New season begins Oct. 5 on CTVUpdated Mon. Sep. 29 2008 1:36 PM ET

New season begins Oct. 5 on CTVUpdated Mon. Sep. 29 2008 1:36 PM ET

CTV

For the first time in the history of the series, Hollywood is rolling out the red carpet for Degrassi: The Next Generation.

In the upcoming eighth season of the award-winning CTV Original Series, Degrassi heads to Hollywood for a special four-episode story arc featuring guests stars Kevin Smith (Clerks) and Jason Mewes (Clerks).

Degrassi: The Next Generation premieres Sunday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET, airing back-to-back with Star Wars: The Clone Wars (also premiering Oct. 5) on CTV.

CTV also announced that the new season of Degrassi: The Next Generation will make its Canadian specialty debut, airing in the prime Tuesdays at 7 p.m. ET timeslot on MuchMusic, beginning October 7. Degrassi Season 8 also airs on demand on the CTV Video Player at CTV.ca and on the go at iTunes.ca.

The Degrassi production team heads to Los Angeles to shoot the four new “Hollywood Episodes” on location October 5 and 6.

Featuring many special guest stars, including die-hard Degrassi fans Smith and Mewes, the episodes will be directed by Stefan Brogren, aka Archie “Snake” Simpson, who takes over the directorial reigns on Degrassi for the first time. The Degrassi “Hollywood Episodes” are slated to air later this season.

“True to its groundbreaking nature, as the series premieres in Canada, Degrassi is heading to Los Angeles to shoot on location,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc.

“Adored for its controversial and entertaining storylines, this cultural phenomenon continues to captivate audiences across Canada and around the world.”

“Season 8 brings a whole new set of firsts,” said Degrassi executive producer and co-creator Linda Schuyler.

“Degrassi will get an influx of new students, a new principal and its first football team while Emma, Manny and Liberty charter new waters at Smithdale University.”

With 22 all-new episodes, the expanded Season 8 begins with a gifted Grade 9 class starting at Degrassi and the graduating class embarking on a new journey to Smithdale College.

In the season premiere, “Uptown Girl, Part 1” (October 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET), Mia (Nina Dobrev) starts the school year off with a bang by being scouted as the new face of football star Tom Blakes’ shoe line.

Mia wants the job, but just how far will she go to get it? Meanwhile, Emma’s (Miriam McDonald) horrified when she and Manny (Cassie Steele) are assigned different rooms at the Smithdale dorm.

After spending hours negotiating with the housing department to get them reassigned, Manny and Liberty (Sarah Barrable-Tishauer) are not as excited to be reunited as Emma had hoped, while mystery roommate Kelly (Evan Williams) adds something new to the mix.

About Season 8

The bell rings, signalling a new school high school and university year for Degrassi: The Next Generation, which continues to explore new and provocative territory for adolescents and young adults grappling with “first” experiences.

Season 8 finds favourite characters dealing with the social and academic pressures of becoming high school juniors and seniors, while introducing exciting new characters to the world of the Degrassi Community School. Last year, chaos reigned as students from rival school Lakehurst were forced into the halls of Degrassi.

This year, Lakehurst’s contribution is much worse with its “anything goes” principal, The Shep. While The Shep’s love for football and the popular crowd doesn’t jibe with most of the student body and faculty, his attitude is especially hard on Degrassi’s newest students – a Grade 9 gifted class.

And just as the Grade 9’s explore their new surroundings, so too do the recent graduates and Smithdale College freshmen. This season Emma, Manny and Liberty navigate their way through the trials of higher education, residence life, and being far from home.

Nine talented young actors join the cast of Degrassi this season. New series regulars include: Sam Earle (Sticks and Stones) as K.C., the tall, handsome, athletic gifted student; Jordan Hudyma (Dead Like Me) as Blue, the new student with a reputation for being a player; Judy Jiao as Leia, the shy and insecure student who doesn’t know a soul at Degrassi; Argiris Karras (What’s the Beef) as Riley, the alpha male, attractive football player; Aislinn Paul as Clare, Darcy’s moral younger sister; AJ Saudin (Open Your Ears) as Connor, the incredibly smart but intense new student; Melinda Shankar as Alli, Sav’s genius younger sister; Evan Williams (Instant Star) as Kelly, the sweet and friendly Smithdale freshman; and Kevin Jubinville (Citizen Duane) as Degrassi’s new principal, and football coach, “The Shep.”

Returning for Season 8 are Jamie Johnston as Peter; Shane Kippel as Spinner; Nina Dobrev as Mia; Dalmar Abuzeid as Danny; Sarah Barrable-Tishauer as Liberty; Jake Goldsbie as Toby; Aubrey Graham as Jimmy; Mike Lobel as Jay; Miriam McDonald as Emma; Cassie Steele as Manny; Raymond Ablack as Sav; Charlotte Arnold as Holly J.; Paula Brancati as Jane; Marc Minardi as Lucas; Samantha Munro as Anya; and Scott Paterson as Johnny. Returning classic cast members are regulars Stefan Brogren as Snake, and Amanda Stepto as Spike.

Degrassi on iTunes

Episodes from Season 8 will be made available on the iTunes Store in Canada (www.itunes.ca) the day after broadcast. Degrassi joins other original CTV programs on iTunes including, among others, Corner Gas and Flashpoint.

About Degrassi on The CTV Video Player

Following its television premiere, Episode 801 will be made available on demand on The CTV Video Player at CTV.ca on Monday, October 6 at 9 a.m. ET. Subsequent episodes of Degrassi will be available every Monday following a new broadcast. Degrassi also extends its brand with 13 new scripted webisodes, including a six-part mini series that are Halloween themed, to complement Season 8, along with 16 behind-the-scenes extras, all available on The CTV Video Player.

About Degrassi Online

This summer, Degrassi became the first Canadian television series to launch a presence in vSide, the 3-D, online, next-generation virtual world. The latest phenomenon in social entertainment, fans can hangout at the virtual Degrassi DOT Grill by logging onto vSide at degrassi.ctv.ca. Also check out Degrassi’s award-winning Website at http://www.degrassi.ctv.ca, winner of the 2003 Gemini for Most Popular Website and Best Interactive Award in 2003 and 2002.

About Recent Degrassi Awards

The seventh season of Degrassi was nominated for Choice Summer Series at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards in Hollywood in August. Degrassi was also recently nominated for four Gemini Awards, including Best Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or Series, Best Direction in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series (Phil Earnshaw), and two nods in the category of Best Performance in a Childrens’ or Youth Program or Series (Shane Kippel and Lauren Collins).

About Degrassi Around The World

Degrassi: The Next Generation has been successfully licensed in over 150 countries, including Switzerland, Australia and France. In the U.S., Degrassi is the flagship series for cable channel The N.

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