Did anyone really think Degrassi, which has been kicking since the ’80s, would stay dead for long? This summer, Degrassi: The Next Generation will officially end after 14 seasons, with a two-week series finale airing on Viacom’s TeenNick. However, that’s not the end of the road for the show any more – Netflix announced today that Degrassi: Next Class will graduate to its library of original programming next summer, giving new life to a beloved teen brand.
The show promises to continue charting the daily struggles of a group of teenagers at Degrassi Community School, as they face challenges like sex, depression, drug use, alcohol abuse, suicide, abortion, homosexuality, date rape and various other hot-button teen topics. Focusing on Generation Z, Next Class will also incorporate the challenges of life in the age of social media. Epitome Pictures will continue to produce, and the series will air on Family Channel in Canada.
Degrassi graduates to Netflix. Meet the Next Class, coming in 2016 pic.twitter.com/FhUZJ3ZiiL
— Netflix US (@netflix) June 9, 2015
20 new episodes of Degrassi have been ordered and cast members from The Next Generation who’ll be involved include Amanda Arcuri as Lola Pacini; Reiya Downs as Shay Powers; Ana Golja as Zoe Rivas; Nikki Gould as Grace Cardinal; Ricardo Hoyos as Zig Novak; Ehren Kassam as Jonah Haak; Andre Kim as Winston Chu; Lyle Lettau as Tristan Milligan; Spencer Macpherson as Hunter Hollingsworth; Eric Osborne as Miles Hollingsworth III; Olivia Scriven as Maya Matlin; Sara Waisglass as Frankie Hollingsworth; and Richard Walters as Deon “Tiny” Bell.
Picking up Degrassi is a canny move for the streaming service, which has yet to really go after teens in terms of its original programming. Its Canadian acquisition Between proved to be a bit of a dud (as well as totally unbingeable), but Degrassi has been around long enough to become a staple of teen television. Unlike House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Daredevil and Marco Polo, the content of the series reflects the reality of teen life, and that’s something a lot of cable networks are trying to tap into.
Degrassi: Next Class will attend Netflix next year.