Snake Charms Way to Principal's Office on Revamped Degrassi
Degrassi is no longer a generational thing. The series begins its 10th season on a new network (MuchMusic), in a new, nightly, serialized format (Mondays to Thursdays at 9 p.m.) and with a new title (just, plain, Degrassi, goodbye The Next Generation).
With the original franchise dating back to 1979, they'd soon have had to call it The Generation After That, or Generations, or Degrassi Senior Moments, so, good call.
I spoke with the keeper of the flame, Stefan Brogren (right), for a Degrassi feature which ran in Sunday's Torontro Star. Read the full story here. Brogren's Degrassi days started in the '80s with Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High, two successful incarnations of the teen soap which ran on CBC.
Brogren has gone from playing tall kid "Snake" to becoming principal of the high school, which is cool I guess and probably a better choice than Joey (Pat Mastrioanni). That dude was always too busy trying to be a player and keeping his hat on back in his '80s prime.
Check out young Brogren trying to get fresh with Amanda Stepto ("Spike") back in the day (left). Damaged hair was such a turn on back then.
These guys are all in their late 30s now and so are the original viewers of the series, which saw a dramatic fall of in ratings over the last two seasons. CTV had it early Sunday evening where it just never fit. Degrassi was never your typical family hour, Heartland kind of Sunday night series, and its not compatible with The Amazing Race or Desperate Housewives. Over at MuchMusic, where a recent licence tweak allows for more scripted fare, Degrassi should find itself again as a daily teen soap. Having exhausted typical teen angst storylines after 200+ episodes, the big stretch this season is a transgender student. Didn't this show used to be about zits and periods? Forty-four new episodes are ordered for 2010-2011 with the gang about half way through production already.
Brogren knows all about that, too. Besides being an actor on the show, he's a producer and a director. Way to go, Snake.