Everything about Degrassi, eh?

Link: Online presence key to Degrassi’s evolution and survival

From Bethonie Butler of The Washington Post:

Online presence key to Degrassi’s evolution and survival
To date, Degrassi has produced more than 100 original scripted webisodes, according to the franchise’s recently relaunched website, which chronicles its 35-year history. For Stohn and Schuyler, a home on Netflix brings that history full circle.

“For the past few years we’ve realized the teen audience is, more and more, leaving linear television and moving online, and it was our dream because we wanted to reach the teen audience and we wanted to reach them in the digital space,” Stohn said. Continue reading.


Link: Degrassi creator talks show ending, surprise cameos in Next Class

From Melissa Hank of O.Canada.com:

Degrassi creator talks show ending, surprise cameos in Next Class
“Even before we knew what was going to happen with Degrassi, creatively we had already come to the conclusion that because we were going to graduate such a big chunk of kids, we needed to take a hard look at where we were going to go from here,” Schuyler says.

“We realized that when the show started as Degrassi: The Next Generation 14 years ago, a lot of the current audience wasn’t even born, which led us to a lot of research on Generation Z. We had a different audience.” Continue reading.

Link: ‘Degrassi’ Next Season Coming to Netflix: Why Teen Drama Is Leaving TV After 35 Years

From Todd Spangler of Variety:

Why Teen Drama Is Leaving TV After 35 Years
In coming to Netflix’s ad-free streaming service, the show — which from the beginning has aimed to address adolescent problems in a realistic way — has more breathing room to develop storylines, said Stephen Stohn, president of DHX Media’s Epitome Pictures and executive producer of “Degrassi.”

“With ad-supported TV, ratings are at the top of the list and in some cases dictate creative decisions,” Stohn said, adding that when viewership declines there can be a tendency among network executives to shy away from controversial subject matter. “We have more creative freedom with Netflix… With Netflix we’re just encouraged to tell the stories we want to tell.” Continue reading.

Link: How ‘Degrassi’ became the most digitally savvy show on (and off) TV

From Bethonie Butler of The Washington Post:

How ‘Degrassi’ became the most digitally savvy show on (and off) TV
As show insiders tell it, the Internet has been central to “Degrassi: The Next Generation” since it debuted in 2001, nearly a decade after the end of “Degrassi High.” The very first episode, in fact, featured a web-centric plotline — the show’s protagonist arranged to meet a boy with whom she had been chatting online, only to discover that her love interest was an adult predator. Off the air, the show kept its audience engaged with a Web site that allowed fans to enroll as students at a virtual Degrassi. Continue reading.


He Said/She Said: How about those Emmy nominations?

Join Greg and Diane every Monday as we debate what’s on our minds. This week, we dissect the Emmy nominations.

She Said:

OrphanOne of the biggest snubs of last year’s Emmys has been rectified this year: Tatiana Maslany got her first nomination as outstanding actress for her multitude of roles on Orphan Black. I hope they give her 7 statues if she wins. Long-running Degrassi — recently revived by Netflix and Family Channel after its cancellation by TeenNick and Bell — was nominated as outstanding children’s program.

That’s some great recognition for Canadian-made shows, when most years we have to be satisfied celebrating individuals who left the Canadian industry for the bright lights of Hollywood … not that there’s anything wrong with that. Go Michael J. Fox (The Good Wife), Semi Chellas (Mad Men), Jeremy Podeswa (Game of Thrones) and Jeff and Mychael Danna (Tyrant) for their nominations, too.

Besides the Canadian invasion, the most interesting trend in this year’s Emmys is how streaming services are threatening to become dominant in the same way cable started talking over broadcast series years ago. Netflix earned 34 nominations, including for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Orange is the New Black, Bloodlines, House of Cards, Grace and Frankie, and Derek. Amazon snagged 12, mostly for Transparent, and even Yahoo was nominated for Community, the show they saved from an NBC cancellation.

In fact I feel unprepared to get excited about who was snubbed or what the surprises are in the nominations because after cutting the cable, the Netflix shows and The Good Wife are among the only non-Canadian shows I’m current with in my viewing. I’d love to see Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt win for comedy but I haven’t seen the current seasons of its competitors yet. Same with Orange is the New Black in the drama category. I was disappointed enough in this season of The Good Wife not to think it was snubbed, I think House of Cards is cheese wrapped in a prestigious package, but I haven’t seen the nominated seasons of the other series, even those that are must-watch shows for me. I’m waiting for them to appear on Netflix or I likely won’t bother.

Which makes a nice segue to a topic that’s been on my mind lately: the Canadian industry might want to figure out what to do about streaming services sooner rather than later. It’s possible broadband-delivered content isn’t just a fad.

He Said: 

As Diane has already said, a hearty “Woohoo!” to all of the Canadian nominees. Despite what some might think about the Canadian Screen Awards, it warms my heart to know we handed out hardware to Orphan Black and Tatiana Maslany before the U.S. has acknowledged the show’s greatness.

Property_BrosAnd a special shout-out to Jonathan and Drew Scott, who I left off my initial post announcing the Canadian Emmy nominees last week. They nabbed a nod in Outstanding Structured Reality Program for their long-running Property Brothers series.

As Diane has already pointed out, streaming services being nominated in the major categories has quickly gone from outrageous to commonplace, a reflection of how quickly everyone has adjusted to online broadcasters and the fact fantastic stuff comes out of those outlets.

I’m still on cable, so can attest that Mad Men and Better Call Saul deserve kudos for Outstanding Drama Series, though I felt Downton Abbey and Homeland have been on the downslope for the last couple of years. I’d have liked to have seen Justified added to the category because FX’s U.S. marshal series has gotten better with every passing year, including its final one. Likewise, I’m happy Louie and Modern Family received nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series. The Big Bang Theory was left off the list, opening the door for Silicon Valley, Parks and Recreation and the excellent Transparent to get some serious consideration.

I’m a big fan of veteran series and talent being rotated out of categories so that newer projects and people get the chance to shine, and there is a nice mix in the 2015 nominees. Take a look at the full list of nominees, put your Emmy pool together and prepare to cheer for the Canadians when the Primetime Emmy Awards air Sunday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.