Whatever it takes, right? Well, apparently what it takes is a streaming service to become interested in what Degrassi looks like today.
WarnerMedia Kids & Family has greenlit Degrassi, a brand new version of WildBrain’s award-winning youth franchise. The 10-episode new HBO Max series comes from showrunners Lara Azzopardi (The Bold Type, Mary Kills People) and Julia Cohen (Riverdale, A Million Little Things) and is expected to launch in the U.S. in 2023. (The series is set to film in Toronto during summer 2022.) The streaming service has also picked up the U.S. rights for the entire 14-season library of the franchise’s longest-running and most popular installment, Degrassi: The Next Generation (2001-2015), set to become available this spring. Degrassi will also become available at a later date on Cartoon Network.
This new Degrassi is described as “a reprise of the original teen drama” and “a character-driven series about the high school experience and the thrilling, often painful journey of self-discovery. Set in Toronto, the new series explores a group of teenagers and school faculty living in the shadow of events that both bind them together and tear them apart. The show travels deep into the hearts and homes of diverse, complicated characters, as they struggle to find their new normal, reaching for hope, redemption and love.”
“What excites us maybe the most about reviving this beloved franchise is turning it into a truly serialized one-hour drama. We’re honored to be given the opportunity to lead this evolution and bring this iconic series back into people’s homes,” Azzopardi and Cohen said in a statement.
“Series after series, the Degrassi franchise continues to make an indelible impact on young viewers looking for trustworthy and authentic storytelling,” Amy Friedman, Head of Kids & Family Programming, Warner Bros, said. “WildBrain continues to artfully capture high school life in a compelling format that can be experienced seamlessly on HBO Max.”
Josh Scherba, President of WildBrain, added, “Now in its fourth decade, Degrassi is one of those beloved evergreen properties that demands to be refreshed for each new generation. Stephanie Betts, our Chief Content Officer, along with showrunners, Lara Azzopardi and Julia Cohen, have envisioned an evolution for Degrassi that, while staying true to the fundamental honesty, humanity and integrity of the brand, promises fans a journey into exciting new territory, both creatively and dramatically. We’re delighted to be partnering with HBO Max to deliver this new vision to fans and extend Degrassi’s legacy.”
This new Degrassi is the latest in the franchise. In addition to The Next Generation, the franchise includes The Kids of Degrassi Street (1979-1986), Degrassi Junior High (1987-1989), Degrassi High (1989-1991), and Degrassi: Next Class (2016-2017).