Degrassi lands three-part docuseries that will school fans in its enduring legacy
Degrassi creators Linda Schuyler, left, and Stephen Stohn pose with their star at Canada's Walk of Fame's 25th Anniversary gala in Toronto, on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Arlyn McAdorey
David Friend, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, December 6, 2023 7:10PM EST
TORONTO - Production is underway on a three-part documentary that promises a crash course on the history of Degrassi.
WildBrain Ltd., which owns the rights to the Canadian-made teen franchise, says it has commissioned a TV project that aims to explore the backstory, creation and obsessive fandom of the show's many iterations.
While a release date hasn't been set, the creators say the documentary will feature behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with cast members, crew and fans.
The project is being directed by Lisa Rideout whose previous work includes “Sex with Sue,” about Canadian sex educator Sue Johanson, and the Netflix music docuseries “This is Pop.”
Originally co-created by Linda Schuyler and Kit Hood, Degrassi began in 1979 as a run of CBC after-school specials known as “The Kids of Degrassi Street,” and spun off into “Degrassi Junior High” and “Degrassi High” in the 1980s.
Across its six series and four decades, the franchise became a pop culture phenomenon for its frank take on taboo youth topics including teen pregnancy, racism and eating disorders.
The show also helped launch the careers of many young actors, including Nina Dobrev of “The Vampire Diaries,” Shenae Grimes of “90210” and Aubrey Graham, better known as Toronto rapper Drake.
“Degrassi not only helped teens feel less alone, it also didn't shy away from what we wanted to know about puberty, sex, relationships and so much more,” Rideout said Wednesday in a statement.
WildBrain is developing the doc in partnership with Peacock Alley, a production company known for Netflix's young adult series “Tiny Pretty Things.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2023.