''Degrassi: The Next Generation'' (later renamed ''Degrassi'', from season ten through fourteen, and ''Degrassi: Next Class'', starting with the second incarnation) is a Canadian teen drama television series set in the ''Degrassi'' universe, which was created by Linda Schuyler and Kit Hood in 1979. It is the fourth series in the ''Degrassi'' franchise, with ''Next Class'' being the fifth, following ''The Kids of Degrassi Street'', ''Degrassi Junior High'', and ''Degrassi High''.
Like its predecessors, the series follows an ensemble cast of students at Degrassi Community School who face various challenges often seen as taboo such as sex, teen pregnancy, date rape, drug abuse, self image, homosexuality, self-injury, suicide, abortion, domestic violence, death, racism and many other issues.
The series was created by Linda Schuyler and Yan Moore, and is produced by Epitome Pictures (a subsidiary of DHX Media) in association with Bell Media. The current executive producers are Schuyler, her husband Stephen Stohn and Brendon Yorke. 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.
''Degrassi: The Next Generation'' has been a critical success and has often received favorable reviews from ''Entertainment Weekly'', ''The New York Times'', and AfterElton.com. In its initial years, it was frequently the most watched domestic drama series in Canada, and one of the highest-rated shows on TeenNick in the United States. In 2004, one episode received just under a million viewers in Canada, and over half a million viewers in the US. The series has won numerous awards, from the Geminis, Writers Guild of Canada and Directors Guild of Canada, and internationally from the Teen Choice Awards, Young Artist Awards, and Prix Jeunesse.
The series premiered on CTV on October 14, 2001. During the ninth season in 2010, the series moved to MuchMusic. The tenth season marked a change in production style, which saw the series become a telenovela, a daily soap opera-style format, during the summer months, while the rest of the season aired during the standard fall-spring schedule on a weekly basis. The thirteenth season reverted to a weekly schedule and, part way through, moved to MTV Canada.
The series has been syndicated on cable television, and episodes are available on DVD and in new media download formats from Puretracks, the iTunes Store, and the Xbox Live Marketplace. Internationally, ''Degrassi: The Next Generation'' has been highly successful in the US, where it was broadcast on TeenNick, as well as being broadcast in 140 other countries.
''The Next Generation'' aired its final episode on August 2, 2015, after MTV Canada and TeenNick announced the show's cancellation. However, in 2016, the show, re-titled ''Degrassi: Next Class'', will move to Family Channel in Canada and stream on Netflix in the United States as well as all other countries where the service is available (excluding Australia, France, and Canada until later 2016).
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