As we all know Epitome Pictures is the production company that produces Degrassi. Linda Schuyler and Stephen Stohn founded the company in 1995, but Linda has been head honcho of any companies producing the Degrassi franchise for well over 30 years (she founded the company that produced all of the Degrassi franchises in the 80’s, Playing With Time, Inc).
Yesterday it was announced that Epitome was bought by a company called DHX Media for approximately $33 million (for more info, read the full press release here). DHX is a large Canadian company that produces and distributes children’s entertainment. The move not only means they’ve acquired Degrassi, but all Epitome properties such as the L.A. Complex, Instant Star, etc.
Though Epitome is under new ownership, leadership will remain the same: Stephen Stohn will remain President of Epitome, and both he and Linda will remain as the Degrassi”s Executive Producers. In an article written by The Global Mail:
The Epitome principals say the sale is not their exit strategy. The deal calls for them to stay on for at least a year, with an open-ended option to remain with DHX. They say it will enable them to focus on creating shows rather than worry about corporate matters.
“I started in this business way back, when nobody knew what independent production was,” said Ms. Schuyler, Epitome’s CEO. “It was very fledgling. We’ve grown our business to be quite large now, and I think the way of the future is going to have to be to find these synergies.”
Ms. Schuyler, 65, added: “I could see myself slowing down a bit in four or five years.”
The article also suggests that the acquisition is part of DHX’s plan to expand into the teen market. What does this mean for fans of the show? Your guess is as good as mine. However, some news we can digest came out of all of this…in DHX’s press release, they revealed Degrassi’s episode count for season 14:
Epitome is presently focused on the fourteenth season of Degrassi: The Next Generation, now in pre-production on 28 episodes for MTV in Canada and TeenNick in the United States.
There’s no word on whether or not these are 30-minute episodes or hour-long ones, or when season 14 will premiere. It could premiere this summer, or it could very well be possible that 13D doesn’t air until mid summer, and season 14 doesn’t begin until this fall.