|Degrassi: The Next Generation||Degrassi|
The first season of Degrassi: The Next Generation commenced airing in Canada on October 14, 2001 and finished on March 3, 2002, and contains fifteen episodes. It introduces a group of seventh and eighth grade schoolchildren and follows their lives as they deal with the typical issues and challenges of teenage life, such as online predators, sibling relationships, peer pressure, sex, rumors, stress, self-image and drugs. This season depicts the 2001-2002 school year. Principal photography took place from July 3 to November 30, 2001.
The first season was broadcast on the Canadian terrestrial television network CTV, on Sundays at 7:00 p.m. It debuted with a one hour special, Mother and Child Reunion, which formed the first two episodes of Season one. In the United States, it was broadcast on The N, a digital cable network aimed at teenagers and young adults. The season was released domestically on DVD as a three disc boxed set on October 19, 2004 by Alliance Atlantis Home Entertainment, although it was released to the U.S. market almost a month earlier, on September 28, 2004. Registered users of the Canadian and U.S. iTunes Store are also able to purchase and download the season for playback on home computers and certain iPods.
The series was promoted on The N with the slogan, "If Only Junior High Were Like The Movies."
The opening season of the show featured thirteen actors in lead roles. Providing ties to the previous series in the Degrassi universe, Stefan Brogren was hired to play his old character Archie Simpson, now working at the school as the Media Immersion teacher. Dan Woods reprised his role as Daniel Raditch, now promoted to school principal. Amanda Stepto also reprised her Degrassi High character Christine Nelson in a supporting role.
For the new generation of students, the producers chose eleven children from six hundred auditionees, in hopes of providing a group of characters the target audience of teenagers could relate to.
As this is the first season, all main adolescent characters are in middle school. It is the only season in which this happens, and as of Season 3, all regulars are now always in high school.
The following 13 actors received star billing:
8th Graders (Class of 2006)
- Aubrey Graham as Jimmy Brooks, a wealthy and cocky athlete.
- Christina Schmidt as Terri MacGregor, an insecure overweight girl desiring to be popular.
- Melissa McIntyre as Ashley Kerwin, a seemingly perfect student that is cracking under all of the pressure.
- Shane Kippel as Gavin "Spinner" Mason, a poor athlete and bully.
- Lauren Collins as Paige Michalchuk, the self-centered queen bee who starts the Spirit Squad.
7th Graders (Class of 2007)
- Daniel Clark as Sean Cameron, a poor kid with anger problems.
- Jake Goldsbie as Toby Isaacs, an easy-going computer geek.
- Miriam McDonald as Emma Nelson, a girl that will do whatever it takes to make the world a better place.
- Cassie Steele as Manny Santos, a naive and shy girl.
- Ryan Cooley as J.T. Yorke, an easy-going and laid-back class clown.
- Sarah Barrable-Tishauer as Liberty Van Zandt, a lonely and overachieving student with a crush on J.T.
- Stefan Brogen as Archie Simpson, Degrassi's new Media Immersions teacher.
- Dan Woods as Daniel Raditch, Degrassi's principal.
- Andrea Lewis as Hazel Aden, Paige's shallow best friend. (Grade 8)
- Unseen actor as Heather Sinclair, the unseen rival to Paige. (Grade 8)
- Kris Holden-Ried as Scott Cameron, Sean's older brother.
- Nigel Hamer as Jeff Isaacs, Toby's dad.
- Michael Kinney as Darryl Armstrong, the school's Math and Gym teacher.
- Linlyn Lue as Laura Kwan, the school's English teacher.
- Maria Ricossa as Kate Kerwin, Ashley's mom.
- Amanda Stepto as Christine Nelson - Emma's mom.
- Danah-Jean Brown as Trish Skye, a Degrassi High alumna - "Mother and Child Reunion"
- Darrin Brown as Dwayne Myers, a Degrassi High alumnus - "Mother and Child Reunion"
- Michael Carry as Simon Dexter, a Degrassi High alumnus - "Mother and Child Reunion"
- Irene Courakos as Alexa Pappadopolos-Dexter, a Degrassi High alumna - "Mother and Child Reunion"
- Anais Granofsky as Lucy Fernandez, a Degrassi High alumna - "Mother and Child Reunion"
- Rebecca Haines as Kathleen Mead, a Degrassi High alumna - "Mother and Child Reunion"
- Sara Holmes as Alison Hunter, a Degrassi High alumna - "Mother and Child Reunion"
- Neil Hope as Derek Wheeler, a former friend of Joey and Snake - "Mother and Child Reunion" (only in CTV airings)
- Kyra Levy as Maya Goldberg, a Degrassi High alumna - "Mother and Child Reunion"
- Cathy Keenan as Liz O'Rourke, a Degrassi High alumna - "Mother and Child Reunion"
- Pat Mastroianni as Joey Jeremiah, a Degrassi High alumnus and a used car salesman - "Mother and Child Reunion"
- Stacie Mistysyn as Caitlin Ryan, a Degrassi High alumna and a famous journalist - "Mother and Child Reunion"
- Siluck Saysanasy as Yick Yu, a Degrassi High alumnus - "Mother and Child Reunion"
- Alex Steele as Angela Jeremiah, Joey's daughter - "Mother and Child Reunion"
The opening credits for season one begins with Emma sitting at the computer in her living room. The name "Miriam McDonald" fades in on the right side of the screen. She is typing an email and laughing as she reads it. Her name fades out and the camera makes a 180 around Emma. It shows an over the shoulder shot of her at the computer. On the screen is a picture of the entrance to Degrassi Community School.
At the bottom of the computer screen is a blue button that says "send." Emma clicks the button as the camera zooms in on the computer screen. The button turns into an animated blue envelope that goes flying through the front doors of the school. The doors open up and reveal another set of doors. The doors open up into the gym where we see the choir practicing. The envelope flies to the right off screen.
The camera turns right, and we see basketball practice going on. The ball is thrown to Jimmy, the camera focuses on him. The name "Aubrey Graham" fades in on the left side of the screen. He looks over to his left before shooting the ball. His name fades out. As he shoots the ball the envelope reappears and follows the ball. The camera zooms over to the basketball hoop where the ball goes in. The letter goes in behind it. The name "Christina Schmidt" fades in on the left of the screen. The camera zooms below the hoop where we see the choir practicing.
The camera focuses on Terri and Ashley. Christina's name under Terri fades out and the name "Melissa McIntyre" fades in on the right under Ashley. The girls then sing along with the theme song. They sing the lyrics, "I know I can make it through". Her name then fades out. The envelope flies past them and is then seen going past the school mural by the entrance. The camera stops at the front door of the library where Liberty comes out. The name "Sarah Barrable Tishauer" fades in on the left of the screen. Liberty checks her watch before running off. Her name fades out and the envelope goes into the library.
The camera zooms into the library and stops at Manny. The name "Cassie Steele" fades in on the right of the screen. She is talking and laughing with a girl who has her back to the camera. Her name fades out. The camera then zooms over to Mr. Simpson, who is carrying a stack of books. The name "Stefan Brogren" fades in on the right of the screen. The envelope flies through the books, making Mr. Simpson lose his grip on them, and he drops them. His name fades out. The camera then zooms into the media immersions lab where kids are sitting at the computers.
The camera goes behind Toby and then focuses on his right side. The name "Jake Goldsbie" fades in on the left of the screen. He is typing on the computer as the envelope flies around him. His name fades out. The envelope then flies by some lockers. The name "Shane Kippel" fades in on the lower right of the screen and flies up. The envelope flies by Spinner and J.T. before flying off screen. The camera focuses on Spinner standing at the water fountain while J.T. gets a drink. Spinner is smiling and throws the water at J.T.'s face. Shane's name fades out. The name "Ryan Cooley" fades in on the left of the screen as the camera focuses on a shocked J.T. We see Spinner laughing at him in the background and his name fades out.
The envelope then flies across the hall and the camera follows it. Paige is hanging up a poster for the dance. The name "Lauren Collins" fades in on the right of the screen. She turns around and looks to her right while tipping her sunglasses at the end of her nose and rolls her eyes. Her name fades out. The envelope flies around her and then to the right. The camera follows it and shows another hallway where Sean is walking next to Mr. Raditch, who has his arm on Sean's shoulder. The name "Daniel Clark" fades on the lower left of the screen below Sean while the name "Dan Woods" fades in on the upper right below Raditch .
The envelope goes around them until they walk off screen. Their names fade out. The envelope then flies into the cell phone of a girl in the background at her locker. The camera focuses on her phone in her jeans pocket. She picks up the phone to read the message. As she takes it out the "Degrassi: The Next Generation" logo pops out.
- Main article: Episode Guide
In the U.S. the series' broadcaster, The N, aired episode three, "Family Politics", as the series premiere, while "Mother and Child Reunion" was held back and aired as the season finale. This caused continuity problems for viewers as the episode depicted Toby being introduced to Manny and Emma for the first time, and was set before the school year began.
The final episode of the season, "Jagged Little Pill", was also held back while The N decided whether its subject about ecstacy abuse was too controversial. When an edited version was made available, The N aired it as part of season two. In reruns however, the episodes have aired in the original order intended by the show's producers.
This list is by order of production, and as they appear on the DVD boxset.
|Season #||Series #||Title||Canadian Airdate||U.S. Airdate||Prod Code|
|1||1||"Mother and Child Reunion (1)"||October 14, 2001||July 1, 2002||101|
|2||2||"Mother and Child Reunion (2)"||October 14, 2001||July 1, 2002||102|
|3||3||"Family Politics"||November 4, 2001||April 1, 2002||103|
|4||4||"Eye of the Beholder"||November 11, 2001||April 8, 2002||104|
|5||5||"Parents' Day"||November 18, 2001||April 15, 2002||105|
|6||6||"The Mating Game"||November 25, 2001||April 22, 2002||106|
|7||7||"Basketball Diaries"||December 2, 2001||April 29, 2002||107|
|8||8||"Secrets and Lies"||December 9, 2001||May 6, 2002||108|
|9||9||"Coming of Age"||December 16, 2001||May 13, 2002||109|
|10||10||"Rumours and Reputations"||January 6, 2002||May 20, 2002||110|
|11||11||"Friday Night"||January 27, 2002||June 3, 2002||111|
|12||12||"Wannabe"||February 3, 2002||June 10, 2002||112|
|13||13||"Cabaret"||February 17, 2002||June 17, 2002||113|
|14||14||"Under Pressure"||February 24, 2002||June 24, 2002||114|
|15||15||"Jagged Little Pill"||March 3, 2002||October 21, 2002||115|
The reception for Degrassi: The Next Generation's first season was mixed. It had earned itself 365,000 Canadian viewers aged 18 to 49, while its accompanying website was attracting 28 million hits per month, but press reviews were not as complimentary. The season picked up nominations at the Directors Guild of Canada Awards, the Gemini Awards and the Young Artists Award.
- Emma, Manny, J.T. and Toby appeared in all 15 episodes of Season 1.
- This is the first season to feature cast members who appear in every episode, Season 15 is the second.
- This season marks the final appearances of Dwayne Myers, Simon Dexter, Alexa Pappadopolos-Dexter, Trish Skye, Kathleen Mead, Allison Hunter and Maya Goldberg.
The DVD release of season one was released by FUNimation Entertainment in the U.S. on 28 September 2004, and by Alliance Atlantis Home Entertainment in Canada on 19 October 2004 after it had completed broadcast on television. As well as every episode from the season, the DVD release features bonus material including deleted scenes, bloopers and behind-the-scenes featurettes.
The DVD was first released in Australia on May 3, 2007 by Roadshow Entertainment, without any bonus features. On September 8, 2010, the DVD was re-released along with season two by Shock Entertainment with all of the bonus features intact.
|Degrassi: The Next Generation||Degrassi|