he told CTV president Ivan Fecan weeks earlier.
"I made the decision, but it kind of felt like the show made the decision. It kind of felt like the show tapped me on the shoulder and said, `Can I go now? I'll stick around if you want me to, but I think it's time to go.' And you know, I respect that," an emotional Butt said yesterday.
"Corner Gas was so special to me and to a lot of people that I couldn't bear to see it go too long," Butt said.
"If you leave a party and nobody's sad or nobody cares, that's a good sign that you probably stayed too long. I didn't want that to happen. I couldn't have stood it and I felt like the show was asking me not to let that happen," he added.
Butt cited "20 years as a greasy nightclub comic" for relying on his instincts to say goodbye.
"Comedy is nothing if not timing. That's the most important aspect," he said, with a laugh.
Fecan, also president and CEO of CTVglobemedia, was equally sombre and reflective last night, calling the announcement "a bittersweet day for us."
"When Brent a few months ago came to tell me that this is what he wanted to do, my immediate reaction was that I got down on my knees and begged for more," Fecan said, with a laugh. "I didn't want it to end, we don't want it to end, but his reasons are actually pretty good.... He wants to go out at the top."
The series, which premiered on Jan. 22, 2004, has been a consistent ratings winner for CTV, ranking as Canada's top comedy series and the most watched scripted series.
But Fecan said the series, which is seen in more than two dozen countries, was particularly special.
"It's not Canada masquerading as New York or Los Angeles or Chicago. It's about us and it touches our roots, and defines the gentle humour and the kindness in Canada's heart. It's a very special show," Fecan said.
Not unexpectedly, the news was greeted with shock and sorrow, Butt said. "There were tears, but everybody seemed to understand. There were some people that said they wished it would go on longer, but nobody seemed to think that this was a mistake, nobody said it was mistake."
With the show nearing the end of its fifth season, with the season finale on April 21, Butt said he's focused on completing the final 19 episodes. Filming is set to start May 15 in Regina and Rouleau, Sask., and after that, well, TV is in his blood.
"CTV, once I told them that this was going to be the end of Corner Gas, they said that they would give me the opportunity to do something else if I was so inclined. And I am so inclined. I love TV and I want to work in TV until I drop."
Fecan said Butt has expressed interest in possibly doing a Corner Gas reunion special or even a movie, something CTV would support.