If you had any lingering questions as to whether or not the next season of Degrassi would be labeled as season 15 or season 1…it’s officially the latter.
Variety published an article that reveals Netflix plans to present the first 10 episodes of Degrassi: Next Class as season 1, which Epitome is nearly finished filming. So far, Netflix has ordered 20 total episodes of the series.
The article reiterates that pairing with Netflix now gives the show more freedom to do what it wants. The Stohn threw some slight, yet valid shade at network execs on the matter:
“With ad-supported TV, ratings are at the top of the list and in some cases dictate creative decisions,” Stohn said, adding that when viewership declines there’s a tendency among network executives to shy away from controversial subject matter. “We have more creative freedom with Netflix… With Netflix we’re just encouraged to tell the stories we want to tell.”
We’ve seen this in action; the most notable moment is Manny’s abortion in season 3, which The-N didn’t want to air because Manny showed no remorse in her decision.
Touching on some more stuff in Variety’s article…
Degrassi: The Next Generation” was nominated on Thursday for a Primetime Emmy in the children’s program category, marking its fourth Emmy nom. But on TeenNick, the show has suffered declining TV ratings over the past four years.
It’s funny because when it was first announced that TeenNick would no longer air Degrassi, one of the cheap shots fans would take at the network is saying how it’ll fail miserably without Degrassi there to support it. But for anyone who’s actually paid attention to ratings information, especially during the long-winded marathon that was season 13, Degrassi was getting trounced on the regular by Nick reruns. There’s disdain from some in regards to the decision to burn off the final episodes of season 14 with this 2-week event, but the telenovela format has a history of producing higher viewership per episode.
After Nick passed on “Next Class,” Stohn said Epitome approached subscription VOD players with the show. “We had a pitch ready that seemed immediately appealing to Netflix,” he said.
One of Degrassi’s greatest assets is its ability to adapt, and its willingness to embrace the digital space.
Linda Schuyler, executive producer of “Degrassi” at Toronto-based Epitome, said the company had planned the show’s reboot before approaching Nick and other distribution partners about the new concept.
Any Degrassi veteran knew going into season 14 that the following season would be a reboot. This specific class graduating is a huge ordeal, and it presents a clear-cut opportunity for the show to refresh itself.