|Degrassi: Next Class|
|Created by||Linda Schuyler|
|Theme music composer||Jody Colero|
|Opening theme||"Whatever It Takes"|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||40 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||Linda Schuyler|
Courtney Jane Walker
|Production locations||Toronto, Ontario|
|Editors||Jason B. Irvine|
|Running time||24 minutes|
|Production companies||DHX Media|
DHX Studios Toronto
|Original network||Family (F2N)/Family Channel App (Canada)|
Netflix (United States/International)
|Original release||January 4, 2016 –|
July 7, 2017
|Preceded by||Degrassi: The Next Generation|
Degrassi Junior High
|Related shows||The Kids of Degrassi Street|
Degrassi: Next Class is a Canadian teen drama television series and the fifth series in the Degrassi franchise created by Linda Schuyler and Kit Hood in 1979. It is a direct sequel to Degrassi: The Next Generation, following most of the same characters that had debuted in the final seasons of the previous series, as well as introducing new characters. The series was created and executive produced by Linda Schuyler, Stephen Stohn, Sarah Glinski, and Matt Huether and produced by DHX Studios Toronto (a subsidiary of DHX Media). Like its predecessor, the series was filmed at Epitome's studios in Toronto, Ontario, rather than on the real De Grassi Street from which the franchise takes its name.
The first season of Next Class premiered on January 4, 2016, on Family's new teen programming block, F2N in Canada. The series saw its United States (and international) debut on January 15, 2016, on Netflix. In Australia, the show premiered on ABC3 on May 16, 2016. The first season ended on Family Channel on January 17, 2016, following a two-week run.
The fourth season was made available for streaming on the Family Channel App on June 30, 2017, with the episodes beginning to air daily on July 3, 2017. The series was then released on Netflix on July 7, 2017.
On March 7, 2019, show producer and frequent director Stefan Brogren confirmed the show's cancellation by Netflix.
The original idea for "Degrassi: Next Class" was to be the fifteenth season of Degrassi: The Next Generation, but under a new title. In an interview with Vice, Linda Schuyler, one of the co-creators of the Degrassi franchise and a co-founder of Epitome Pictures, stated: "We realized that the kids we're talking to today are a new generation from the kids we talked to in 2001 when we came out with Degrassi: The Next Generation. Then, we were very much talking to millennials. There's a new generation, Generation Z, who weren't even born when we started that show. That was a very sobering fact...We've done a lot of research into Generation Z and decided we need a reboot."
When Degrassi: The Next Generation ended its run on TeenNick in the United States, the producers sought out other means to distribute the Next Class series and later made a deal with Netflix.
Epitome Pictures, DHX Media, and Netflix jointly produced the series with funding from the Shaw Rocket Fund, Royal Bank of Canada and the Cogeco Program Development Fund.
Franchise co-creator Linda Schuyler and her husband Stephen Stohn serve as executive producers for the series. Other executive producers include Sarah Glinkski, Matt Huether and Brendon Yorke.
Continuing with Next Class, Sarah Glinski and Matt Huether serve as head story editors for the show. Other writers include Courtney Jane Walker, Alejandro Alcoba, Cole Bastedo. Jennifer Kassabian and Ian MacIntyre. Current directors for the series include series star and producer Stefan Brogren, Eleanor Lindo, Phil Earnshaw, and Rt!.
Each episode of Degrassi: Next Class is written following the same formula with three storylines (Plot A, Plot B and Plot C). The problems and issues presented in the episode are not always resolved by the end of the episode, and are carried over throughout the season, creating a mini-arc. With "Next Class", some episodes have the plots follow a common theme. This concept originated in Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High. Episode titles feature a "#" in the front of each episode title and occasionally refer to current social media trends.
The opening sequence of "Next Class" returned to the longer openings that was featured in the first twelve seasons of "The Next Generation", but was cut to 31 seconds. The opening comes after a two- to three-minute cold open but does not follow the characters around the school. Instead, a montage of videos and pictures from the characters social media accounts cycle across the screen. Like the final two seasons of "Degrassi", instead of listing every ensemble actor in the opening, episodes only credit the regular actors appearing in that episode. The theme music, "Whatever It Takes", was composed by Jim McGrath, with lyrics written by Jody Colero and Stephen Stohn. The lyrics for the theme music for the first four seasons of "Next Class" were the same as theme music for "The Next Generation."  The "Next Class" opening sequence featured a rearranged version of "Whatever It Takes" composed by Jody Colero, Jim McGrath, Stephen Stohn, Rob Wells, and Shobha. Shobha also recorded the song.
The Degrassi universe is set on De Grassi Street in Toronto, Ontario. The four previous series were filmed on and near that street. However, Degrassi is currently filmed at Epitome Pictures' four soundstages and backlot located at the company's 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) production studios in Toronto. The facade of Degrassi Community School is the exterior of Studio C, and uses the same colours and glass pattern as Centennial College, which was used to depict the school during Degrassi High.
The area in front of this facade features a "hoarding area" where students gather, a street, and a bus stop across the road. The studio's backlot is used for exterior shots of the characters' houses, which is one unit dressed differently for each house, and The Dot Grill. The building for The Dot is the only one on the backlot large enough to allow filming inside; scenes taking places inside the school and house interiors are filmed on one of four sound stages.
Studio A contains sets for the school's hallways, washrooms, cafeteria and classrooms. The hallways are stenciled with phrases such as "the perfect human being is all human", which were found at the Etobicoke School for the Arts, one of the many schools that set designers used during their original research. The washroom set is used for the girls' and boys' room; urinals are installed and removed as needed." It is also used as the studio's cafeteria where the cast and crew eat.
In addition to being used as the exterior of the school, Studio C holds sets for the school's entrance foyer, the gymnasium, the media lab and a hallway with lockers. As the franchise progressed and the budget increased, a stairway and balcony was installed in the foyer in an attempt to get characters off the floor and not all appear in the same geometric plane. For the first few seasons of The Next Generation, the gym floor was made of real wooden floorboards; due to warping, it was replaced by concrete painted to look like wood.
Studio B contains the sets for the characters' houses. The fourth studio, Studio D, houses all the production offices, dressing rooms, and make-up and hair departments.
For the new series, Next Class, the interior of the school set saw a major facelift. New doors were added for all classrooms, room numbers were placed on doors, classrooms were remodeled to be more modern which included new "smart-boards" and high-definition television sets (also placed throughout the hallways, cafeteria and gym), and the lockers were repainted for a more "retro" look. Several new sets were also added which include: a new student lounge room, an area called the "conversation pit", a remodeled classroom for Digital arts, and a restaurant called "Lola's Cantina".
Like its predecessors, the series follows an ensemble cast of students at Degrassi Community School, most of whom face different challenges once seen as taboo such as graffiti, sex, teen pregnancy, bullying, date rape, drug abuse, mental health, self-image, sexuality, self-injury, suicide, abortion, domestic violence, death, racism and many other issues.
Main article: List of Degrassi: Next Class characters
Starting with season 1 of Next Class, none of the characters who debuted during the changes happening in seasons eight and nine of The Next Generation remain. The first and second seasons featured 19 regular roles, with 14 cast members returning from season 14 of Degrassi and 5 new regulars: Amir Bageria (Baaz Nahir), Soma Bhatia (Goldi Nahir), Jamie Bloch (Yael Baron), Chelsea Clark (Esme Song), and Dante Scott (Vijay Maraj). Keeping ties to the early seasons of the previous incarnation and the franchise as a whole, Stefan Brogren's character Archie Simpson remains the Principal of Degrassi Community School. Seasons three and four added two regulars to the cast, as casting calls were made public through Larissa Mair Casting.
On October 21, 2016, it was confirmed that the cast members in a photo executive producer Stephen Stohn posted were the ones leaving the cast at the end of season four. This includes: Eric Osborne (Miles Hollingsworth III), Ricardo Hoyos (Zig Novak), Andre Kim (Winston Chu), Ehren Kassam (Jonah Haak), Ana Golja (Zoe Rivas), Lyle Lettau (Tristan Milligan), Nikki Gould (Grace Cardinal), Olivia Scriven (Maya Matlin), Richard Walters (Tiny Bell) and Bhatia.
Several recurring cast members from the previous incarnation continued their roles in Degrassi: Next Class, a majority being the parents and teachers of the students at Degrassi Community School. David Sutcliffe of Gilmore Girls fame appeared in a season one episode as himself. In season two, several original Degrassi: The Next Generation cast members made guest appearances for the 500th episode of the Degrassi franchise. These cast members include Adamo Ruggiero as Marco Del Rossi, Miriam McDonald as Emma Nelson, Lauren Collins as Paige Michalchuk, Shane Kippel as Gavin "Spinner" Mason, and Sarah Barrable-Tishauer as Liberty Van Zandt. Jamie Johnston, who portrayed Peter Stone in seasons five through ten of Degrassi: The Next Generation, also made his return for the second season, appearing in several episodes. Other previous cast members that appeared include Raymond Ablack as Sav Bhandari, Charlotte Arnold as Holly J. Sinclair, Jake Epstein as Craig Manning, and Jacob Neayem as Mo Mashkour. In season 3 and 4, Chloe Rose reprised her role for three episodes as Katie Matlin. Epstein also made a return guest appearance in season 4.
Main article: List of Degrassi: Next Class episodes
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired (Canada)||Netflix release dates (U.S.)|
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||10||January 4, 2016||January 15, 2016||January 15, 2016|
|2||10||July 19, 2016||September 20, 2016||July 22, 2016|
|3||10||January 9, 2017||January 20, 2017||January 6, 2017|
|4||10||July 3, 2017[a]||July 14, 2017||July 7, 2017|
In Canada, the series premiered on January 4, 2016, on Family's new teen programing block, F2N. In the United States (and internationally), first-run episodes began streaming internationally on Netflix on January 15, 2016 (excluding Canada, Australia and France). Episodes will be available on Netflix in Canada, Australia and France following the conclusion of the first season. Season two premiered on the Family Channel on July 19, 2016 and on Netflix on July 22, 2016.
In Australia, the series premiered on ABC3 on May 16, 2016. The second season immediately followed the first season on ABC3 in Australia on May 30. On January 6, 2017, Netflix added seasons 1–3 to the Australian catalogue. Season 3 began streaming online on Netflix before its debut on ABC3, starting April 22, 2017.
In South Africa, the series premiered on SABC 1 (South African Broadcasting Corporation), on 6 April 2020, airing 15:00 Monday to Thursday.