And Then They Kiss: Gay Storyline Grabs Spotlight as Barriers Fall on Degrassi: The Next Generation

And Then They KissGay Storyline Grabs Spotlight as Barriers Fall on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Monday, March 15

Toronto (March 4, 2004) – All eyes are on an upcoming episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation, airing Monday, March 15 at 8:30 p.m. ET. In the episode entitled Its Raining Men, teens Marco and Dylan go on their first date, heightening a storyline that has been developing all season. When the two exchange a tender kiss, another barrier will have fallen for the franchise as Marco and Dylan share the series first teen-on-teen, gay kiss.

The Degrassi franchise is no stranger to breaking down stereotypes and exploring sensitive storylines. Ever since the Degrassi franchise debuted more than 20 years ago, it has tackled real-life challenges that confront kids; from drugs and sex, to teen pregnancy, abuse, suicide and rape.

“Part of making stories about the next generation involves tackling social issues relevant to todays adolescents, even if that means pushing the envelope of whats conventionally seen in youth-oriented programs” said co-creator and producer Linda Schuyler.

Schuylers philosophy illustrates why the series has been nominated in the United States for a GLAAD (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Award in the Outstanding Drama Series category. Its up against high-profile shows Nip/Tuck, Playmakers, Queer as Folk and Six Feet Under. The winner will be announced March 27 in Los Angeles.

In Its Raining Men, the year-end Junior Formal is fast approaching, and Marco (Adamo Ruggiero) is in charge, except when it comes to finding a date. The problem is, Marcos too nervous to ask Dylan (John Bregar) out at all, let alone ask him to the prom. Hes not even sure Dylan likes him “that way”. But with some unexpected help from Spinner (Shane Kippel), Marco and Dylan finally go out on a real date.

Coming off an industry-high five Gemini wins, three Directors Guild of Canada Awards and numerous international nods, Degrassi is enjoying a breakout season, earning its highest ratings ever including a series-high 877,000 viewers in a recent episode (Feb. 9).

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