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Degrassi might be ending, but apparently people are still very excited about the franchise. On Tuesday, outlets in both Canada and the US announced that Degrassi will be returning to our TVs in 2016, with familiar faces but a brand new title. The new version of Degrassi will roll with the subtitle Next Class. The new series is headed to Family Channel in Canada and Netflix in the US.
Next Class’ focus will be on Generation Z, a group that wasn’t even born when Degrassi returned to the schedule way back in 2001. Despite the fact the new series will focus on a brand new generation, fans will be welcoming plenty of returning characters, 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 Tiny Bell.
Twenty episodes will be produced for the new season, and will hit the schedule in January of next year per The Star. The news comes at a good time for the series, as the Degrassi franchise is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. The last run, formerly subtitled The Next Generation, produced 485 episodes and actually happens to be the longest running series in Canadian history. It’s no wonder the production company would be looking to keep the brand alive.
The Next Class news comes just a short while after Degrassi’s current amalgamation was announced to be ending. This summer, Degrassi will end its run on TeenNick in the US, although it will go out with a bit of a bang, airing nightly episodes for two weeks between July 20 and the end of the month. TeenNick also has a reunion special planned called It Goes There: Degrassi’s Most Talked About Moments. Now that Next Class has been picked up, fans will just have to wait a few short months to return to Degrassi Community School.
Netflix has become a pretty good option for revitalizing and rebooting shows that originally aired elsewhere. The subscription streaming service has already produced new seasons of Arrested Development and The Killing, and the service has also picked up new seasons of the previously cancelled Longmire. While Degrassi: Next Class is technically a little bit different than Longmire and the other pick-ups, it's still nice to see the show hasn't been cancelled. We’ll let you know as soon as Next Class gets a premiere date.