Tag Archives: Degrassi: Next Class

Degrassi: Next Class’ Sarah Glinski to head up TSC’s Writing Room Intensive

From a media release:

Ever wondered what it might be like to work in the room with a leading Canadian Showrunner? This might be the opportunity for you!

First developed in 2015, the WGC Writing Room Intensive, puts emerging to mid-career writing professionals in a mock-writing room with a leading Canadian Showrunner. We have worked with Bruce Smith (19-2), Emily Andras (WYNONNA EARP), and Kevin White and Ins Choi (KIM’S CONVENIENCE).

Through this intensive participants learn more about the inner workings of the writing room including how a Showrunner fosters creativity, breaks story, works with notes, manages conflict (where necessary), and eventually gets the script to screen.

You must be registered to attend the Toronto Screenwriting Conference, and a member of the WGC in good standing in order to apply for the program.

Call for applications are now open to registered delegates of 2018 Toronto Screenwriting Conference. Applicants will have the opportunity to apply to join Sarah Glinski, Executive Producer/Showrunner (HOLLY HOBBIE, DEGRASSI: NEXT CLASS), in a Mock Writers Room Intensive on Friday, June 22, from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Get more details and find out how you can apply here.

Sarah Glinski is an Emmy-nominated TV writer/producer currently serving as Executive Producer and Showrunner on the Hulu/DHX/Universal Kids series HOLLY HOBBIE. Previously, she ran DEGRASSI for Netflix/DHX.  Over the last decade, Sarah’s produced over 200 episodes of television and 2 MOWs. She has also staffed on LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE, and BILLABLE HOURS.

Sarah’s been nominated for three Emmys, won three Canadian Screen Awards and was named one of Hollywood Reporter’s Next Generation. When Sarah’s not brainstorming ways to get characters in trouble, she’s keeping her two young daughters out of it.

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Family Channel celebrates Canada Day with Season 4 of Degrassi: Next Class

From a media release:

This Canada Day long weekend, Family Channel is heading back to the classroom, bringing fans across the country a brand new season of Degrassi: Next Class. Premiering  Monday, July 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, season four of the critically acclaimed teen drama takes a look at some of the most relevant issues affecting today’s youth, exploring important topics such as mental illness, gender identity and cultural adjustment. Following the premiere, new episodes of Degrassi: Next Class will air weeknights at 10 p.m. ET/PT. For fans who’d prefer to spend their long weekend binge-watching, all 10 episodes will be available on The Family Channel App beginning Friday, June 30.

Season four of Degrassi: Next Class picks up with the students returning to school from their winter break, many for their final semester. Still reeling from the reality of Maya’s accident, Degrassi Community School is carefully monitoring everyone’s mental health and ensuring that all students have someone to talk to. While exploring situations teens commonly struggle with today, such as break ups and make ups, peer pressure and balancing academia with personal life, season four also continues to focus on the lives of the Syrian refugees as they try to find their place at Degrassi. The new season also marks the graduation of some of the series’ most beloved characters, but not before a beautiful yet dramatic prom.

A special treat for fans in honour of the Canada Day long weekend, on Friday, June 30, the entire fourth season will be available on The Family Channel App, along with exclusive behind-the-scenes extra content. For those who are new to the series, missed a few episodes or simply want to re-watch all the Next Class drama, seasons one through three are currently available on The Family Channel App and on Family OnDemand.

Reprising their roles for season four of Degrassi: Next Class are Amanda Arcuri as Lola Pacini; Amir Bageria as Baaz Nahir; Soma Bhatia as Goldi Nahir; Jamie Bloch as Yael Baron; Chelsea Clark as Esme Song; 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; Parham Rownaghi as Saad Al’Maliki; Dante Scott as Vijay Miraj; Olivia Scriven as Maya Matlin; Sara Waisglass as Frankie Hollingsworth; Richard Walters as Deon “Tiny” Bell; Dalia Yegavian as Rasha Zuabi and Stefan Brogren as Principal Simpson.

Degrassi: Next Class is produced by DHX Media, in association with Family Channel and Netflix. The series was co-created by Linda Schuyler who is also Executive Producer with Stephen Stohn, Sarah Glinski and Matt Huether.

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Degrassi: Next Class returns for “darker” Season 3

Degrassi: Next Class executive producer Sarah Glinski has a warning for fans: things get dark in Season 3. The teen drama returns with new episodes on Monday, Jan. 9, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Family Channel (and Netflix around the world) in dramatic fashion, as we find out who survived the Season 2 bus crash and how the experience affected them.

Add to the mix storylines involving Syrian refugees, abortion and mental health, and high school has never been more challenging. We spoke to Glinski ahead of Monday’s return about where the show is headed in the next 10 episodes.

How long have you been with the Degrassi franchise?
Sarah Glinski: I started on Season 8 of The Next Generation.

How do you feel this upcoming season of Next Class stacks up against the Degrassi seasons you’ve worked on?
Oh, they’re all so different. I would have trouble picking my favourite. There are some seasons when we did 45 episodes and there are some seasons when we did 28, some when we did movies of the week; they all have different personalities. But Season 3 of Next Class is a little bit darker than we have done for awhile. We have the combination of great stories and incredible actors performing in those stories that makes this season pretty special.

You’re right. Things start out very dark. What’s been the support like from your Canadian broadcaster, Family Channel? 
The have been wonderful and have encouraged us to tell the stories we want to tell the way we want to tell them. They trust us to talk to teens about the things teens are talking about.

I thought going to high school when I was a kid was tough, but nowadays because of social media, it’s even more difficult due to online bullying and instant messaging. In Episode 1 you have the issue between Lola and Shay; it’s a real problem.
There used to be a separation between home and school and now there isn’t. Everyone has their phones and they’re the first thing you grab when you wake up. You don’t really get a break from it, and your entire history is online, so it’s hard to move on and reinvent yourself.

You start Season 3 with the repercussions of the bus crash from the Season 2 finale, Syrian refugees, abortion and mental health. Anything else you want to let fans know about?
Another thing we look at is gender. We’ve gone into it a little bit before, but we look at gender fluidity and what’s a girl or a boy and when you don’t feel like what society defines them as. We look at that from a couple of different perspectives. What if you don’t want to wear a dress and makeup? What does that mean to you as a girl? Also, one of our characters is a lesbian and more feminine. What does that mean? Is it harder to come out when you wear lipstick, have long hair and wear dresses?

Degrassi has always covered today’s topics. When something like Syrian refugees pops up, does the writers’ room get excited?
Season 3 explores different ways of dealing, post-trauma. For a number of characters, that’s the opportunity to see something really positive. Having Syrian refugees come into the school seemed very natural.

Let’s talk about Tristan and how the bus crash affected he and Miles. Can you discuss anything to do with that storyline?
There won’t be closure on that storyline until Episode 10. There are a lot of twists and turns along the way. We explored the physical trauma of the bus crash [with our characters] and the mental trauma.

Can you talk about the new characters that are joining Degrassi this season?
We have two new characters and they’re Syrian refugees in Rasha and Saad. Rasha is very cosmopolitan, from the big city, speaks English and is very well-educated. She missed out on high school because of the war and wants to grab high school by the reins and is excited to be here, wants to be part of every club and make new friends. She lives her life vicariously through movies and TV.

Saad is from a smaller town and his English isn’t as good. Life is a little bit harder for him and we take a look at his experience as well.

When Zoe and Rasha are introduced, Rasha gives her a little look. Can you comment on that?
They are going to become very, very close friends.

In the beginning of our chat you said this was a darker season. What can fans expect when they tune in?
Even though it’s a bit of a darker season, there is hope and optimism. If you have friends and family, you can make it through. Making it through is the theme of the season.

Degrassi: Next Class airs Monday to Friday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Family Channel until Jan. 20.

Images courtesy of DHX Studios.

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What Degrassi means to me? Um, I’m Effin’ Snake. Duh.

By Stefan Brogren

So last year we were cancelled by our American broadcaster. Without much more explanation than, “We think Degrassi has run its course.” It was over. Truth is, we’ve always had a problem fitting in. We’re not a sitcom, we’re not 90210—and most of our subject matter deals with the most God-awful aspects of growing up.

Still, I was dumbfounded. Why give up a series that’s the teen equivalent to the Star Trek franchise (don’t shoot me)? It could go on forever!

OK, yes. There are a bunch of reasons to say Degrassi should call it a day and just go away (I’m rhyming, yo).

We’ve been making the show for a jillion years and for some folks that’s just annoying.

We have a serious lack of students that are vampires, werewolves, mutants or serial killersnot for a lack of trying, mind you.

And the big one. We’re unabashedly Canadian. We’re reminded of this every time the States makes a list of what makes Canada … Canada. “Poutine! Canucks! Degrassi! Trees!” I know, it’s annoying.

You could say we “recycle” the same subject matter every couple of years (drugs, sex, boners, mental health, boners, peer pressure, boners). But if you think being a teenager now is the same as the good ol’ days of Joey streaking the caf, well then you haven’t checked your effin’ Snapchat feed lately. Manny freaking out because her boobs were put on the Internet (Season 5, The Next Generation) has zero relevance to a generation that send and receive “junk pics” on their smartphones as part of the dating process. Sorry parents. They all do it. Seriously. All of them. Even the sweet ones. Boners. No one’s safe.

For lots of people (who probably haven’t watched the show in years), Degrassi is painfully earnest in its depiction of teensand earnest equals not cool.

Skins is cool. Degrassi is … earnest.

Degrassi

I’m biased obviously, but Degrassi isn’t earnest in its depictions of teen life. It’s thoughtful. Our fans grow up watching and adoring shows like The Vampire Diaries, The 100 and Pretty Little Liars. They’re awesome and fantastical. Then they turn around and watch Degrassi with all the crappy, gross, embarrassing, manic, euphoric, lovely and ridiculously funny moments that come with being 17. And it feels like a friend.

So we were cancelled. And then, in what seemed like the next day, we were given new life on Netflix. The second season of Degrassi: Next Class premieres in Canada on Family Channel on July 19th and streams on Netflix July 22nd. If you haven’t watched Degrassi in a whole bunch of years, give it a shot. I promise you, we have 70 per cent more boner stories than any other show out there. Period. (And probably the most period stories too.)

Degrassi: Next Class airs Tuesdays at 9:45 p.m. ET on Family Channel.


Stefan is well known to Canadians for his six years on the television series Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High. He was a Gemini Award nominee for Best Actor at age 17. Stefan is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles, where he won the prestigious Michael Thomas Award for acting excellence. Stefan has made numerous television appearances, including the series Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye, Wild Card, Jonathan Cross’s Canada, Twitch City, I Was A Sixth Grade Alien and The Associates. Stefan can also be seen in the movie Too Smooth with Neve Campbell and Rebecca Gayheart. Stefan has since become a key part of the Degrassi production team taking on the role of Series Producer. Adding Director to his responsibilities, Stefan has helmed numerous Degrassi episodes, as well as the MOWs Degrassi Goes Hollywood and D: NYC – Degrassi Takes Manhattan. In 2010, Stefan won a Gemini Award for Best Direction in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series. He followed this up with another win in 2014 at the Canadian Screen Awards. Stefan has also co-produced, directed and written a large portion of Degrassi’s original digital content. In addition, Stefan was also a Co-Executive Producer and Director on the two seasons of the MuchMusic/CW series The L.A. Complex and the first season of the YTV/TeenNick series Open Heart.

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Family Channel’s F2N heads back to school as Degrassi: Next Class Season 2 premieres July 19

From a media release:

The wait is over! Family Channel announced today that the second season of Degrassi: Next Class, the flagship series behind the network’s F2N teen programming block, will debut on Tuesday, July 19 at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT. The network premiere leads into the release of the entire season on The Family Channel App three days later on Friday, July 22. Free of charge to Family Channel subscribers, the App will feature all 10 episodes from the new season of Canada’s longest-running teen drama series in its F2N section. Degrassi fans who want to prepare to binge Season 2 can download the Family Channel App in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or visit www.familygo.ca for more information.

Season two picks up after the epic events of Degrassi’s Snow Ball that saw students forced into a school lockdown. Now, Miles, Hunter, and the Hollingsworth family must deal with the aftermath. Meanwhile, friendly pranking takes a very bad turn after the Degrassi girls volleyball team retaliates and goes too far against the rival team from Northern Tech. The Degrassi students are divided on what constitutes a prank and what is just flat out wrong. The season also features the 500th episode in the Degrassi franchise and it’s time for Degrassi Community School’s 35th Anniversary Event. Favourite Degrassi alum are back and Student Body President Tristan will do whatever it takes to make the celebration an unforgettable one. To his dismay, there are other groups of students who want it to be memorable for different reasons.

When Degrassi: Next Class is released in full on July 22, fans can find it in the F2N section on The Family Channel App. New users will need to unlock the F2N portal by clicking on the “Settings” menu and clicking on the check mark to make the content visible. For viewers who want to catch up on all the Next Class drama, all episodes of Season 1 are currently available on The Family Channel App.

As new episodes continue to air weekly on Tuesdays at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT, fans will want to tune-in for the weekly watch and win contest. Each week, a lucky winner will be selected to receive Degrassi swag, including props, scripts, autographed merchandise and more!

Reprising their roles for Degrassi: Next Class season two are: Amanda Arcuri as Lola Pacini; Amir Bageria as Baaz Nahir; Soma Bhatia as Goldi NahirJamie Bloch as Yael BaronChelsea Clark as Esme Song; Reiya Downs as Shay PowersAna Golja as Zoe RivasNikki Gould as Grace CardinalRicardo Hoyos as Zig NovakEhren Kassam as Jonah HaakAndre Kim as Winston ChuLyle Lettau as Tristan MilliganSpencer Macpherson as Hunter HollingsworthEric Osborne as Miles Hollingsworth IIIOlivia Scriven as Maya MatlinDante Scott as Vijay MirajSara Waisglass as Frankie Hollingsworth; and Richard Walters as Deon “Tiny” BellStefan Brogren will also continue to play Principal Simpson.

Degrassi: Next Class is produced by DHX Media, in association with Family Channel and Netflix. The series was co-created by Linda Schuyler who is also Executive Producer with Stephen StohnSarah Glinski and Matt Huether. Seasons 3 and 4 are currently being filmed at DHX Studios’ Toronto production facility and will debut on Family Channel in 2017.

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