"Schitt’s Creek, a cocreation of Dan and Eugene, is the rare TV series that will wrap production not by necessity, but by choice, retiring at the peak of its appeal and popularity," says Ben Lindbergh in advance of tonight's series finale. "The series’ audience has progressively grown, a product of positive word of mouth, Pop TV’s marketing, and, perhaps most important, its appearance on Netflix after its first two seasons. Further buoyed by four Emmy nominations last year, viewership on Pop is up 60 percent since Season 5, and according to a Nielsen streaming report, Schitt’s Creek trailed only The Office in viewership among non-original series on Netflix in the first week of March." Lindbergh adds: "Like a lot of cult or classic series, Schitt’s Creek gradually revealed layers that weren’t immediately apparent from its fairly familiar fish-out-of-water premise. The Office writer/producer and Parks and Recreation creator Michael Schur explained last week how both of those series pivoted toward kindness in unexpected ways: Michael Scott diverged from U.K. model David Brent after The 40-Year-Old Virgin showcased the warmth of Steve Carell, and Leslie Knope, prompted by Amy Poehler’s portrayal, evolved from a polished politician into a more relatable, sympathetic figure. Schitt’s Creek is a family affair both behind and in front of the camera, and its pivot was planned from the start."
Schitt's Creek paved the way for the rebranding of CBC and Pop TV: “In 2014, we made a decision to prioritize half-hour, single-camera comedies with a unique point of view and authentic, character-driven storytelling,” says Sally Catto, general manager for programming at CBC. Or, as Eugene Levy puts it, 'They were heading in more of a cable direction for their comedies. The timing was right.'" Pop TV, meanwhile, was known as TVGN -- the TV Guide Network -- which rebranded to its current name in 2015, the year Schitt's Creek launched. “It was like two fledgling entities starting to spread their wings together a little bit,” says Levy. “It seemed to make a lot of sense.”
Pop TV president Brad Schwartz celebrates Schitt's Creek for helping an underdog cable network break through the clutter: "Would the story be the same in another time or on a different network? No," Schwartz writes in a Hollywood Reporter essay. "This happened exactly the way it was supposed to happen. A meet-cute of sorts: fledgling network and fledgling show, together, against the world. Fighting the giants of our industry. Dan (Levy) crafted a perfect show for these current times, but also one that will stand the test of time. The writing: sharp, funny and heartfelt. The performances: fully formed and one-of-a-kind. At Pop TV, we work hard to create emotional attachment every day. It wasn’t about marketing a premiere, it was about long-standing belief. A commitment not to rest until everyone knows what we know…that Schitt’s Creek is a beacon of goodness and deserves your attention."
Schitt's Creek has changed the course of Annie Murphy's acting career: "I really have been spoiled, in the sense that Schitt’s Creek is really good quality," she says." I want to keep doing really good quality things. It’s been tricky because there are a lot of shitty things out there. Five years ago, I would have been jumping at the chance to do auditions that have been coming my way. I have to be — not snotty about what I do next — but a little bit choosy because I wanted to be the right thing. I have to be thoughtful about what comes next."
Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy recall the development of Moira Rose. "It was the Moira makeover Catherine was dying to make," Levy says in a joint interview. "I had this lunch with Eugene and Daniel (Levy), and I came armed with all these pictures, mainly of Daphne Guinness. She’s all black and white, she’s very avant-garde," adds O'Hara. "You could see she is very conscious of the image that she’s putting out every day she walks out of her home. Really strong, a lot of it is like armor, the necklaces that she wears, and the heels. It’s so not your typical half-hour comedy wife."
Dan Levy keeps every fan letter sent to him: "People have written in to say that the show has quite literally saved their life," he says. "They were suicidal and found the show, and the show had comforted them and talked them off a ledge. I’ve received letters from young queer kids who have told me that they’ve used dialogue from the show to come out to their parents."