By now you’ve probably heard about the merger between WarnerMedia (owner of HBO Max) and Discovery Inc. into WarnerDiscovery earlier this spring, and the rumours that this has delayed the Degrassi HBO Max reboot that was originally supposed to start filming this month.
I’m not going to get into the details of that, because Degrassi Source has already created a very detailed timeline that has all the information. You can refer to that if you want to catch up on everything that we know so far.
This post is more going to be my thoughts on how the Degrassi brand is being managed what we can expect from the Degrassi reboot whenever it actually happens.
We now have the release date and cover art for Linda Schuyler’s memoir! The title has also been slightly altered.
Last year we learned that Degrassi Co-Creator and Executive Producer Linda Schuyler was writing a memoir that would come out sometime this year. At the time it was titled The Degrassi Matriach. Now the title has been changed to The Mother of All Degrassi: A Memoir.
The book will be released on November 15, 2022, and is now available for pre-order at most major book retailers in North America including Amazon. You can also see the tentative cover art which features a photo of Linda from the ‘Classic’ Degrassi era.
The Amazon listing also reveals that the book will be 275 pages long and will be available in Hardcover format. There is also an excerpt from the Introduction of the book in which Linda speaks about some talks she gave at Wilfrid Laurier University in January 2020.
Personally I’m almost as excited for this book as I am for the HBO Max Degrassi reboot series! It will definitely be a must-read for all Degrassi fans.
One of the trademarks that Degrassi is most known for is using “age appropriate” casting. In other words, casting actors who are the same or close in age to the characters they are portraying. Whenever Degrassi is compared to American teen TV shows, this is almost always the first thing that people bring up as a distinguishing factor, since it is very common for other teen dramas to cast 20-30 year olds to play teenagers. But in recent years, questions have been raised in the entertainment industry about the ethics of using underage actors, and putting children in vulnerable positions before they may have the ability to advocate for themselves.
Casting information for the upcoming HBO Max Degrassi series has been found on Casting Workbook. The details include some interesting information on the series and what kind of kids they are looking for. Here is a summary of what we have learned:
Several Degrassi: The Next Generation cast members participated in a virtual live Q&A with GalaxyCon today. The Q&A was about 45 minutes long and featured Stefan Brogren, Melissa McIntyre, Lauren Collins and Shane Kippel. During the discussion, they talked about a variety of topics including their favourite memories from set, where they think their characters ended up, and how proud they are of the show. One notable topic that they did not discuss was the recently announced HBO Max Degrassi reboot.
If you missed the Q&A, it is currently still available to watch on Vimeo.
After 5 years of hoping and praying for Degrassi to come back, we finally have an official announcement that a new Degrassi series is in the works at HBO Max. I couldn’t be more excited! There are a lot of questions still, but we did get some interesting information from the press release. This post is going to be a summary of everything we know so far, as well as the questions we’re still wondering about.
For years we’ve been hearing rumours that Degrassi co-creator Linda Schuyler is writing a book, and today we finally got the official confirmation!
As announced by Stephen Stohn on Twitter, Linda’s book is titled Degrassi Matriarch, and will be released sometime in the Fall of 2022. It’s being published by Canadian indie book publisher ECW Press. The book will chronicle Linda’s 40-year career as Creator and Executive Producer of Degrassi. It includes her own personal story as well as anecdotes about several of Degrassi’s celebrity cast/guest stars including Drake, Kevin Smith, Chaz Bono and more.
I’m expecting this book to be similar to Stephen Stohn’s book Whatever It Takes. But based on the initial information we have, it sounds like it might be more focused specifically on Degrassi as opposed to being a memoir about her life in general. Either way, this is very exciting news! As someone who is interested in the history of Degrassi, I have been hoping for a book from Linda for years. I can’t wait to learn more about her story.
In honour of Pride Month, ET Canada recently spoke to Adamo Ruggiero and Ana Golja about what it was like playing LGBTQ+ characters on Degrassi. The interview was part of ET Canada’s support for Blue Door’s INN-Clusion program, which provides emergency housing for homeless LGBTQ+ youth. In the interview, Adamo and Ana spoke about growing up with their characters and the reaction they received from fans. Watch the full interview below on ET Canada’s YouTube Channel.
Cassie Steele and Miriam McDonald participated in an Instagram Live on Entertainment Weekly’s last Monday. During the live, the pair answered questions about their time on Degrassi as well as their friendship on and off screen. They also opened up about the challenges they faced as child actors, such as experiencing bullying and exclusion.
Since the Degrassi: The Next Generation reunion panel last week, there has been a flurry of articles and interviews with the Degrassi producers and cast members. Here is a complete list of what we’ve seen so far. I will update this as we hear about more.
The Abortion and Reproductive Rights on TV panel at the ATX Television Festival was released online to ATX badge holders earlier today. Degrassi Co-Creator Linda Schuyler participated in the panel, and talked about the different abortion storylines on Degrassi over the years.
Linda explained how her first abortion storyline was back in 1989, and in those days Degrassi was much more focused on education than later incarnations. In contrast to the other panelists who were mainly involved in abortion storylines with adult characters, Linda noted “[Degrassi High] was aimed at teenagers… our show had a double mandate. We were both entertaining and educating.” Because this was before the internet and Degrassi was one of the few places where young people could get information, the twins in Degrassi High were used to show the audience both sides of the abortion debate. In this episode, there were a lot of protesters at the clinic, and it was a very angst-filled decision for the character.
Yesterday I shared a recap of the main topics discussed at the ATX Television Festival’s Degrassi panel. But I also wanted to talk about my personal favourite moments from the event. I’ve selected 6 moments, for which you can read the direct quotes below. These are my favourite moments because they really get to the heart of Degrassi and I think they show how beautiful Degrassi is as a piece of Canadian culture.
1. Lauren and Stefan continuing the never-ending debate on the believability of Degrassi Goes Hollywood and Degrassi Takes Manhattan Lauren: If it happened in “Degrassi Takes Manhattan” or “Degrassi Goes Hollywood,” it’s not canon. That’s what I said, right? Stefan: Says you, says you. Those stories are full on Degrassi. They are moments in lives, they go crazy. I’m not saying that because I directed them. I’m just saying that people have moments like that, right. And they go crazy and come back, etc.
It finally happened! Tonight the Degrassi cast and producers reunited for a panel at the ATX Television Festival. Linda Schuyler, Stephen Stohn, Stefan Brogren, Aaron Martin, Jake Epstein, Aislinn Paul, Shane Kippel, Luke Bilyk, Lauren Collins, Munro Chambers, Daniel Clark, Andrea Lewis and Christina Schmidt were all in attendance at the pre-recorded panel. They spoke about a wide range of topics from their time on Degrassi, storylines that they loved, fan interactions over the years, and much more.
Overall I really enjoyed watching this panel. Seeing this group of people interact with each other again was so special. However, it was unfortunate that there wasn’t a lot of new information. As a super fan, I felt like I already knew most of what they talked about (I’m still waiting for the details on what happened when Next Class was cancelled!). However, there were definitely a few times when I was feeling the emotions, such as when Lauren said she wanted Degrassi to come back one day so her son would have something like it to watch.
Since this panel was behind a pay wall and also it was a one-time only event, I’ve tried to summarize the main points that they discussed below.
Lauren Collins and Jake Epstein were on CBC Radio’s show Q today to talk about the 20th Anniversary of Degrassi: The Next Generation as well as the panel happening this Friday at the ATX Television Festival. In the 20-minute interview, Lauren and Jake talk about their Degrassi characters, what it meant to be on the show, and play a little Degrassi trivia.
Here are some of the main topics that were covered:
-The impact Degrassi had on its fans
-The difference in terms of the reception Degrassi got in Toronto vs the US
-Feeling proud of being part of something that was pushing the envelop
-Filming Drake’s “I’m Upset” music video
-What Drake’s popularity did for the legacy of Degrassi
The other panelists include: Carina Adly Mackenzie (Showrunner/Executive Producer, “Roswell, New Mexico”), Merritt Tierce (Writer, “Orange is the New Black”), Jacey Heldrich (Writer, “The Handmaid’s Tale”), and Janine Sherman Barrois (Showrunner/Executive Producer, “Claws”).
The panel will be pre-recorded and available in the VOD Library. This Library is only available to Festival Badgeholders, which means that if you only bought a Day Pass for the Degrassi event you won’t have access to it. Badges are still available for purchase and cost $150 USD.
When is the panel?
The Degrassi panel will be on June 11, which is the first day of the Festival. It will be at 7:00pm CT (8:00pm EST). It is supposed to be 1 hour long. After it airs, it will be available until 2:00am CT the next day for festival goers (in case you’re not able to tune in live).
What is the Degrassi panel and who is participating?
The panel will commemorate the 20th anniversary of Degrassi: The Next Generation (TNG premiered in October 2001). It is presented by Tubi, which is one of the platforms where Degrassi: TNG is streaming.
As of now, the confirmed participants are Linda Schuyler, Stephen Stohn, Stefan Brogren, Jake Epstein, Aislinn Paul, Shane Kippel, Luke Bilyk, Lauren Collins, Munro Chambers, Daniel Clark, Andrea Lewis and Christina Schmidt.
During the panel, the panelists will discuss storylines and moments from the series, behind the scenes stories, and more.
If you’ve been paying attention to what WildBrain is doing from a business perspective, you may have noticed that over the past year or so they have been more focused on making their content available through their WildBrain Spark network. WildBrain Spark is a kids and family network on AVOD (advertising-based video on demand i.e. YouTube). Instead of selling content to a streamer or traditional television network, WildBrain is distributing their shows (such as Degrassi) on YouTube and collecting ad revenue.
This year Degrassi: The Next Generation is turning 20 years old, which means that I’ve been watching Degrassi for 2 decades (nearly 2/3 of my life!). Throughout that time I’ve gone through so many ups and downs, always with Degrassi by my side. Degrassi has always been there for me, whether as a distraction, form of entertainment, community, or comfort.
Today I’m doing something they I’ve never done on this blog before, and that is sharing my experience as a Degrassi fan from the first episode I watched to present day. I’m doing this for 2 reasons: (1) to show how special Degrassi is and how it has impacted people such as myself, and (2) to document all of my memories so I can look back on them for years to come.
Did you know that there are a number of Degrassi-related books available? Degrassi may be a television series, but if you want to step away from a screen and read about Degrassi you can do this too. Here is a list of my favourite Degrassi books and how you can find them in 2021.