The evolution of Netflix over the years continues to create shockwaves throughout the entertainment industry. The company – which once just offered monthly subscriptions for DVD rentals by mail – has since expanded its phenomenally successful streaming service to hit original films, series and specials and even a few upcoming brand revivals (Fuller House, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2: The Green Legend).
However, the company has also earned a reputation for swooping in to rescue a series that prematurely faced cancellation. Most notably, Netflix brought Arrested Development fans the season 4 they so desperately clamored for, but the streaming service also fostered the continuation of a number of other shows, including The Killing, Longmire and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, all of which received an additional season or two exclusively on Netflix. Today another series joins that list.
Netflix has announced via Twitter that new episodes of Canadian teen drama Degrassi will begin airing in 2016. The show – itself a revival of a 1980s show – has been running since 2001 as Degrassi: The Next Generation and was recently cancelled by TeenNick. Next year’s Netflix edition is expected to mark the beginning of a new era for the show, which will now be titled Degrassi: Next Class.
Both Netflix and Canda’s Family Channel are set to air (at least) 20 episodes of New Class. Here’s a statement about the news from Degrassi co-creator Linda Schuyler (via EW), followed by the Twitter announcement from Netflix:
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 graduates to Netflix. Meet the Next Class, coming in 2016 pic.twitter.com/FhUZJ3ZiiL
— Netflix US (@netflix) June 9, 2015
Considering that Netflix has focused largely on adult dramas up to this point, adding an established brand such as Degrassi to its library could be a smart way to attract even more younger viewers to its service. After all, Degrassi: The Next Generation has tackled a number of heavy issues over the course of more than 350 episodes, and there’s every reason to believe a new version could continue to remain relevant to today’s teens.
Other series (such as Saved by the Bell and Glee) have also attempted to shake up their core cast of teenage characters and breathe new life into the show. However, few have achieved the same level of success as Degrassi, and with the same production team in place for Next Class, it will be interesting to see how the show continues to evolve with the changing times.
Are you excited to hear that more Degrassi is on its way? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts.
Degrassi: The Next Generation will conclude on TeenNick with a two-week finale event, beginning with an hourlong special on July 20 and running until its series finale on July 31. Degrassi: Next Class will debut on Netflix in 2016.
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