CTV's prime time drama, Degrassi: The Next Generation named Best Family Television Series

CTV’s prime time drama, Degrassi: The Next Generation was named Best Family Television Series (Comedy or Drama) at the Young Artist Awards in L.A. on Sunday.

The series has also been selected as a finalist in the race for Best Childrens Television Programme at the upcoming 2004 Prix Jeunesse International TV Festival. The series companion site, http://www.degrassi.tv, is also being recognized at this festival as a finalist in the 2004 Prix Jeunesse Web prize category.

Epitome Pictures has begun principal photography on Season Four, featuring 22 new half-hour episodes. Last season, the series was Canadas most-watched Canadian drama (Adults 18-49 and Teens 12-17; Source: BBM). Shooting of the fourth season is scheduled to run through November.

Were delighted that Degrassi: The Next Generation is back for a fourth season thanks in large part to its growing legion of fans, both young and old, said Linda Schuyler, President, Epitome Pictures Inc. Were embarking on our most ambitious season ever as our characters confront the increasingly intense twists and turns of high-school life.

Returning cast regulars are Sarah Barrable-Tishauer as Liberty; John Bregar as Dylan; Deanna Casaluce as Alex; Daniel Clark as Sean; Lauren Collins as Paige; Ryan Cooley as JT; Ephraim Ellis as Rick; Jake Epstein as Craig; Stacey Farber as Ellie; Jake Goldsbie as Toby; Aubrey Graham as Jimmy; Shane Kippel as Spinner; Andrea Lewis as Hazel; Mike Lobel as Jay; Miriam McDonald as Emma; Melissa McIntyre as Ashley; Daniel Morrison as Chris; Adamo Ruggiero as Marco; and Cassie Steele as Manny.

Returning Classic Cast members are Stefan Brogren as Archie Snake Simpson; Pat Mastroianni as Joey Jeremiah; Stacie Mistysyn as Joeys high-school flame, Caitlin Ryan; and Amanda Stepto as Snakes missus, Christine Spike Nelson.

Season Four begins with a new school year and Paige is anxious about her pending rape case – a situation that will put her face to face with her rapist. Meanwhile, family ties are put to the test when Craig receives an unexpected birthday present from his late father.

Always prepared to tackle tough issues in a realistic way – a key element in the broadening of the audience age range – this seasons Degrassi will deal with topics including sexuality, mental illness, self-esteem and violence.

http://www.degrassi.tv is produced in association with CTV and Snap Media Corp., http://www.degrassi.tv provides storytelling on the web in synchronization with CTVs television broadcasts. Degrassis online community continues to create lockerpages, journal entries, send d-mails and post messages on the club message boards in record numbers.

In addition, subscribers are able to visit the virtual guidance office for assistance from the online “guidance counselor” (hyper-linked to sites such as Health Canada, Kids Help Hotline, Media Awareness Network, etc.) for help and advice on a huge range of topics that includes everything from gossip to gay parents.

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 and Stephen Stohn serve as Executive Producers. Bill Mustos is Senior Vice-President, Dramatic Programming for CTV. Susanne Boyce is President of CTV Programming and Chair of the Media Group.

Degrassi: The Next Generation has been licensed in Britain, France, the U.S. and Australia by AAC Kids, an Alliance Atlantis Division.

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