'Degrassi: Next Class' not going 'sensational' on Netflix, says creator

TORONTO -- Class is set to resume on a new incarnation of "Degrassi," this time on different platforms -- Family Channel in Canada and Netflix in the U.S.

See Full Article

While cast member Ana Golja says some of the content on "Degrassi: Next Class" is "a little more risque," the creators insist the show's Netflix foray hasn't affected the series in an extreme way.

"I don't want to make it feel like, 'Oh, we've gone to Netflix and we're going sensational,' because that is so not true," says series co-creator Linda Schuyler, who is also an executive producer.

"I think if anything, we're back to our real roots. We might have just shied away from them a little bit towards the end of 'Next Generation."'

"Degrassi: Next Class" premieres on Family Channel on Monday, during a teen block of programming called F2N, and on Netflix in the U.S., it will debut on Jan. 15.

The change comes after a 14-season run with Bell Media, ending in the summer with "Degrassi: The Next Generation" on MTV Canada.

"Being on Netflix and the teen block of Family Channel ... I think that's definitely given us some leeway in terms of our content and what subjects we can deal with and how explicit we can be," says Golja, 19, who was also in "The Next Generation" as former teen star Zoe Rivas.

Schuyler says they wanted the show to feel like it had been rebooted, but also contain the "basic principles of 'Degrassi' that you can find all through the 35 years of it."

"We wanted to make new fans feel like they could be welcome, that you didn't have to have seen the old show, you can come in and start from the beginning, start from the bottom," she says, playing on the "Started From the Bottom" song title of franchise alum Aubrey Graham, a.k.a. Drake.

"Or, if you are a fan of the show already, it'll still feel familiar to you as well as fresh."

Both Family and Netflix have given creators and writers much freedom, says Schuyler.

"Their attitude to working with us is, 'You are the people who are the experts, you've been doing this show long enough, we are not going to give you a lot of notes.' And that, I would say, has been very, very refreshing for myself and the writers.

"But I still feel tremendous responsibility, because I know I'm producing for a youth market and I know that our storytelling has to be responsible."

"Next Class" focuses on Generation Z and Schuyler says social media has provided "a plethora of great storylines" for the Emmy-nominated, Toronto-set series, from issues related to photo-sharing sites, to catfishing and cyber-bullying.

Other returning cast members include Ricardo Hoyos, Eric Osborne, Sara Waisglass, and Stefan Brogren. New faces include Amir Bageria, Chelsea Clark, and Dante Scott.

Schuyler surmises the show has resonated for so long because they have a roster of veteran and new writers, as well as an age-appropriate cast who have some input.

"We don't publish a single script here until the writers and the cast all sit down and read it together," says Schuyler.

"So by the writers being very diligent in keeping their ear and eye on the pulse of what's out there and with the genuine input from our cast, we keep ourselves in check."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • 5 things you probably didn't know about the Oscars

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- You have a firm grip on this year's Oscar nominees, last year's winners and what host Jimmy Kimmel will undoubtedly joke about (and the best picture award goes to ... oops). But there are aspects of Hollywood's stellar night that may be a surprise. Source
  • Arcade Fire to perform, receive achievement award at the Junos

    Entertainment CBC News
    Arcade Fire have been added as performers to next month's Juno Awards broadcast. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences says it will also give the Montreal indie rockers an international achievement award. Arcade Fire is a leading nominee with four nods — for best group, single, album and alternative album. Source
  • Arcade Fire to perform, and get achievement award, at the Juno Awards

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO - Arcade Fire have been added as performers to next month's Juno Awards broadcast. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences says it will also give the Montreal indie rockers an international achievement award. Source
  • 'Black Panther': Wakandan language is real and hard to learn

    Entertainment CTV News
    JOHANNESBURG -- Much of what is seen in "Black Panther" is fictional, including the country where the movie is based. But in Wakanda, they do speak a language that is very much real, with distinctive clicks and other sounds that had some cast members struggling to speak it. Source
  • French customs officials recover stolen Degas from bus

    Entertainment CTV News
    PARIS -- French customs officers have found an impressionist painting by Edgar Degas stowed on a bus, more than eight years after it was reported stolen. The French Culture Ministry said Friday that customs agents in Marne-la-Vallee were surprised to find a work of art bearing the signature "Degas" inside a suitcase in the bus' luggage compartment. Source
  • Cops: Chevy Chase kicked in roadside altercation in New York

    Entertainment CTV News
    SOUTH NYACK, N.Y. - New York State Police say actor and comedian Chevy Chase was kicked in the shoulder during an altercation with another driver. Police say the 74-year-old Chase was driving in South Nyack on Feb. Source
  • Man says he kicked Chevy Chase in self-defence in dispute

    Entertainment CTV News
    SOUTH NYACK, N.Y. -- A New York man says he kicked Chevy Chase in self-defence after the comedian climbed into a vehicle and tried to punch him during a profanity-laced traffic dispute. Chase told police he was cut off by another driver on Feb. Source
  • Harvey Weinstein apologizes for citing Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence in court

    Entertainment CBC News
    ?Harvey Weinstein apologized to Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence after his lawyers cited them in asking a court to dismiss a sexual misconduct lawsuit. A spokeswoman for the disgraced movie mogul said Thursday that Weinstein has also directed his legal representatives not to use specific names of actors and former associates in the future. Source
  • Comedian Stephen Fry reveals he has prostate cancer

    Entertainment CTV News
    LONDON - British comedian and actor Stephen Fry has revealed that he is suffering from prostate cancer. The 60-year-old Fry said Friday on his Twitter page that he has been fighting the disease for the past two months. Source
  • Mary J. Blige, Andra Day, Common among Oscars music performers

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- The original singers of the year's five Oscar-nominated songs will reprise their performances live on the Oscar stage. Academy Awards producers said Friday that supporting actress nominee Mary J. Blige, Common, Andra Day, Gael Garcia Bernal, Miguel, Natalia Lafourcade, Keala Settle and Sufjan Stevens will perform during the March 4 ceremony. Source