When Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy (David Rose) created the sitcom with his dad, Eugene Levy (Johnny Rose), back in 2014, they could have never predicted the show’s amazing success, much less the multiple award nominations the series and its stars would receive. Dan says that the fact his little Canadian show has turned into a global sensation is “insane,” but he has a theory on why Schitt’s Creek has struck a chord with so many people.
The 36-year-old recently told People magazine that he has started to run into people all over the world who are just now discovering the show and falling in love with it, and his dad says that Netflix deserves a lot of credit.
“Netflix was a big turning point. You could start to feel it on the street,” explained Eugene, 73. “When you were bumping into people and they would talk about the show and how much they loved it … it was starting to happen more and more.”
Schitt’s Creek first aired in Canada on CBC and was soon added to the weekly lineup on Pop TV in the United States. It was a relatively small show that did find some loyal viewers during its first three seasons. But, when Netflix picked it up ahead of Season 4 everything changed quickly. The ratings on Pop TV have doubled every year since it debuted on the network in 2015, and it’s become one of the most binge worthy shows on Netflix since its debut on the streaming platform in 2017.
Yes, the increased access to the sitcom was a big help for ratings. But, Dan has noticed that more people have started to discover Schitt’s Creek as the news across the world gets worse, the nasty trolls show up on social media, and the political climate gets more and more tense.
“It’s been amazing to see how the philosophy of the show, the kind of joy of the show has found people,” Dan says. “When you can provide any kind of joy for people in a time when there is not a lot of joy to be found on the news … I noticed a shift from the ways in which people were finding it. It went from people saying it’s a funny show, to saying, ‘I need this show.’ “
Dan believes we are seeing a resurgence in “feel good television” because people are finding something in Schitt’s Creek and similar series that they don’t get when they step outside their homes.
He explained that the story of Schitt’s Creek is the opposite of what people expect. The series follows the once-wealthy Rose family, who lost all of their money due to a bad business manager and are forced to live in a small town they once bought as a joke because of the name.
Dan said that he never wanted the show to be about how small town people are “somehow less-than” big city folks. He wanted to flip that idea on its head, and have the Rose family be the people who have to change, learn, and grow.
Dan explained that the town itself is extremely progressive in its thinking and level of acceptance, and the Roses have no choice but to become better people because of it.
Star Catherine O’Hara (Moira Rose) added that it’s funny audiences would expect the big city people to somehow be better than their friends in Schitt’s Creek, but they’ve learned that from lesser-minded TV shows and films.
“Small town, small minds? No. Not true,” said O’Hara.
Schitt’s Creek is currently in its sixth and final season. New episodes air Tuesday nights on Pop TV. The first five seasons are available for streaming on Netflix.