The popular “Degrassi” series is about to make a big return on HBO Max. The streaming platform says it has greenlit a “fresh take” on the Toronto-set high school drama.
According to HBO, the reboot of the series will air on HBO Max in 2023. In the meantime, the platform says that the entire series will be available to watch starting in Spring 2022.
Showrunners Lara Azzopardi and Julia Cohen promise that the story will stay true to the original, but “promises fans a journey into exciting new territory, both creatively and dramatically.” The showrunners have hinted that the show will be darker in tone.
“What excites us maybe the most about reviving this beloved franchise is turning it into a truly serialized one-hour drama. We’re honored to be given the opportunity to lead this evolution and bring this iconic series back into people’s homes,” said Azzopardi and Cohen.
The exciting entrance of Azzopardi and Cohen marks a bittersweet departure for executive producers Linda Schuyler and Stephen Stone, who say now is the perfect time to “pass the baton.” Schuyler is also the co-creator of the started her journey with the “Kids of Degrassi Street” in 1979.
The 10 episode season will be shot in Toronto this summer and will be produced in partnership with the Canadian division of WildBrain Ltd, who purchased the rights to the franchise from show co-creator Linda Schuyler in 2014.
Both showrunners have strong roots to the Degrassi franchise, having been writers on Degrassi: The Next Generation. Azzopardi has gone on to be involved in the critically acclaimed show The Bold Type for Freeform, 911, Mary Kills People, and The LA Complex, among other projects.
Julia Cohen is also a successful television writer and producer whose credits include such acclaimed series as A Million Little Things, Riverdale, Legion, Quantico and Dallas.
Set in Toronto, the new series explores a group of teenagers and school faculty living in the shadow of events that both bind them together and tear them apart.
“The show travels deep into the hearts and homes of diverse, complicated characters, as they struggle to find their new normal, reaching for hope, redemption and love,” Wilbrain Inc said.
It’s currently unclear how the show will be distributed in Canada, though HBO Max has an exclusive agreement with Bell’s Crave.