'Schitt's Creek': How the Emmy-Nominated Series Said Goodbye After 6 Seasons
By Stacy Lambe
Co-created by Eugene Levy and his son, Dan, Schitt’s Creek tells the story of a wealthy family that loses their entire fortune and is forced to rebuild their lives in the titular small town -- their only remaining asset. There, the Roses -- business magnate and patriarch Johnny (Eugene Levy), his wife and former soap actress, Moira (Catherine O’Hara), and their two privileged adult children, David (Dan Levy) and Alexis (Annie Murphy) -- adjusted to a simpler life and became permanent fixtures in a surprisingly accepting community where they managed to ingratiate themselves with newfound friends, relationships and business opportunities.
What started off as TV’s best-kept secret, with fans discovering and bingeing older seasons on Netflix, cemented itself as one of the best TV series of its time with overdue Emmy nominations in its fifth season. But then, at the height of its popularity, Dan and Eugene Levy announced Schitt’s Creek would be ending after six seasons.
“We are so grateful to have been given the time and creative freedom to tell this story in its totality, concluding with a final chapter that we had envisioned from the very beginning,” they said in a joint statement at the time. “It’s not lost on us what a rare privilege it is in this industry to get to decide when your show should take its final bow. We could never have dreamed that our fans would grow to love and care about these characters in the ways that you have.”
By then, the Pop TV series evolved from a fish-out-of-water concept about a group of unlikeable people into a tender, heartfelt look at how they can evolve in the face of perseverance and how their love for one another keeps them from falling behind. And there’s no better way to go out than on top.
“Dan didn't end this because he didn't like doing it, he ended it because he has so much respect for the characters and the story and the audience. He knew it was the right thing to do,” Emily Hampshire, who plays Rosebud motel owner and Rose family friend Stevie, tells ET.
“Not a lot of shows also get the luxury of knowing when they’re going to end -- you just get canceled -- and so to get to decide how you want to end this story is such a privilege,” she continues. “Dan knew what story he was going to tell with the whole show and he’s done it perfectly. It blows my mind that he knew from the beginning how it was going to end.”
That ending was seeing the Rose family splitting up for the first time since they were forced to reunite and spend time together in Schitt’s Creek. In episodes leading up to the finale, Johnny struck gold with franchising the Rosebud motel, meaning he would move back to Los Angeles while Stevie would travel around to open new locations. Meanwhile, Moira was back on top after the viral success of The Crows Have Eyes 3: The Crowening and was asked to return to L.A. to reprise her famed role on Sunrise Bay in a primetime reboot co-starring Nicole Kidman. And a newly single Alexis decided to forage a new path for herself in New York City, where she can expand her PR operations with the streaming platform, Interflix.
That left David, who after establishing roots in Schitt’s Creek with his successful apothecary and enduring romance with Patrick (Noah Reid), decided that leaving was not an option because he finally realized he had gotten everything he ever wanted -- including a house that Patrick secretly bought for them. And in the series finale, after spending all of season 6 building up to it, David and Patrick finally got married.
Of course, it was not a day without its hiccups. The weather forced everyone -- that is everyone but a stressed-out David -- to come together to put on the perfect ceremony despite the rain. In the end, the town rallies behind their cherished yet stubborn newcomer with the town hall serving as the new venue, the Jazzagals giving one final performance during the ceremony, and Moira wearing her most iconic head-to-toe outfit complete with a papal-inspired headpiece. (“It was so genius,” Hampshire says, acknowledging all the hard work hairstylist Ana Sorys and the rest of the designers put into that look. For Sorys, the hair alone was months of work to achieve.)
“It is all but impossible to explain why things happen the way they do. Our lives are like little baby crows carried upon a curious wind. And all we can wish, for our families, for those we love, is that wind will eventually place us on solid ground. And I believe it’s just done that for my family, here in this little town in the middle of nowhere,” Moira says with tears running down her face as she officiates the ceremony, which was packed full of one emotional moment after the next.
“That day on set, I think Kleenex ran out in Toronto,” Hampshire says of filming the scene in their Canada-based studio. “I don’t think any of us cried so much.”
While the wedding was the last day for most of the cast, the core group -- Eugene and Dan Levy, Hampshire, Murphy, O’Hara and Reid -- all filmed their final scene together as their characters say goodbye before they set off on their different paths. The show ends with Moira and Johnny, who leave first, getting one last look at the town’s sign. “Welcome to Schitt’s Creek, where everyone fits in,” it reads, with the Rose family likeness painted over the original townsfolk.
While Schitt’s Creek may be a small town, it’s not backwards or bigoted. And one of the show’s lasting legacies is Dan Levy’s decision not to include any form of homophobia. As he put it in the past, “We show love and tolerance. If you put something like [homophobia] out of the equation, you’re saying that doesn’t exist and shouldn’t exist.” So that means, David and Patrick’s love could shine and blossom into one of TV’s most endearing romances -- and not just for the sake of tokenism or inclusion.
“A lot of people tell us they watch Schitt’s Creek with their family. Like, their whole family can watch it and teenagers have been able to come out to their parents who can watch David and Patrick and see that this is just like a normal relationship,” Hampshire says, crediting the show for never dumbing itself down for the sake of a message or sacrificing humor for heart.
“The impact it's had on the LBGTQ-plus community -- it’s changed my life. I think it’s changed so many people's lives,” she adds.
And part of the series’ enduring legacy, which only seems to continue to grow as more and more people discover and fall in love with it, is that Dan Levy created a place where audiences want to be -- especially amid the many real-world problems that have plagued many in recent months. “Schitt’s Creek is a place where I think a lot of people want to be right now,” Hampshire says.