Then on Friday WildBrain issued their own update on the new Degrassi series. The statement confirms that “the previously announced new Degrassi series will not be debuting on [HBO Max].” However, it does not say that the reboot is entirely dead, just that it’s currently “paused” and that “discussions concerning the contract with WarnerMedia are ongoing.”
This news should come as no surprise to Degrassi fans, because there have been strong evidence for months that the reboot wasn’t happening anymore. But if there is anything good to come from this, it’s the fact that WildBrain’s response is a thousand times better than when there were rumours about Degrassi: Next Class getting cancelled, and they never said anything about it.
From the WildBrain statement, it’s clear that the Degrassi brand is still a major priority for them. They also acknowledged the frustration amongst Degrassi fans by stating “WildBrain greatly appreciates the devotion and patience of Degrassi fans. Degrassi remains enormously popular around the world and, as owners of the franchise, WildBrain is committed to the future of Degrassi.”
Former Degrassi Executive Producer Stephen Stohn also addressed the news on Twitter by saying “Linda [Schuyler] and I are as eager as all Degrassi fans to see and enjoy and engage in a new Degrassi series, on whatever service that may be! We are not involved with the current discussions. We remain hopeful that production of a new series will proceed soon.”
Degrassi will come back one day. It just won’t be the reboot we were promised in January 2022.
In the opening chapter of Linda Schuyler’s book The Mother of All Degrassi, she recalls how she was bullied as a child for being a British immigrant to Canada. She says she was told to “go back to where you came from,” and taunted with the phrase “Hey Brit girl. Yes, you, shit girl” by kids at school.
Given the fact that Degrassi has long been known for standing up against bullying and celebrating all forms of diversity, it is a poignant introduction to the woman who created the franchise we all know and love. Linda is quite literally the “mother” of Degrassi, and her new memoir peels back the curtain on some of her personal experiences that shaped this 40+ year old franchise.
I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy, and I can say with confidence that this book is a must-read for Degrassi fans, particularly those who are interested its decades-long history. Unlike Stephen Stohn’s memoir Whatever It Takes (which focused on his career as an entertainment lawyer beyond just Degrassi), Linda’s book is almost exclusively about Degrassi. She calls Degrassi her “life’s work and passion,” and that passion is evident on every page.
Today it was announced that Linda is doing a 10-part series for social media in partnership with Degrassi superfan Jocelyn Claybourne. The series appears to be a tour of places in Toronto that have some kind of significance to Degrassi. Along the way, Linda will share her memories with Jocelyn and give us a sneak peek into some of the stories we will get to read in her book. Based on the trailer that was posted today, we know that these locations include Centennial College (where Degrassi High was filmed), the real De Grassi St., Linda and Stephen’s old house, and the building that was previously the Degrassi: The Next Generation set.
You can watch the series on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (dedicated accounts have been created to promote the book on each platform). Episodes will be posted every Tuesday and Thursday starting on October 4. The Mother of All Degrassi will then be released on November 15.
Canadian retailer Retrokid is releasing an exclusive limited edition collection of officially licensed Degrassi merchandise.
The collection, which launches tomorrow at 9pm ET, features a range of Degrassi t-shirts and sweatshirts as well as an incredible one of a kind varsity jacket. Most of the products are themed around the Degrassi High era, but we’ve been told that future collections will include more Degrassi: The Next Generation-related items.
If you’ve been around the Degrassi fandom for a while, you’ll know that Degrassi merch has never been all that great. That’s why I think it’s so exciting that we’re finally getting a collection as cool as this that is actually officially licensed. Over the past number of years, WildBrain has been licensing so many of their brands through their CPLG business. It’s great to see Degrassi finally included in that.
It was a big day for Stephen Stohn as the audiobook and companion podcast to his memoir Whatever It Takes was finally released.
The audiobook is narrated by Stephen himself along with his co-author Christopher Ward. It is available on all the usual audiobook platforms (e.g. Audible, etc). If you haven’t gotten around to buying a physical copy of the book, this is a great alternative.
The podcast also features the voices of Stephen and Christopher. It includes excerpts from Whatever It Takes as well as additional commentary. The first episode focuses on the chapter in Whatever It Takes about the Degrassi: The Next Generation episode “Time Stands Still.” Even though I read this chapter back when Whatever It Takes was first released, I really enjoyed listening to Stephen and Christopher recap how the “Time Stands Still” episode came to be. There isn’t a ton of new information, but it’s still definitely a worthwhile listen.
After weeks without any news, Degrassi fans got a surprise this weekend when it was revealed that The Toronto Star was doing a 3-page feature on the cast’s reaction to the Degrassi reboot.
The article, which was in yesterday’s print version of the Saturday Star, includes interviews from Ephraim Ellis (Rick), producer and writer Aaron Martin, Alicia Dea Josipovic (Bianca), Miriam McDonald (Emma), Ana Golja (Zoe), Chloe Rose (Katie), Billy Parrott (Shane), co-creator and executive producer Linda Schuyler, Stacie Mistysyn (Caitlin), Cristine Prosperi (Imogen), Sara Waisglass (Frankie), Olivia Scriven (Maya), Aislinn Paul (Clare), Annie Clark (Fiona), Eric Osborne (Miles), and Melinda Shankar (Alli).
There is no new information about the reboot in this article, but it is very interesting to read the cast’s thoughts on it and what they hope to see, since most of them haven’t said much about it up to this point. The article was written by Murtz Jaffer, an entertainment writer and Degrassi fan who has interviewed the cast numerous times previously. Murtz also confirmed in his Instagram story that Stefan Brogren, Pat Mastroianni, Nina Dobrev, and Ricardo Hoyos were asked to participate in the piece but they declined.
You can read the article on The Star’s website, or check out scans from the print version below.
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