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Class is back in session for Degrassi.
WarnerMedia Kids & Family has greenlit a new series based on the decades-spanning Canadian franchise about middle and high school kids that will debut on HBO Max in 2023. Additionally, HBO Max has acquired U.S. rights to all 14 seasons of Degrassi: The Next Generation, which will begin streaming this spring.
Lara Azzopardi (The Bold Type, Mary Kills People) and Julia Cohen (Riverdale, A Million Little Things) will serve as showrunners and executive produce the new series, which is set to begin filming in the summer in Toronto. WildBrain, which owns the Degrassi franchise, is producing.
“Series after series, the Degrassi franchise continues to make an indelible impact on young viewers looking for trustworthy and authentic storytelling,” said Amy Friedman, head of kids and family programming at Warner Bros. “WildBrain continues to artfully capture high school life in a compelling format that can be experienced seamlessly on HBO Max.”
Said WildBrain CEO Eric Ellenbogen, “I’m delighted that our first-ever commission from HBO Max is for Degrassi, a truly venerable franchise with a highly devoted and passionate audience. This is yet another evergreen property from our vast IP library that we are reviving with a fresh vision and creative-first approach.”
Like its predecessors, the new Degrassi will follow a group of teenagers and school faculty living in the shadow of events that both bind them together and tear them apart. The show travels deep into the hearts and homes of diverse, complicated characters, as they struggle to find their new normal, reaching for hope, redemption and love.
“What excites us maybe the most about reviving this beloved franchise is turning it into a truly serialized one-hour drama,” said Azzopardi and Cohen in a statement. “We’re honored to be given the opportunity to lead this evolution and bring this iconic series back into people’s homes.”
The Degrassi franchise stretches back to 1980, when The Kids of Degrassi Street premiered on Canada’s CBC. Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High followed and were broadcast on PBS in the United States.
Degrassi: The Next Generation premiered in 2001 and is the longest-running series in the franchise, ending in 2015 (later seasons were simply called Degrassi). Notable Next Generation alumni are rapper Drake, who starred in the first seven seasons, and Nina Dobrev, who appeared in seasons six through nine.
The most recent iteration of the series, Degrassi: Next Class, streams on Netflix in the United States and isn’t part of the HBO Max deal.
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