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With the announcement of Degrassi moving to Netflix and Family Channel in 2016, there’s also been some concern within the fanbase about how Family Channel’s current branding will affect Degrassi’s ability to tell stories.  I’ve been saying for years that Degrassi is a fish out of water on TeenNick; just look at the rest of the network’s programming and it’s really quite surprising how Degrassi’s been able to get away with certain stuff in between fluffy episodes of old Nickelodeon hits.

I’ve never watched Family Channel (which is basically a Canadian version of Disney Channel), but just the name itself screams “we may have to water down Degrassi to fit our demographic.”  However, Stephen Stohn and DHX Media provided some assurance that won’t be the case in an interview with The Vancouver Sun.

DHX’s statement about Degrassi’s move to Family Channel:

An executive with DHX Television — which owns Family Channel and last year bought the international distribution rights to “Degrassi” — said adding “Degrassi: Next Class” allows the channel to serve their targeted audience of 14-to-16-year-olds “in a more directed way.”

“As we look to the future this provides us an opportunity in that later time (slot) to develop a more teen-oriented block,” Joe Tedesco, senior vice-president and general manager, said Tuesday from Banff, Alta.

That falls in line with the news released in April that DHX isn’t renewing its contract with Disney, and DHX is taking rebuilding the network into its own hands.  Could the network be in for a Noggin/The-N type split in programming?

As expected, the move to Netflix has an instant impact on the show’s boundaries…let’s hope the show can get even edgier in this incarnation:

Stohn said the Netflix deal is already shaping the way stories are being written, and ensures that the show’s edge won’t soften just because it is on Family Channel.

“We’re going for the online audience,” he said, insisting the show will continue to push boundaries. “Netflix allows us to go there.”

“It Goes There” was one of the marketing slogans for Degrassi on The-N back around season 4.

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Posted by Kary

12 Comments

  1. It’ll be interesting to see exactly what this means. Netflix has very limited restrictions in terms of allowable content (if it has any at all). Even if they split the Family Channel into 2 separate blocks like Noggin/The N or even Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, there are still limitations on what can air on TV. They can’t just go from being a kid’s network to an edgy teen network with no warning for the families that watch the channel. Unless they air the show really late at night, I’m assuming that the version that airs on Family will be edited to conform to whatever standards are currently in place and Netflix will stream the uncut versions. It will be a reversed form of how the show was in it’s early years where CTV had uncut episodes and The N had edited versions.

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  2. It’s not like degrassi is going to start using profanity or have nudity or something, I guess maybe a Netflix version could have more intense moments that might be altered for the Canadian version, but it’s more likely they’d be the same.

    The real question is that if the first season is gonna be 20 episodes, will that take place over about 20 weeks, and then season 2 could start very close to season one? Any chance they will go to hour long episodes? It would stink to go from something like 40+ eps per season down to 20, if they have a long time period between seasons. If they start season 2 shortly after, then it won’t matter.

    And I think it’s great that degrassi is on a new actual tv channel in canada, I don’t really think degrassi is the target demo for Netflix people, I dunno exactly how well it’ll do, but at least by having a main Canada channel, that’d make it easier for degrassi to go back to some American channel in the future if it comes to that.

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    1. I can’t speak for Netflix target demo. But looking over netflix through the years they have had plenty of teen dramas and movies on there. They also do have original programming for younger viewers, it doesn’t get the hype their shows like Orange is the New Black and Daredevil gets, but they are there. They even apparently have a spin-off of H2O which used to air on Teen Nick, not edgy like Degrassi but clearly for a simmilar age group. And a lot of teens watch Netflix (hell anymore everyone watches Netflix) so I think it could appeal to their audience. It won’t be getting the kind of critical acclaim and heavy press their “adult” shows get, but I think Netflix has an audience for it.

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    2. So ce they said 20 this season wouldn’t they split it up? Evenly that’s 5 per block. But I won’t have to worry about the Netflix price for a while. (At least 7 months). But if Zoe is out the picture (out of school) who cares? I need a break.

      I’ll watch the first one then maybe drop by to see the 2 parts and long ones. That’s it. There’s no need to watch after the scandal is over. I can be relieved. It looks like after the 14B 4th ep we can see it getting close

      *jaws music*. But the suspense in episodes is stressful, especially when you wait months to see it. Teennick is shit without them. I remember the bottom commercials from when I was little. But I will be happy with the ending.

      No seniors, Drew or Zoe. That’s a win-win. Maybe I’ll watch other streaming shows too.

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    3. Netflix has a lot of teen shows–The Fosters, Switched at Birth, Twisted, Glee, Secret Life of the American Teenager. They also have a ton of kids shows.

      A lot of families use stuff like Netflix and Hulu+ instead of cable now, so it’s not just adults in their twenties who use it.

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  3. Thanks for this blog post! I’ve seen enough people complaining that Degrassi is going to turn soft, but I think that ultimately it’s going to be a nice balance between pushing the boundaries on Netflix and not being scandalous enough for the Family Channel. At first I was worried that we were going to lose the fandom if the episodes were released all at once rather than on a weekly basis, but I think it’s safe to predict that it will be the latter. I’m more curious to see if the half hour episodes will really be thirty minutes long since I hear that both broadcasters don’t air commercials.

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    1. I’ve seen Family Channel, and even though they don’t air commercials their stuff is usually 22 minutes, then 8 minutes between episodes of promoting other shows they air and sometimes music videos? At least when I watched, which was a couple of years ago. Netflix has no commercials though, and in their original programming the episode lengths can vary slightly, from like 48 minutes to 62 minutes.

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  4. Question: Does degrassi:next class mean that the show is getting a complete reboot? Like DTNG is over? Like we’ll refer to the first season of degrassi:next class as Season 1, then the next season as season 2, etc etc?

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    1. DTNG ended season 9, and when the show dropped “the next generation” from the title and it was only called “Degrassi” it was considered a revamp. But we still call it season 10. So even though “the next class” is considered another reboot, the show will still be in its 15th season!

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    2. Next Class is Season 15 but for Netflix audiences coming in Netflix might number it s1 as opposed to s15 so not confuse the new viewers

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  5. I think Degrassi will be good on Netflix if they end up putting every season on Netflix it’ll be very successful since alot of people like to binge watch on Netflix

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    1. Netflix already has seasons 1-14, available to thier dvd customers, so it looks like they’re gonna put them all up.

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