Tag Archives: Family

Family CHRGD slugs it out with the Season 4 debut of Slugterra

From a media release:

Grab your gear, train your slugs and get ready for an epic battle of good vs. evil as Eli and the Shane Gang return to Family CHRGD for a fourth season of Slugterra. Debuting Tuesday, October 4 at 5 p.m. ET, the animated adventure follows Eli Shane and his crew as they collect and train slugs, while protecting the 99 caverns from mysterious evil forces. The season four premiere amps up the network’s Turbo Charged Tuesday lineup, airing alongside top-rated action series Turbo FAST, The Deep and Thunderbirds Are Go.

Season four begins with Eli and the gang returning to the 99 caverns from their Eastern adventure, only to find that the Gateway Cavern has been overrun with slugs. In their absence, the Shadow Clan has decided to put the slugs before the needs of people and the result is pure chaos. As war wages between the Shane Gang and their former allies, some unexpected help comes from a newcomer who has just arrived from the Surface. But soon, this recruit casts his own shadow and it’s up to Eli to restore the balance.

Slugterra’s fourth season debuts as part of Turbo Charged Tuesday, an action-packed weekly programming block featuring brand new episodes from Family CHRGD’s top series. Throughout October, Slugterra will air regularly Tuesdays at 5 p.m. ET, alongside underwater explorations from The Deep, race car adventures from Turbo FAST and international escapades from Thunderbirds Are Go. New episodes of Slugterra will also be available on the Family Channel App each Tuesday, immediately following the broadcast premiere and on Family CHRGD OnDemand the next day. To prepare for season four, slugslingers can catch up on seasons 1-3 now, on both the Family App and OnDemand service.

The adventure continues at CHRGD.ca where fans can learn more about their favourite characters and catch up on the show with cool clips and full length episodes. Kids can feel like they’re a part of the Shane Gang by taking inventory of slugs and gear in the awesome game “Slugterra Slug Arsenal,” and strategically placing slugs to help Eli win the Slugterra battle in “Slug Wars.”

Slugterra is produced by DHX Studios. Asaph Fipke, Chuck Johnson, and Ken Faier serve as executive producers for the series.

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Get ready to flip out! Season 4 of The Next Step returns Feb. 15 on Family

From a media release:

Killer choreography, dynamic dancing and non-stop drama are set to takeover Family Channel on Family Day Weekend as the network’s flagship series The Next Step returns for its fourth season. Starting at the crack of dawn, on Saturday, February 13, audiences can experience all the kicks, tricks and hair flips the popular tween drama has to offer with a nonstop three-day, full series marathon which culminates with the highly anticipated season four premiere on Monday, February 15 at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT. Following the Family Day festivities, new episodes will air regularly Fridays at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Known for its jaw-dropping dance routines and high-energy performances, The Next Step follows the lives of an elite group of dancers who train at The Next Step dance studio. Season four begins with A-Troupe returning home from their win at the International competition. The studio is now considered one of the best in the world, but achieving victory at the highest level has the dancers questioning their futures – some feel they’ve reached their full potential, while others are still waiting for their chance to shine. Riley is offered a surprising new position with A-Troupe, while James, West and Eldon are swept off on a whirlwind escapade to London, England. Amidst the changes a crop of talented but untested newbies are welcomed to the studio and the team must use every ounce of their talent and determination to recapture the old A-Troupe magic in time to defend their title at Regionals.

The Next Step stars Victoria Baldesarra as Michelle; Brittany Raymond as Riley; Logan Fabbro as Amanda; Myles Erlick as Noah; Trevor Tordjman as James; Lamar Johnson as West; Isaac Lupien as Eldon; Jordan Clark as Giselle; Briar Nolet as Richelle and Skylar Alexis Healey as Skylar. New to the cast this season are Giuseppe Bausilio as Alfie; Alexandra Chaves as Piper; Erika Prevost as Sloane; Akiel Julien as LaTroy; Isaiah Peck as Henry; Shelby Bain as Amy; and Allie Goodbun as Cassie. The new season will also feature special appearances by fan-favourite characters from past seasons, cast members from spin-off series Lost & Found Music Studios, and mark the directorial debut for cast members Trevor Tordjman and Lamar Johnson.

The Next Step is produced by Temple Street, a division of Boat Rocker Studios, in association with Family Channel and is executive produced by Frank van Keeken (Lost & Found Music StudiosWingin’ ItKids in the Hall), Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier (Orphan BlackBeing EricaWingin’ It), and Laura Harbin (Lost & Found Music Studios, Wingin’ It). BBC Worldwide handles the international rights to the series.

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Degrassi returns on a new network with the Next Class

New Year, new network and a new class. Yes, Degrassi makes its triumphant return to television in 2016 after upheaval in 2015. First came word last summer that Nickelodeon had cancelled the long-running teen series for U.S. viewers. That was followed by the news MTV Canada would no longer broadcast Degrassi in this country. After much hand-wringing on sad-face emoticons, the good news was announced: Degrassi was moving to Family Channel in Canada—it debuts Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT—and Netflix in the rest of the world.

“A few years ago we were doing a read-through and Lyle [Lettau], who plays Tristan, said, ‘Why are we not on Netflix?'” recalls longtime series star and series producer Stefan Brogren. “And everyone said, ‘Yes Lyle, we’d all love to be.’ But that started us thinking about where our audience is at. Where are they watching these shows?” The audience was headed online, streaming content, and the Degrassi: Next Class folks decided if they had the chance to pitch the program to Netflix they would. Brogren is quick to compliment the online network, marvelling at the lack of notes and being left alone to follow the season story arc everyone wanted to follow.

The same is true of the relationship with Family, where Degrassi: Next Class takes pride of place in the channel’s new teen block, F2N. Brogren says their Canadian carrier has been just as supportive of the show’s direction, which kicks off with 10 episodes, and fans will see a lot more truth than they’ve seen from the iconic show amid the tales of high school students beginning their journey into adulthood. Of course, there are issues to tackle along the way, from homophobia and racism to substance abuse and the complications of dating in the social media age.

Back for more drama—and laughs—are Ana Golja (Zoe Rivas), Ricardo Hoyos (Zig Novak), Eric Osborne (Miles Hollingsworth III) and Sara Waisglass (Frankie Hollingsworth) alongside Brogren, who plays Principal Archie “Snake” Simpson. The New Class title is fulfilled by new cast in Jamie Bloch and Dante Scott, who play Yael Baron and Vijay Maraj, respectively.

“Yael is a girl in a man’s world,” Bloch, who most recently co-starred on Wingin’ It, says. “She’s very into video games and technology. She’s quiet and keeps to herself and doesn’t like to be the centre of attention.” Bloch had originally auditioned to play a lesbian character named Maude, but changes resulted in new student Yael.

“No, she is not a lesbian, and that becomes very clear near the end of the season,” Bloch says with a laugh.

“Vijay is very outgoing and energetic and a little bit dramatic,” Scott says of his character. “He’s always there to talk to if you need him—I think he’s a really good friend to have—and can take a negative situation and turn it into a positive.” Tonight’s debut episode oozes positivity; Scott says its because of characters like Vijay and stories that delve into hope and a bright future for the Degrassi kids.

“This season feels a little like old-school Degrassi did,” Brogren says. “We were able to have more fun while at the same time telling exactly the stories we wanted to tell. For all the trouble that goes on at Degrassi you still want to be there.”

Degrassi: Next Class airs Monday to Friday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Family Channel for two weeks and streams on Netflix outside of Canada beginning Jan. 15.

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Degrassi: Then and Now

When the long-loved teen television show Degrassi was cancelled in mid-2015, it was met with much wailing and gnashing of teeth by the public at large. Since the first Degrassi series’ premiere in 1979, the show has been a mainstay for Canadians in general and audiences worldwide as the show’s popularity grew. It is that same international love that may have been what saved the show as, only a short time later, it was announced that Netflix would be picking up a new Degrassi series, thus continuing the long-running franchise.

Since its initial run as The Kids of Degrassi Street in 1979, the Degrassi franchise has been tackling personal issues that teenagers of its time have faced in a dramatic but relatable way. Ida Makes a Movie, the first entry in Degrassi canon, addresses the issue of honesty. In its two-year, 26-episode run, The Kids of Degrassi Street also addressed incarcerated parents, neighbourhood gangs, and the sudden death of friends among other problems.

In 1986, Degrassi Junior High premiered to a new generation and addressed new problems, including teen pregnancy, divorce and abuse. Degrassi Junior High also featured the return of some familiar faces, albeit as different characters. Stacie Mistysyn, who played Lisa on The Kids of Degrassi Street, was now Caitlyn Ryan. Neil Hope, who played Griff, was now Derek “Wheels” Wheeler. Degrassi Junior High lasted for three seasons before continuing as Degrassi High in 1989, continuing to address the issues of the time, which now included the AIDS crisis, gay rights and eating disorders.

When Degrassi was brought back for a new generation in 2001, it was dubbed Degrassi: The Next Generation. Since then, it has run for 14 seasons, following the lives of Degrassi teenagers, some of whom are the children of the original class. Over the course of the past 15 years there have been many cast changes as classes have grown and graduated, but the core idea remains the same: to tackle issues of the day in a way that teenagers can relate to. As such, certain archetypes always remain: goths like Ellie Nash and Eli Goldsworthy, or the school idol like Jimmy Brooks and Zoe Rivas.

For example, class of 2014 graduate Alli Bhandari contains strong echoes of Class of 2007 graduate Manny Santos. Both are intelligent women from minority backgrounds who want to be popular and express this through their clothing choices, and both experience a series of boy problems. Their stories have differing details, though: Alli is briefly in an abusive marriage, while Manny undergoes an abortion. And new generations bring new issues and thus, new types of characters. The character of Adam Torres, introduced in 2010, was Degrassi’s first transgender character.

At the heart of the show are the relationships. The rivalries, friendships, love triangles and pairings may have come together and permutated in different ways throughout each series, but always in familiar ways to the viewers.

While waiting for Degrassi: Next Class on Netflix in 2016, it might be fun to see what the issues of Degrassi Junior High were on your local channels, or to catch reruns when they air. Degrassi remains an institution, and its willingness to approach Netflix is just another way that it is willing to change with the times. After all, the success of Degrassi is in its reflection of the times and issues of the day.

Degrassi: Next Class airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Family during their F2N programming block and streams on Netflix outside of Canada beginning on Jan. 15.

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