|Degrassi: Next Class|
|The series' official logo.|
|Created by||Linda Schuyler|
|Opening theme||Whatever It Takes|
|Country of Origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||40 (as of June 30, 2017)|
approx. 24 minutes
|Prod. Company||Epitome Pictures|
Family Channel (CA, 2016-)
Netflix (Worldwide USA, 2016-)
|Original run||January 4, 2016 – present|
|Preceded by||Degrassi Junior High|
Degrassi: The Next Generation
|Related Shows||The Kids of Degrassi Street|
- For the show's most recent season, go to Season 4.
Degrassi: Next Class is the fifth fictional series in the Degrassi franchise, and succeeded The Kids of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High and Degrassi: The Next Generation. Like its predecessors, Degrassi: Next Class follows a group of students at Degrassi Community School who face various challenges of teenage life, from sexual awakenings and gender identity to current social issues like racism, religion, social media, and teen pregnancy.
The series was created by Linda Schuyler, Stephen Stohn, Sarah Glinski, Matt Huether, and Yan Moore, and is produced by Epitome Pictures in association with DHX Media. The current executive producers are Schuyler, her husband Stohn, Glinski, and Huether. The series is filmed at Epitome's studios in Toronto, Ontario, rather than on the real De Grassi Street from which the franchise takes its name.
The series premiered on January 4, 2016 on Family Channel in Canada and began streaming January 15, 2016 worldwide on Netflix With USA.
After learning of Degrassi's cancellation in November 2014, the producers pitched the idea of a revamped version of the show called Degrassi: Next Class to Nickelodeon, who would later pass on the idea. Following this, the producers sought out other means to distribute the series and later made a joint deal with Netflix and Family Channel (the latter which is owned by Epitome Pictures parent company, DHX Media).
Like its predecessor, the characters change to follow the real-life transitions in high school. Challenges and issues that the characters face sometimes mirror what the previous series had, but also have new issues that deal with the current times, such as the impact of social media and technology, mental illnesses, cyberbulling, suicide, racism, religion, terrorism and political views.
Each episode of Degrassi: Next Class is written following the same formula with three storylines (Plot A, Plot B and Plot C). The problems and issues presented in the episode are not always resolved by the end of the episode, and are carried over throughout the season, creating a mini-arc. With Next Class, some episodes have the plots follow a common theme. This concept was featured in Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High. Episode titles feature a "#" in the front of each episode title and occasionally refer to current social media trends.
The opening sequence of Next Class returned to the longer openings that was featured in the first twelve seasons of Degrassi: The Next Generation but was cut to 31 seconds. The opening comes after a two- to three-minute cold open but does not follow the characters around the school. Instead, a montage of videos and pictures from the characters social media accounts cycle across the screen. Like the final two seasons of Degrassi, instead of listing every ensemble actor in the opening, episodes only credit the regular actors appearing in that episode. The theme music, "Whatever It Takes", was composed by Jim McGrath in 2001, with lyrics written by Jody Colero and Stephen Stohn. The first four seasons of Next Class featured a rearranged 7th version of "Whatever It Takes" composed by Jody Colero, Jim McGrath, Stephen Stohn, Rob Wells, and Shobha. Shobha also recorded vocals for the song.
Like it's predecessors, Degrassi: Next Class has an esemble cast made up of eighteen plus actors and actresses. The show follows the same format on Degrassi: The Next Generation where characters either leave the show due to an event or graduate. The first two seasons featured nineteen regular roles with fourteen cast members joining the sequel series from season 14 of Degrassi. Five actors and actresses were cast to fill in the remainder of the cast, they include: Amir Bageria, Soma Bhatia, Jamie Bloch, Chelsea Clark, and Dante Scott. The third and fourth season would then introduce an actor and an actress to play Syrian refugees, a major storyline within the third season. They are Parham Rownaghi and Dalia Yegavian. Season four featured the first graduation for Degrassi: Next Class and saw ten cast members depart the show: Soma Bhatia, Ana Golja, Nikki Gould, Ricardo Hoyos, Ehren Kassam, Andre Kim, Lyle Lettau, Eric Osborne, Olivia Scriven and Richard Walters. The fifth and sixth seasons of the show are expected to introduce a variety of new characters to round out the cast.
Current Main Cast
- Amanda Arcuri – Lola Pacini (season 1-present)
- Amir Bageria – Baaz Nahir (season 1-present)
- Jamie Bloch – Yael Baron (season 1-present)
- Stefan Brogren – Archie Simpson (season 1-present)
- Chelsea Clark – Esme Song (season 1-present)
- Reiya Downs – Shay Powers (season 1-present)
- Spencer MacPherson – Hunter Hollingsworth (season 1-present)
- Parham Rownaghi – Saad Al'Maliki (season 3-present)
- Dante Scott – Vijay Maraj (season 1-present)
- Sara Waisglass – Frankie Hollingsworth (season 1-present)
- Dalia Yegavian – Rasha Zuabi (season 3-present)
Former Main Cast
- Soma Bhatia – Goldi Nahir (seasons 1-4)
- Ana Golja – Zoe Rivas (seasons 1-4)
- Nikki Gould – Grace Cardinal (seasons 1-4)
- Ricardo Hoyos – Zig Novak (seasons 1-4)
- Ehren Kassam – Jonah Haak (seasons 1-4)
- Andre Kim – Winston Chu (seasons 1-4)
- Lyle Lettau – Tristan Milligan (seasons 1-4)
- Eric Osborne – Miles Hollingsworth III (seasons 1-4)
- Olivia Scriven – Maya Matlin (seasons 1-4)
- Richard Walters – Tiny Bell (seasons 1-4)
DTNG Guest Cast
Many former cast members from Degrassi: The Next Generation guest starred throughout seasons 2-4 of the show in various situations.
- Raymond Ablack - Sav Bhandari (season 2)
- Charlotte Arnold - Holly J. Sinclair (season 2)
- Sarah Barrable-Tishauer - Liberty Van Zandt (season 2)
- Lauren Collins - Paige Michalchuk (season 2)
- Jake Epstein - Craig Manning (seasons 2, 4)
- Jamie Johnston - Peter Stone (season 2)
- Shane Kippel - Spinner Mason (seasons 2)
- Miriam McDonald - Emma Nelson (season 2)
- Jacob Neayem - Mo Mashkour (season 2)
- Chloe Rose - Katie Matlin (seasons 3-4)
- Adamo Ruggiero - Marco Del Rossi (season 2)
Main article: Degrassi: Next Class (Season 1)A new school year is set to begin for Degrassi as the doors open to new and returning students. The student's will tackle new and old issues in this new rendition of the Degrassi franchise. As they journey into adulthood, they will push their own limits and test the bonds of family and friends. The students each find their own way to deal with a range of issues: from homophobia, racism, substance abuse and violence to burgeoning sexuality, body issues, heartbreak and the complications of dating in the social media age.
Main article: Degrassi: Next Class (Season 2)
This season follows Hunter Hollingsworth being admitted to rehab following the events in the school lockdown. Frankie and the volleyball team pull a racist stunt on a rival school, and Frankie struggles to understand what she did wrong. A gala is arranged and many old faces return such as Holly J. Sinclair, Emma Nelson, Liberty Van Zandt, Marco Del Rossi, and many more. Zoë's self-harm worsens as she tries to cover up her sexuality by using Winston as a beard. In the season finale, a fatal bus crash occurs carrying many students leaves their fates unknown.
Main article: Degrassi: Next Class (Season 3)In the aftermath of the bus crash, Tristan is in an a coma for 6 months and a new school year has begun. Miles, Jonah, and Grace put on a play about it starring Miles, Lola, & new student, Rasha. Degrassi welcomes an influx of Syrian refugees such as main characters Rasha Zuabi and Saad Al'Maliki. Lola makes the ultimate decision to get an abortion and Zoë tries get her mom to accept her sexuality, only to be thrown out of her home. Goldi wonders what it means to be a true Muslim. Grace faces a life or death choice dealing with her cystic fibrosis. After the bus crash, Maya begins spiraling down a dark path with her anxiety and depression with everything reaching a terrible climax.
Main article: Degrassi: Next Class (Season 4)
A new semester begins as the students of Degrassi return from Winter break (some for their last semester). Following her recent suicide attempt, Maya returns to school for her final semester with the goal of getting better and get back to where she was before. Tristan, who also returns to school after being in a coma for 6 months, wants a speedy recovery so he can spend the summer with Miles abroad. Miles also finally embraces who he is as he applies for a post-grad experience that could change his life forever. Goldi and Winston begin to have feelings for each other which leads Goldi to question whether or not it is okay due to her beliefs. Esme, who is doing whatever it takes to keep Zig around, befriends Frankie to spice things up within her and Zig's relationship. Grace is waiting for a lung transplant and has now begun seeing Jonah, who has been keeping a secret. New student Saad is also having a hard time fitting in as everyone misunderstands his intentions. With the help of Lola, Yael undergoes a major change that makes them happy but Hunter isn't too pleased. Also, following a bombing in Brussels, the Muslim students of Degrassi face hardships amongst their peers.