How Eugene Levy Got Away With Naming His New Network Show ‘Schitt’s Creek’

Eugene Levy has a new sitcom coming out tomorrow night that will also star Catherine O’Hara and Chris Elliot, and it comes from creator Dan Levy, Eugene’s son (Eugene’s daughter, Sarah, will also star). It’s called Schitt’s Creek, and if you’ve never heard about it, you can be forgiven. It’s airing in the States on a network called Pop TV, which I have never heard of (it’s also airing in Canada on the CBC).

What’s interesting about the series, however, is twofold: The premise, which was inspired by Kim Basinger, and the title, Schitt’s Creek, which is not something you’d expect to get away with on network television (the CBC is a broadcast network in Canada). As to the title, they managed to get away with it by using the phone book to discover that there are actually people in Canada with the last night of Schitt, and pointing that fact out to the network.

“We argued that if CBC was doing a news broadcast with the name Schitt, would you not use it?” said Levy in an interview with the Star. “They said yes, we would air the name. So we called the show Schitt’s Creek.”

The premise is even more interesting because it recalls a once widely known fact about Kim Basinger that has completely slipped through pop-culture’s memory: That she once bought an entire town in Georgia for $20 million with the hope of turning it into a place where studios would shoot their movies and where she could hold an annual film festival.

Have you ever heard of the Braselton, Georgia Film Festival? Exactly. (Basinger sold the town five years later at a loss.)

It was that idea, however, that sparked the premise behind Schitt’s Creek:

“My wife had an idea for a television show about boomers not having money or moving in with their kids. Their situation was described as being up sh–’s creek. It just made us laugh. Then my son Daniel came in with an article one day about an actress, Alec Baldwin’s ex-wife (Basinger), who bought a town. She was hoping that film people would come to the town to use it as a location area and she lost a lot of money. The idea of wealthy people buying a town went back to the Schitt’s Creek idea.”

The show itself centers on a character played by Eugene Levy, a video-store mogul who goes bankrupt and is forced to move his family back to a town that he once bought as a joke.

The name is such a big hit in the town that it’s being filmed in, Goodwood, Ontario, that the residents of the town renamed their baseball team The Schitt’s Creek Bears.

Schitt’s Creek debuts tomorrow. It’s already been renewed for a second season.