50 Daily Report with Dean
11 July 2005
few years you stumble on a TV show that addresses teen issues in a refreshingly un-Aaron Spelling sort-of-way that is, nothing
like his famous teen hit, Beverly Hills 90210. This show, now in its second season is Degrassi: The Next Generation, a high-school
TV drama that creatively tackles teen issues with young actors who are actually teens. A Canadian import, it's quietly been
building into a cult hit in the U.S.
While not generating enough search activity to
make The Lycos 50, searches for Degrassi have exploded 647 percent during the past month. The show has grown more popular
online than any other TV series this summer. Degrassi: The Next Generation is a spin-off of two previous award-winning shows
Degrassi High and Degrassi Junior High that aired on some PBS stations in the 1980s. Degrassi has developed a loyal group
of viewers by addressing everyday topics like dating and grades while tackling tougher issues such as date-rape, gay-bashing
and school shootings. The actors are also all unknown in the U.S., and look like real teens
with zits and all, unlike the plastic actors of The O. C.
According to the creator and former junior-high
teacher, Linda Schuyler, because it airs on a little-known cable network, The N, kids had to discover the show themselves.
The N, a nighttime network for teens, is part of MTV Networks and is currently available in 43 million homes. Not afraid of
controversy, the show grabbed national headlines last season when a character got an abortion and The N refused to air it.
Expect to see more in the coming months of Degrassi:
The Next Generation as The N starts airing all new episodes this summer including one sure to get sensors excited, a show
that deals with oral sex. And word is there's a Degrassi movie in the works but if you can't wait for the movie, the cast
are going out on the road for 12 city mall tour.