Degrassi, a new, hour-long drama, is coming to HBO Max from executive producers Lara Azzapardi (The Bold Type) and Julia Cohen (Riverdale). Set to begin filming this summer in Toronto, the series is the latest twist on the decades-long Degrassi franchise, which takes place in a Canadian high school. Along with the new series, HBO Max will bring all fourteen seasons of Degrassi: The Next Generation over from Paramount+ beginning this spring.
“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 (via THR). “WildBrain continues to artfully capture high school life in a compelling format that can be experienced seamlessly on HBO Max.”
“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,” WildBrain CEO Eric Ellenbogen said. WildBrain, who own the rights to Degrassi, will produce the series. “This is yet another evergreen property from our vast IP library that we are reviving with a fresh vision and creative-first approach.”
“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 Kids of Degrassi Street premiered on Canada’s CBC in 1980, followed by Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High, both of which were broadcast on PBS in the United States. In 2001, Degrassi: The Next Generation launched, which ran for 14 years, featured numerous future stars of Canadian TV and beyond, and became the best-known version of the series yet. Next Generation standouts include rapper and frequent meme Drake, who appeared in the first seven seasons, and Nina Dobrev, who appeared in four seasons around the middle.
At one point, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes made a multi-part Jay & Silent Bob Do Degrassi arc, something that spun out of a Degrassi Junior High joke Smith wrote into the screenplay of 1997’s Chasing Amy.
Netflix is currently carrying Degrassi: Next Class, which is not related to the upcoming HBO Max series. It does not appear that the two will interconnect, or that Netflix’s series will end as a result of the HBO Max show.
The series is likely to premiere on HBO Max in 2023.
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