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French Immersion, Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays up for comedy honour

06/08/2012 03:18 EDT | Updated 08/08/2012 05:12 EDT

TV's Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays, the Quebec film French Immersion and the comedy troupe Picnicface are among the leading nominees for the Canadian Comedy Awards.

Contenders for the annual awards were announced Thursday in Toronto, where the winners of the Canadian Comedy Awards will be named at a gala on Aug. 26.

The cancelled, critically praised CBC-TV comedyMichael: Tuesdays & Thursdays picked up seven nominations, including best TV show, best direction for Don McKellar, best writing for Bob Martin and Matt Watts and best ensemble performance.

Viral sensation Picnicface, which also saw its self-titled TV series end after its debut season, saw its members nab a host of nominations. The Halifax comedy troupe is in the running for categories like best TV show and TV ensemble as well as for the feature film Roller Town.

Kevin Tierney's bilingual comedyFrench Immersion is a leading film nominee and will vie in all five movie-related categories.

Others earning multiple nominations include CBC Radio and TV seriesThe Debaters, contending in four categories, and Vancouver comedy troupe The Sunday Service, also nominated for a quartet of prizes.

The comedy person of the year category — one of several publicly voted honours — pits Martin Short against Gerry Dee, Kenny Hotz, Steve Patterson and Nikki Payne.

Overall, there are 29 honours split among five categories: live performance, television, film, radio and online.

On Thursday, organizers also unveiled a new prize established in honour of Phil Hartman, the Canadian-American comic, actor, screenwriter and Saturday Night Live alumnus killed in 1998. His namesake award will celebrate "an individual who makes the Canadian comedy community better." The inaugural batch of nominees are Kate Davis, Jo-Anna Downey, Joe and David Flaherty, Colin Mochrie and Eric Toth.

The 2012 Canadian Comedy Awards will be presented in Toronto on Aug. 29, with the awards ceremony to conclude the four-day Canadian Comedy Festival.

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