Degrassi was created over 40 years ago by Linda Schuyler (a former teacher) and her partner Kit Hood. In the 1970’s they formed a small Canadian production company known as Playing With Time Inc. with the goal of making television from a kids point of view. In 1979 the first episode of Degrassi, “Ida Makes a Movie,” aired on the CBC. This kicked off the first Degrassi series titled The Kids of Degrassi Street which was named after De Grassi St. in Toronto.
In 1987 the Degrassi we all know and love today was created. Degrassi Junior High premiered on CBC, and overtime became more and more successful. In true Degrassi style, it dealt with all sorts of tough issues, such as teen pregnancy, eating disorders, and family issues.
In 1989, Degrassi High replaced Degrassi Junior High. It followed the Junior High kids in high school, and continued to deal with many controversial teen issues.
By the 1990’s, Degrassi was huge. The original series ended with an explosive two-hour TV movie called School’s Out, which aired in 1992. The 6-episode documentary series, Degrassi Talks, concluded the “Degrassi Classic” era. Throughout the remainder of the 1990’s, reruns of Degrassi continued to attract new fans around the world.
By the turn of the century, Linda Schuyler and Yan Moore (a writer for DJH/DH) were reminiscing about their old series. They soon realised that teen-mom Spike’s baby (Emma) would soon be entering grade 7. Degrassi: The Next Generation was created with Linda Schuyler and Stephen Stohn as executive producers, and it premiered on CTV on October 14, 2001.
In 2016, Degrassi entered a new era with the series Degrassi: Next Class which aired on Netflix internationally and Family Channel in Canada.
Degrassi is the longest running teen drama in history, and one of Canada’s most successful television shows.