'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

  • Olivia Wilde on totalitarianism, babies and split lips

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- As an actress, Olivia Wilde has lots of reasons why making her Broadway debut in George Orwell's dystopian thriller "1984" is special. As a mother, she has just two: her young children. Source
  • Actor Johnny Depp makes assassination crack at President Donald Trump: 'This is going to be in the press' [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Johnny Depp rambled his way back into relevancy Thursday night when he joked about the assassination of U.S. President Donald Trump. The 54-year-old actor’s rather incoherent mumbles at England’s Glastonbury Festival included yet another poor attempt at comedy at Trump's expense. Source
  • Lee embraces villain title on 'The Bachelorette' and more reality TV highlights this week

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Lee embraces title of Bachelorette villain Every season of The Bachelorette has its very own villain to stir up the kind of drama that Bachelor Nation continues to tune in for. This season, Florida-based singer Lee Garrett earned the title with his actions on and off camera. Source
  • Lionel Richie expects 'diva' behaviour from Mariah Carey on tour

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES - Lionel Richie is welcoming full diva behaviour from Mariah Carey when she joins his "All the Hits " tour next month. Richie jokes that he expects Carey to bring along a massive entourage and might need a "dressing room larger than the arena," but that's no problem. Source
  • Ashton Kutcher, Liam Payne and Vanessa Hudgens gag on anchovy gelato and more late-night TV highlights this week

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Ashton Kutcher, Liam Payne and Vanessa Hudgens are gagging dinner guests Jimmy Fallon was nice enough to invite some celebrity guests over for dinner on The Tonight Show this week. But Ashton Kutcher, Liam Payne and Vanessa Hudgens were in for a more eclectic menu than they were anticipating, as the late-night host treated his guests to a game of Secret Ingredient. Source
  • Anthony Hopkins once snuck into a 'Silence of the Lambs' screening

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Anthony Hopkins once stunned moviegoers by sneaking into a screening of The Silence Of The Lambs. The veteran Hollywood actor is known for his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in the 1991 film, a role for which he won an Academy Award. Source
  • Drake references rumoured ex Jennifer Lopez in new track

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Drake appears to have referenced his rumoured former flame Jennifer Lopez in a new song he debuted during a Louis Vuitton’s fashion show on Thursday. The 30-year-old rapper performed the new track Signs during the Paris Fashion Week event and in one section of the song, he seemed to be mentioning Lopez, praising her moves. Source
  • Bollywood star Khan's latest Eid release hits screens

    Entertainment CTV News
    Bollywood bad boy Salman Khan's latest movie opened in Indian cinemas Friday but film analysts are skeptical it will have the same box office success as his previous Eid blockbusters. It is something of a tradition in the Hindi film industry for Khan to star in the big release of the Eid holiday to mark the end of Ramadan, which this year is expected to fall on Monday. Source
  • Depeche Mode unveils 360-degree video

    Entertainment CTV News
    A new pair of videos for Depeche Mode's "Going Backwards" shows the band performing the track live, with one of the two featuring 360-degree views. "Going Backwards" appears on the group's recent album, "Spirit," which was released in March and was the group's first since 2013's "Delta Machine. Source
  • Rihanna responds to fan's DM about getting over heartbreak

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Rihanna turned agony aunt on Wednesday to help a fan coping with the end of a relationship. The Stay hitmaker was contacted by Twitter user Samer, aka @WaladShami, who asked her for advice about recovering from a broken heart. Source