All eyes are on an upcoming episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation, airing Monday, March 15 at 8:30 p.m. ET. In the episode entitled It’s Raining Men, teens Marco and Dylan go on their first date, heightening a storyline that has been developing all season. When the two exchange a tender kiss, another barrier will have fallen for the franchise as Marco and Dylan share the series’ first teen-on-teen, gay kiss.
The Degrassi franchise is no stranger to breaking down stereotypes and exploring sensitive storylines. Ever since the Degrassi franchise debuted more than 20 years ago, it has tackled real-life challenges that confront kids; from drugs and sex, to teen pregnancy, abuse, suicide and rape.
“Part of making stories about the next generation involves tackling social issues relevant to today’s adolescents, even if that means pushing the envelope of what’s conventionally seen in youth-oriented programs” said co-creator and producer Linda Schuyler.
Schuyler’s philosophy illustrates why the series has been nominated in the United States for a GLAAD (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Award in the Outstanding Drama Series category. It’s up against high-profile shows Nip/Tuck, Playmakers, Queer as Folk and Six Feet Under. The winner will be announced March 27 in Los Angeles.
In It’s Raining Men, the year-end Junior Formal is fast approaching, and Marco (Adamo Ruggiero) is in charge, except when it comes to finding a date. The problem is, Marco’s too nervous to ask Dylan (John Bregar) out at all, let alone ask him to the prom. He’s not even sure Dylan likes him “that way”. But with some unexpected help from Spinner (Shane Kippel), Marco and Dylan finally go out on a real date.
Coming off an industry-high five Gemini wins, three Directors Guild of Canada Awards and numerous international nods, Degrassi is enjoying a breakout season, earning its highest ratings ever including a series-high 877,000 viewers in a recent episode (Feb. 9).
Degrassi is produced by Epitome Pictures Inc. in association with CTV with the participation of the Canadian Television Fund created by the Government of Canada and the Canadian Cable Industry-Telefilm Canada: Equity Investment Program and CTF: Licence Fee Program, produced with the participation of the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, and with the financial participation of the Shaw Television Broadcast Fund and with the participation of the Independent Production Fund- Mountain Cable Program and RBC Royal Bank, and developed in association with CTV and Snap Media. Degrassi: The Next Generation is distributed by Alliance/Atlantis.