It was the afternoon of June 4th and #Degrassi was a tending tag on Twitter, which has never happened, even when an episode is airing. #CTVUpfronts was also trending. ‘Upfronts’ is cool show biz lingo for when a TV network announces the shows they will air in the coming year, and CTV is the Canadian network that owns VH-1 Canada, Degrassi’s home.
Degrassi was trending because it had been announced the show had been canceled and would end this year after 14 seasons. Lots of people were tweeting their reactions.
For clarity, I wrote ‘cancelled’ but feel that ‘put down’ would be a better term. Like my grandmother who is spending her money on her medical care instead of my inheritance, Degrassi has been going on for far too long. I expected it to end after season 5, back in 2006. We use the term ‘jump the shark’ to mark when a TV series passes the point where it is no longer any good, but I think the older metaphor, ‘beating a dead horse’ is a more appropriate way to describe Degrassi.
I kind of saw this coming. too. No new episodes have aired since January, and no word was given on when the show would return from this unusually long hiatus. Normally, we should have heard about production for season 15 getting underway in the spring. But there was nothing.
I wasn’t sure how Degrassi was canceled, as the show relied on multiple entities for financial support, and would have to end if any one of them withdrew. First, there are the broadcasters, VH-1 Canada and TeenNick in the US. If one channel decided to drop the show, it would have to be canceled, even if the other channel was willing to keep it going. Also, Degrassi receives funding from the Canadian government, as well as the province of Ontario. So, if TeenNick and VH-1Canada wanted to continue Degrassi, but say, the Canadian government was overthrown in a bloody coup, Degrassi would probably get cancelled.
According to that homeless person who blogs about Degrassi, TeenNick was the party who ended it. Which is ridiculous because Degrassi is the only show they have. They try other original programming from time to time, but those shows always get canceled because they are even stupider than Degrassi. All TeenNick airs is reruns of Drake & Josh and iCarly. What, does Degrassi need to add Miranda Cosgrove to the cast? How can that channel even stay viable? Plus, they need to change their name if all they show are repeats of Nickelodeon shows. Teenagers don’t watch Nickelodeon. Once you turn 13, you view it as a channel for little kids. At that age, I was all like, “I’m too grown up and mature to watch Nickelodeon. From now on, I’m going to watch Law & Order.”
I was prepared to write a long eulogy to Degrassi and my feelings, but the production company is still looking for another American channel to keep the show going. I would recommend getting on HBO or Netflix, because then Degrassi will receive a ton of press and good reviews even if it sucks.
So I’ll hold off on writing more until the demise of Degrassi is official. Keep your fingers crossed.