One of the most successful of Canadian dramatic television series is undergoing radical changes this season.
Degrassi: The Next Generation moves beyond the classroom to an online and broadband-enabled world, as the hit show makes its season six debut on CTV later this month.
“Degrassi continues to lead on television, online and now in print,” said Susanne Boyce, President of Programming for CTV and Chair of the Media Group. “Six seasons later, the series continues to tackle new and provocative issues while connecting with audiences on multiple platforms.”
Following another season for the show, CTV presents Degrassi: The Next Generation, starting with a double-feature style airing of back-to-back episodes, beginning November 28 on CTV and on CTV HD East/West
Show descriptions promise not only drag racing, drug abuse, exotic dancing, prison scenes, but for the first time in the series’ history, a major character is murdered. After airing for five years in more than 150 countries, Degrassi is evolving into a primetime soap.
In all, 19 episodes will debut this season, and for the first time, CTV confirmed it will surround the Season 6 broadcast schedule with a comprehensive broadband strategy, including a broadband pre-release of Episode 1 a full week ahead of its television premiere.
The CTV Broadband Network (at CTV.ca) will begin streaming the season premiere Tuesday, November 21 at 12 noon ET. The first-look initiative is designed to reignite audience buzz for the series and to generate audience momentum leading up to the season premiere. Moving forward, each week’s episodes will be loaded up to The CTV Broadband Network and made available Wednesdays at 9 a.m. ET.
Producers have also delivered exclusive online content with 19 scripted webisodes (a.k.a. “Degrassi Minis”); 19 behind-the-scenes documentaries (a.k.a. “Degrassi: On the Set”); and two animated shorts (a.k.a. “Degrassi Mangasodes”). All 40 bonus-elements will be available on-demand throughout the season via The CTV Broadband Network. In addition to the multi-platform campaign in support of the series, CTV welcomed the recent release of Degrassi: Extra Credit, a multiple-volume series of graphic novels that expand on Degrassi plotlines.
“Season 6 continues to delve into the high school experience but also follows the characters beyond the classroom and into the post-secondary world,” said Linda Schuyler, Executive Producer and CEO, Epitome Pictures Inc. “It’s a bold move for Degrassi but we want to stay with them as they deal with more adult problems – most of which come with bigger consequences.”
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. James Hurst also executive produces. Kathleen Meek is the CTV production executive working with the series. Tecca Crosby is Acting Senior Vice-President, Dramatic Programming for CTV. Susanne Boyce is President of CTV Programming and Chair of the Media Group. CTV is owned by Bell Globemedia.