via press release:
TEENNICK’S AWARD-WINNING DRAMA DEGRASSI RETURNS WITH BRAND-NEW EPISODES, FEATURING AN ALL-NEW FRESHMAN CLASS, MONDAY, FEB. 20, AT 9:00 P.M. (ET)
Viewers are Invited to “Party with Degrassi,” At Cast-Hosted Screening Events
in Five Cities Nationwide
NEW YORK, Jan. 12, 2012 – TeenNick’s award-winning and Emmy nominated drama, Degrassi opens its doors to a new crop of freshman and reunites fans with familiar faces as the network premieres 14 new half-hour episodes filled with love triangles, rivalries and scandals. Brand-new episodes roll out beginning Monday, Feb. 20, at 9:00 p.m. (ET) with the premiere of “Underneath it All” Pt. 1 followed by “Underneath it All” Pt. 2 on Friday, Feb. 24, at 9:00 p.m. (ET). New Degrassi episodes will premiere Fridays at 9:00 p.m. (ET). Leading up to the premiere, the Degrassi cast will host five “Party with Degrassi” screening events across the U.S., giving fans an exclusive sneak peek of the new season.
“Fans will rejoice as Degrassi returns with new characters and their favorite upperclassmen who continue to face relevant issues affecting teens today, including drug abuse, sexuality, bullying, parenthood and adoption,” said Keith Dawkins, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Nicktoons and TeenNick. “We are excited to bring the cast from the halls of Degrassi to fans across America at these ultimate fan experiences.”
During the week of Feb. 13, TeenNick invites viewers to “Party with Degrassi” as the cast hosts premiere screening parties in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Minneapolis, with the fifth city to be determined by the fans. Beginning Friday, Jan. 13, viewers will get a chance to vote on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DegrassiTV) and Twitter (@degrassinsider) to have the Degrassi cast visit their city.
The new episodes usher in four new characters: Maya (Olivia Scriven); Tori (Alex Steele); Tristan (Lyle O’Donohoe) and Zig (Ricardo Hoyos). All of them are different, but they have one thing in common – they’re newbies trying to navigate their way in this new world. Many of the Degrassi student body have moved on to the next grade, but just because they’ve climbed the ladder, it doesn’t mean that they don’t struggle to find their place.
In “Underneath it All” Pt. 1, the school year begins with Fiona (Annie Clark) retuning from rehab and trying to make a fresh start. When an exclusive party at her loft leads to a late-night senior prank, someone must take the blame. After the marriage of their parents, Clare (Aislinn Paul) and Jake (Justin Kelly) are now forced to live together and their relationship is hotter than ever. Clare tests Jake to determine if they're "emotionally ready" for sex. Meanwhile, a new group of freshmen get their first taste of Degrassi drama as school president Katie’s (Chloe Rose) little sister, Maya meets a cute boy on the first day of school. However, Tori and Tristan warn her that Zig is bad news.
New Freshman Cast:
TORI SANTAMARIA- Age 14 (Alex Steele): Tori’s parents have indulged her every whim with a stream of dance lessons, kid modeling jobs and beauty pageants. Having never heard “no” or a negative word, Tori enters grade nine believing she’s the best at everything. But while Tori is ‘spoiled’, she’s not really a ‘brat’-- her positive attitude and winning smile rub off on nearly everyone she meets. She realizes how sheltered and unhip she is when she comes in contact with older students. Despite these setbacks, nothing’s going to stop Tori. She is ready to rule Degrassi – or at least grade nine.
ZIG NOVAK - Age 14 (Ricardo Hoyos): To the other freshmen, Zig's the handsome, charming and aloof bad boy of their class. Full of swagger, he flirts with the pretty girls, keeps the dudes laughing with his pranks and antics and finds himself in detention more often than he should-- though he can usually talk his way out of the trouble. There's a reason he treats Degrassi as his playground-- his home life isn't nearly as much fun.
MAYA MATLIN - Age 14 (Olivia Scriven): Maya is dreading freshman year because it puts her squarely in the shadow of her older sister, Katie -- an already accomplished and established force at Degrassi. Having spent her life playing second fiddle, Maya’s desperate to carve out an identity of her own. At Degrassi, she hopes to embrace her love for music by starting her own rock band. She cares about humanity and the world around her, doesn’t believe in the false construct of “popularity” and isn’t afraid to speak truth to power, even it means running afoul of classmates, her sister, her parents, or if it lands her in detention.
TRISTAN MILLIGAN- Age 14 (Lyle O’Donohoe): Tristan is out, proud, and wants to rule the school. Like many Degrassi students before him, Tristan wants to star in the musical, plan the dances and be at the top of the Power Squad pyramid. He’s loud and doesn’t care if others find him annoying. Tristan’s also fiercely loyal-- once in his good graces, he protects his friends until the end.
Degrassi is a fictional, dramatic television series that tackles tough teen issues in a realistic way. The internationally acclaimed series is the winner of a Television Critics Association Award, the Peabody Award and two Teen Choice Awards, among others. Heralded as the most authentic teen drama on television, Degrassi explores an interesting group of adolescents and young adults going through the trials and tribulations of teendom at Degrassi Community School. In its eleventh season, the series follows Clare (Aislinn Paul), Alli (Melinda Shankar), K.C. (Sam Earle), Connor (AJ Saudin), Fiona (Annie Clark), Jenna (Jessica Tyler), Dave (Jahmil French), Drew (Luke Bilyk), Adam (Jordan Todosey), Bianca (Alicia Josipovic), Eli (Munro Chambers), Owen (Daniel Kelly), Wesley (Spencer Van Wyck), Marisol (Shanice Banton), Ms. Oh (Cory Lee) and Principal Simpson (Stefan Brogren) Jake (Justin Kelly), Katie (Chloe Rose) and Imogen (Cristine Prosperi) Mo (Jacob Neayem). Season 11 includes the addition of new students – Maya (Olivia Scriven), Zig (Ricardo Hoyos), Tori (Alex Steele) and Tristan (Lyle O’Donohoe).
TeenNick, the 24-hour TV network exclusively for and about teens and tweens, is available in more than 71 million households via cable, digital cable and satellite, as well on mobile, VOD and broadband. TeenNick's distinct perspective connects its audience to the electricity and possibilities of teendom, anytime and anywhere, with original series and ever-popular favorites. TeenNick and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.