Tag Archives: Degrassi

Degrassi cancelled after 14 seasons

The doors are closing on Degrassi High … at least for now. The long-running teen drama will come to and end in Canada on MTV and in the U.S. on TeenNick. The second half of Season 14 begins on Monday, July 20, at 9 p.m. ET on MTV and will conclude with an hour-long series finale preceded by a special entitled “It Goes There, Degrassi’s Most Talked-About Moments.”

“Thank you to Linda Schuyler and Stephen Stohn, and all the cast and crew at Epitome Pictures for delivering Bell Media with 14 years of creative and engaging content that truly captured the spirit of Canadian youth through truthful and provocative stories,” said Phil King, president of CTV, Sports and entertainment programming. “We are immensely proud of Degrassi, and our longstanding partnership with Linda and Stephen. We wish the entire Epitome team the best of luck, and look forward to working with them again in the future.”

“Few producers are as blessed as we have been, working with so many talented and creative individuals at TeenNick for 14 seasons of Degrassi; including 385 episodes and over 100 pieces of original short-form web content,” executive producer Stephen Stohn stated. “We thank all those at TeenNick who have worked so hard over the years to help us create a television series that changes with the times and continues to authentically connect and interact with the youth audience.”

But later in the day came this intriguing statement from DHX Media, apparently keeping the door open for more Degrassi: “Degrassi is one of DHX Media’s marquee brands and we expect to be able to provide an update in the days ahead for fans, the media and the market. The Degrassi fan base runs deep worldwide and the longevity of the series speaks for itself.  Stay tuned for further developments regarding Degrassi.”

Is Degrassi being shopped around to other networks—like the DHX-owned Family Channel—or will it head online as a web exclusive? Stay tuned.

The Degrassi franchise celebrated its 35th anniversary this year. Co-created by Linda Schuyler, the series has won accolades and awards—including two International Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award— for telling no-nonsense stories of teen love and angst through an unflinching lens.

The latest incarnation has churned out an impressive list of cast members who have moved on to careers in the entertainment industry, including rap superstar Drake, Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), Declan Coyne (Terra Nova), Shenae Grimes (90210), Stacey Farber (Saving Hope) and Justin Kelly (Between). Current cast include Eric Osborne, Ana Golja, Sara Waisglass, Andre Kim and Ainslinn Paul.

The franchise began with The Kids of Degrassi Street (1982-86), followed by Degrassi Junior High (1987-89) and Degrassi High (1989-91).


Poll: Favourite Canadian TV Show – the 70s vs. the 80s

The first round of the Great Canadian TV Playoff is complete and the winners of the 1970s, 80s, 90s and 2000s have been decided.

Now on to the next round, where the winners of each decade face off. First up: SCTV, representing the 1970s, goes head-to-head with Degrassi, on behalf of the 1980s.

Unlike the Stanley Cup playoffs, TV, Eh’s Great Canadian TV Playoff boasts solely homegrown head-to-head matchups of television shows. Through the rest of the month, we’ll pit eight television shows (just like the NHL) from the 1970s, 80s, 90s and 2000s against one another until the final showdown to name the top Canadian TV series of all time on May 29.

Cast your vote now and spread the word — the winner of the 90s and the 2000s battle it out starting on Wednesday!

What is your favourite Canadian TV series - 70s vs. 80s?

  • SCTV (77%, 62 Votes)
  • Degrassi (23%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 81

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Buckle up for Open Heart’s wild ride

Creating a flawed television character isn’t easy. Make them too likeable and a drastic change can alienate viewers. Too much of a jerk and nobody cares what strife you put in their way. Playing that character is a whole other thing, especially for a relative newcomer to the business. And yet Karis Cameron does it as Dylan Blake in YTV’s newest scripted drama, Open Heart.

Debuting Tuesday night with two back-to-back episodes, Epitome Picture’s Open Heart doesn’t just spotlight Dylan, but puts her at the centre of a show that’s equal parts focused on medicine, the angst of teenage life and a family mystery.

“We really wanted a new approach to telling a teen story that wasn’t really focussing on high school or college elements,” says creator, executive producer and scribe Ramona Barckert, who has written for Epitome’s landmark Degrassi. “We thought, ‘What stories can we talk about in a different way?'” Different meaning, not just tales of fights with Mom and the tropes, twists and turns the viewership has already seen in countless projects.

The answer? Open Heart, which places Dylan Blake, a strong-willed 16-year-old who is arrested and placed in court-ordered community service at Open Heart Memorial, the very hospital where her mother Jane (Jenny Cooper, 24) and sister London (Tori Anderson, The L.A. Complex) are working. Dylan quickly bonds with fellow teens placed there, including Mikayla (Cristine Propseri, Degrassi) and Wes (Justin Kelly, Degrassi). Dylan is the black sheep of the family, the girl who only really related to her father, Richard (Jeff Douglas, Canada’s Smartest Person), but he’s recently gone missing, adding the mystery layer to Open Heart.

It takes some deft acting to pull off a rebellious teen that you want to cheer for, and Cameron really is a revelation. With just two professional acting gigs under her belt—Signed, Sealed, Delivered and R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour—the Vancouver Island native jetted to Toronto for weeks of prep work with, among others, Degrassi alum Stefan Brogren before cameras rolled on Season 1.

“We spent the first three of four weeks just breaking down Dylan,” Cameron says. “We had the first four scripts and just broke them down. Why is she doing what she’s doing? What are her motives? Why does this mean so much to her? Why is she saying this?” The result is a series that—despite being broadcast on YTV—can entertain any genre of viewer.

Tuesday’s debut of two 30-minute episodes—Open Heart shifts back to the one-instalment setup next week—introduces viewers to the main characters, including fellow hospital staffers in Dr. K (Demore Barnes, Hemlock Grove), Teddy Ralston (Dylan Everett, Degrassi), Dr. Scarlet McWhinnie (Elena Juatco, Canadian Idol), Seth Park (Patrick Kwok-Choon, The Best Laid Plans), Jared Malik (Mena Massoud, The 99) and Dr. Hud (Kevin McGarry, Being Erica). The briskly-paced stories jump from hospital to family mansion back to the hospital where Dylan uses her street skills to get some much-needed information into her dad’s disappearance. By the time the hour is up you’re left wanting more.

“My style of writing is very fast and I want people to buckle up at the beginning of the episode and know you are on a ride,” Barckert says with a laugh. “There isn’t a lot of filler. There are no musical montages about feelings and no longing looks. The characters make decisions quickly and move quickly. There is not a lot of pausing.”

Buckle up everyone, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

Open Heart airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on YTV.


Degrassi’s secret to success

“Isn’t it extraordinary that it’s gone this long?” There’s definitely a hint of wonder in Linda Schuyler’s voice when she says that. And why not? In a television world where fickle viewers and nervous networks can mean the end of series before it ever gets a footing, Degrassi marches on.

Tuesday’s return of the teen drama to MTV is Season 14 of the current incarnation, a stunning achievement on its own. But factor in  the fact the franchise will be celebrating 35 years in 2015 and the mind boggles. You’d think that after that amount of time, Schuyler or Stephen Stohn would consider walking away and resting. You would be wrong.

“I love it. We learned something early on in The Next Generation, which was to have the courage to graduate our kids,” she explains. “There is a fear in TV that if you lose a tranche of people you’re going to lose your audience. We were scared to graduate that first group because in the classic show we basically stayed with the same kids for almost 100 episodes.” Schuyler and the Degrassi team have found a formula for success by bringing in new students and allowing the audience to get to know them while the old favourites are still in class. Aside from constantly replenishing the performers, the writing room is injected with fresh voices too. The result? A project continually rejuvenated by fresh blood.

From the very beginning Degrassi dared to tell real-life stories about teens to teens. Teenage drinking, pregnancy, bullying, abuse and sexual lifestyle choices have always been front and centre in scripts, a trend that continues Tuesday night with “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Clare (Aislinn Paul) sees her carefully planned world turned upside down over a dalliance with Drew (Luke Bilyk), Miles’ (Eric Osborne) relationship with Tristan (Lyle Lettau) may have an impact on his father’s political plans, and Zoë (Ana Golja) and Becky (Sarah Fisher) butt heads over cheerleading. Those three storylines aren’t necessarily new to the franchise, but fresh cast means they can be tackled from a new point of view.

“We’ve run many different gay storylines, but when you bring in different characters you can look at it from a different side of the prism,” Schuyler says. “You get a new take on an old storyline, plus there are new things happening in the media all the time that keep us inspired and thinking. Nothing is taboo.”

Degrassi airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.


Degrassi returns with all-new episodes on MTV


From a media release:

Mega DEGRASSI fans unite! With the countdown to graduation in full swing, Season 14 of the hit series DEGRASSI returns to its familiar Tuesday timeslot with a brand-new, 28-episode order, beginning Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 9 p.m. ET on MTV. Fresh off DEGRASSI’s 2014 Primetime Emmy® nomination for “Outstanding Children’s Program”, its third nomination in the category over the last four years, Season 14 picks up immediately following the end of spring break, after Tristan (Lyle O’Donohoe) and Miles’ (Eric Osborne) surprising lip-lock and the shocking revelation of Clare’s (Aislinn Paul) pregnancy. Never shying away from tackling heavy-hitting topics, DEGRASSI once again addresses authentic and relevant issues affecting teenagers today. For a sneak peek at Season 14, click here.

Thirteen years after the debut of the latest incarnation, the hit franchise shows no signs of slowing down. Season 13D of DEGRASSI, airing on both MTV and Much, averaged 100,000 P12-34 viewers, achieving its most impressive audience in three seasons, with audiences growing by 52% over Season 13C.

In the Season 14 premiere of DEGRASSI, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 9 p.m. ET), Clare has a serious dilemma that will affect her entire future and confides in Alli. Zoë sees red when Becky tells her she’s too much of a distraction for the power cheer team. It’s time for Zoë to bring Becky down, literally. Miles and Tristan are getting close, but with his campaign in full swing, Mr. Hollingsworth is worried his son’s behaviour could damage his political prospects. An upset Miles decides to take annoying his father to a whole new level.