CTV Press Release

Classes Begin at Degrassi September 7 on CTV

Toronto, Ontario (September 1, 2004) – CTV’s internationally acclaimed and multiple award-winning original series Degrassi: The Next Generation returns to the Fall schedule for its fourth season; promising the most provocative and life altering story-lines ever.

A special one-hour season premiere episode will debut Tuesday, September 7 at 8 p.m. ET (check local listings). Pre-empted the following week, the series will air back-to-back episodes (8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.) on Sept. 21 and again on Sept. 28 before settling into its regular 8:30 p.m. ET timeslot beginning Oct. 5. That’s when Degrassi will air in tandem with CTV’s other original half hour hit, Corner Gas (Tuesdays at 8 pm.).

Last year, Degrassi was the most-watched all-Canadian drama series (2+) and the most watched Canadian drama amongst Adults 18-49 (Source: BBM). This year, the benchmark has been raised. The program’s most provocative season yet promises to delve deeper into storylines and showcase the cast as they deal with the most challenging situations to date. In the one-hour season premiere special, it’s a new year and Paige is called to testify in her rape case. Emotions run high as she must confront her attacker face to face. Meanwhile, family ties are put to the test when Craig receives an unexpected birthday present from his late father.

“We’re very proud of Degrassi and the position it’s taken in the Canadian television landscape over the last three seasons,” said Susanne Boyce, President of Programming for CTV and Chair of the Media Group. “The program continues to push the envelope and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“The student body has matured and this year, will face its toughest issues ever,” said Linda Schuyler, President of Epitome Pictures Inc. “But even though life’s lessons are tougher than ever, we haven’t forgotten how to laugh.”

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 Sharpe; 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 Joey’s high-school flame, Caitlin Ryan; and Amanda Stepto as Snake’s missus, Christine “Spike” Nelson.

Fans of the show are encouraged to check out the award-winning Degrassi Web site http://www.degrassi.tv, winner of the 2003 Gemini for Most Popular Website (with nearly 400,000 registered users) and Best Interactive Award in 2003 and 2002. Produced in association with CTV and Snap Media Corp., http://www.degrassi.tv provides enhanced storytelling on the web in synchronization with CTV’s television broadcasts. Degrassi’s online community continues to create lockerpages, journal entries, send “D-mails” and post messages on the club message boards in record numbers. In addition, “students” are able to visit the “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. Shernold Edwards is the CTV production executive working with series. Bill Mustos is Senior Vice-President, Dramatic Programming for CTV. Susanne Boyce is President of CTV Programming and Chair of the Media Group.

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. In addition to Degrassi: TNG, Epitome is producing a brand new half hour dramatic series, Instant Star, following the highs and lows of a rising teenage rock star. Epitome Pictures has also produced the series Liberty Street and Riverdale as well as several MOWs. For more information, please visit http://www.epitomepictures.com.

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