CTV Press Release for Season three of Degrassi: The Next Generation

Love triangles, broken hearts, deceit and popularity are among the surprises that await students this year at Degrassi Community School. Season 3 of the international award-winning series Degrassi: The Next Generation returns to a new primetime slot this season. The show will air Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET, beginning September 17 with a special season-opening one-hour episode (8-9 p.m.) (check local listings).

Season 3 opens with the pending arrival of a new baby for Spike and Snake, inspiring Emma to start a search for her birth father just as she starts high school. Her friends and fellow schoolmates also face new challenges as they settle into a new school year. Degrassi kids will continue to deal with tough issues this year, including homosexuality, cutting, abuse, teen pregnancy and cancer. These storylines are blended with dating woes, friendship challenges, peer pressure and a healthy dose of fun and laughter.

With two seasons under its belt, more than a dozen awards to its credit, contemporary ‘tween and teen storylines, a new day and time, and a dedicated fan base, the series is ready for a breakout year, said Bill Mustos, Senior Vice President of Dramatic Programming for CTV.

Were thrilled to have the opportunity to offer our fans another season of Degrassi: The Next Generation, said Linda Schuyler, President of Epitome Pictures Inc. We have infused our third season with plenty of rich character relationships, tough lessons and tons of laughter.

Acclaimed director Bruce McDonald has once again been recruited to direct the one-hour season premiere that reintroduces fans to their favourite Degrassi characters. Original cast member Pat Mastroianni is back as Joey Jeremiah, Amanda Stepto returns as Christine Spike Nelson, the role of Archie Snake Simpson is reprised by Stefan Brogren and former guest star Stacie Mistysyn joins the cast as a regular this season playing Joeys former high-school flame Caitlin Ryan.

Newcomer Daniel Morrison joins the cast as Chris Sharpe, a Grade 9 student and budding hip hop DJ. Returning cast regulars are Sarah Barrable-Tishauer as Liberty; Daniel Clark as Sean; Lauren Collins as Paige; Ryan Cooley as JT; Jake Epstein as Craig; Stacey Farber as Ellie; Jake Goldsbie as Toby; Aubrey Graham as Jimmy; Shane Kippel as Spinner; Andrea Lewis as Hazel; Miriam McDonald as Emma; Melissa McIntyre as Ashley; Adamo Ruggiero as Marco; Christina Schmidt as Terri; and Cassie Steele as Manny.

Degrassi: The Next Generation, which has been gaining recognition and notoriety since its launch in the United States, has won over a dozen awards since its Canadian launch in 2001. Some highlights of the awards include the 2003 Silver Screen Award for Best Childrens Programming (The 36 Annual US International Film and Video Festival), 2003 Hugo Award Silver Plaque for Best Childrens Program (The Chicago International Film Festival), 2003 Award of Excellence (Alliance for Children and Television), the 2003 Young Artist Award, (Best Ensemble in a TV Series) and 2002 Outstanding Achievement in a Childrens Television series (Directors Guild of Canada Award).

Fans of the show are also encouraged to check out the award-winning Degrassi companion site www.degrassi.tv Recipient of the Most Innovative Website prize at the 17th Annual Gemini Awards and two first-place International New Media Festival Awards for Entertainment Website and Best Technical Achievement, and produced in association with CTV and Snap Media Corp., www.degrassi.tv provides enhanced storytelling on the web in synchronization with CTVs television broadcasts, along with message boards, games and more.

Degrassi: The Next Generation is produced by Epitome Pictures in association with CTV. The series was co-created by Linda Schuyler, co-producer of the original Degrassi series, and Yan Moore. Schuyler is the Producer of the series with Stephen Stohn serving as Executive Producer. Degrassi: The Next Generation has been successfully licensed in Britain, France, the U.S. and Australia by AAC Kids, an Alliance Atlantis Division.

Epitome Pictures and its affiliate companies have been producing quality Canadian programming since 1976, including the multi-award winning, internationally recognized Degrassi franchise, The Kids of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High, which still air throughout the world. Epitome Pictures has also produced the series Liberty Street and Riverdale as well as several MOWs. For more information, please visit www.epitomepictures.com.

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