'Degrassi: Next Class' Will Premiere January 2016

Family Channel is keeping Degrassi alive in Degrassi: Next Class, the newest version of the popular global franchise, will debut on Family in January 2016. TeenNick announced last week the network was not renewing the show, and the "final" episode would air on July 31. Reassuring fans that Degrassi as they know it is alive and well, DHX Media's Epitome Pictures will create 20 x 30-minute episodes of the series for Family.

"Both Family Channel and Degrassi have a longstanding place in the Canadian media landscape catering to youth and we look forward to welcoming Degrassi's dedicated, loyal and vocal fan base as viewers," said Joe Tedesco, Senior Vice President & General Manager, DHX Television. "By adding this series to our schedule we've been able to redefine what constitutes 'family programming' while maintaining our mandate to program series that are both relatable and relevant for the entire family. Degrassi explores sensitive issues in a responsible manner and allows us to continue identifying new ways to connect with families."

"Following an unprecedented and incredibly supportive 14-year relationship with Bell Media on Degrassi: The Next Generation, we are looking forward to reaching a fresh new audience with Degrassi: Next Class," said Degrassi Executive Producer Linda Schuyler. "We are energized and excited to work with Family Channel as we tell stories for the new post-millennial teen cohort known as Generation Z, most of whom weren't even born when Degrassi returned in 2001."

Degrassi: Next Class is a pull-no-punches dramatic series that tackles the real-life issues of high school students. Telling the stories of "Generation Z," the series focuses on a group of teens as they begin their journey into adulthood. Pushing their own limits and testing 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. The series strives to entertain its post-millennial audience while always reinforcing its core principle: You are not alone.

Keeping true to the spirit of Degrassi that generations have known and loved since 1980, Degrassi: Next Class takes the 485 episode franchise into its next iteration and remains the longest running dramatic television series in Canadian history. The new installment will see popular cast members reprise their roles including: Amanda Arcuri as Lola Pacini; Reiya Downs as Shay Powers; Ana Golja as Zoe Rivas; Nikki Gould as Grace Cardinal; Ricardo Hoyos as Zig Novak; Ehren Kassam as Jonah Haak; Andre Kim as Winston Chu; Lyle Lettau as Tristan Milligan; Spencer Macpherson as Hunter Hollingsworth; Eric Osborne as Miles Hollingsworth III; Olivia Scriven as Maya Matlin; Sara Waisglass as Frankie Hollingsworth; and Richard Walters as Deon "Tiny" Bell.

The Degrassi franchise is currently celebrating the 35th anniversary. Degrassi: Next Class is produced by DHX Media's Epitome Pictures, in association with Family Channel and Netflix. The series was co-created by Linda Schuyler who is also Executive Producer with Stephen Stohn, Sarah Glinski and Matt Huether.

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