Netflix rescues Degrassi from Canadian TV detention
James R | On 10, Jun 2015
Netflix has teamed up with Canada’s Family Channel to save Degrassi from detention.
What’s a Degrassi?
Don’t worry: if you didn’t understand any of that sentence, you’re not alone. Degrassi is a Canadian TV show that they used to have in Canada.
The teen drama began all the way back in 1979 as The Kids of Degrassi Street, a show that ran until 1986. It follows a bunch of students at the titular school, who won fans thanks to the series’ pull-no-punches approach to real-life issues, from sex and teen pregnancy to homosexuality and domestic violence.
The show has enjoyed several incarnations over the decades, with Degrassi: The Next Generation’s eight season even enjoying a broadcast slot in the UK on BBC Switch – a channel targeted at teen viewers that launched in 2007 and shut down soon after in 2010. No, us neither.
The programme has enjoyed international acclaim, earning multiple Canadian Screen Awards, a couple of Teen Choice Awards and even a handful of Emmy nominations. But last week, Canadian fans were sad to learn that Degrassi had been cancelled by MTV Canada and TeenNick.
Netflix, though, has stepped in to help the show find a new home both on the streaming service and Family Channel.
The new show, Degrassi: Next Class, will premiere in Canada on Family Channel in January 2016 and directly on Netflix in territories outside of Canada, Australia and France. It will then land on Netflix in Canada after its initial broadcast run has ended.
“We are so excited to bring Degrassi: Next Class to the world,” says Erik Barmack, Vice President of global content at Netflix.
“For more than three decades, this groundbreaking show has been reaching teens with important stories and starting in 2016 our members around the world will be able to enjoy and discover the newest chapter of this great show.”
Keeping true to the spirit of the Degrassi franchise, Next Class will tell the stories of Generation Z, following a group of teens as they begin their journey into adulthood. Pushing their own limits and testing the bonds of family and friends, the students will each find their own way to deal with a range of issues: from homophobia, racism, substance abuse and violence to burgeoning sexuality, body issues, heartbreak and the complications of dating in the social media age.
The series, filmed in Toronto, strives to entertain its post-millennial audience while always reinforcing its core principle: You are not alone.
The show’s returning cast will include Eric Osborne, Ana Golja, Andre Kim, Richard Walters, Olivia Scriven, Ricardo Hoyos, Nikki Gould and Lyle Lettau.