Degrassi hits major milestones

The 300th episode of Epitome Pictures' Degrassi will air Friday, also marking the 400th episode of the Degrassi franchise since it first hit airwaves in 1980.

Iconic Canadian series Degrassi: will this week air its 300th episode on MuchMusic.

That Friday night airing is also the 400th episode of the franchise since it first hit airwaves in 1980, topping the longest-running English-language drama in Canadian history, The Beachcombers, which ran for 387 episodes.

The twelfth season of the series – a 40-episode order – premiered in July on MuchMusic and TeenNick.

Playing With Time Inc. produced Kids of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, and Degrassi High, in addition to several after-school specials and TV movies, created by Linda Schuyler and Kit Hood.

Degrassi: The Next Generation is created by Schuyler and Yan Moore, and produced by Epitome Pictures in Association with CTV. Schuyler, Stephen Stohn and Sarah Glinski are exec producers.

The series is distributed in Canada by Alliance Films and internationally by Echo Bridge Entertainment.

Here are some highlights of the Degrassi timeline, provided by Bell Media, with some additional research from Playback.

  • Sept. 20, 1980: CBC airs Ida Makes a Movie, based on the book by Kay Chorao. The previous year, Linda Schuyler and Kit Hood acquired rights to the book and adapted it into the first episode of The Kids of Degrassi Street, produced by their company Playing With Time Inc.
  • September 1982: CBC orders 26 episodes of The Kids of Degrassi Street.
  • Jan. 18, 1987: Degrassi Junior High premieres on CBC.
  • March 29, 1987: A sharp intake of breath is heard in households everywhere when “It’s Late,” the episode where Spike worries she’s pregnant, airs. That episode later wins a Gemini and an International Emmy.

    "It's Late"

  • March 6, 1989: The final episode of Degrassi Junior High airs on CBC
  • Nov. 6, 1989: Degrassi High premieres on CBC and runs for 28 episodes over two seasons.
  • Jan. 5, 1992: Degrassi TV movie School’s Out premieres on CBC, netting 2.3 million viewers.
  • Feb. 24, 1992: CBC airs the first of six documentaries entitled Degrassi Talks, which discuss sex, alcohol, depression and drugs, produced with cooperation from Health and Welfare Canada.
  • Oct. 14, 2001: The first episode in a 15-episode season of Degrassi: The Next Generation premieres on CTV, and airs for nine seasons on the network.
  • July 19, 2010: A summer run of season 10 premieres on the series’ new Canadian broadcaster MuchMusic in Canada, and on TeenNick stateside. The 45-episode eleventh season premieres a year later on those networks.

Degrassi class picture via Bell Media (by Caitlin Cronenberg); Spike photo via Degrassi wikia