Degrassi: The Next Generation Season 7 Premieres Jan. 10 on CTV

- Degrassi Season 7 returns with 24 new episodes; eight hot young
                             actors join cast -

      - New episodes of Degrassi available post-broadcast on iTunes and
                    The CTV Broadband Network at CTV.ca -

    - Countdown to Season 7 continues with "Top 10 Hottest Degrassi Episodes
             of All Time"; number-one episode airs December 31 -TORONTO, Dec. 20 /CNW/ - Rival students from neighbouring Lakehurst High
invade the halls of Degrassi Community School in the super-sized seventh
season of Degrassi: The Next Generation, the Gemini Award-winning drama series
returning with a shocking two-episode premiere, Thursday, Jan. 10 at 8 and
8:30 p.m. ET on CTV (visit CTV.ca to confirm local broadcast times). Degrassi
moves to its regular timeslot on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. ET beginning Jan. 14 on
CTV. CTV continues to count down to the Season 7 premiere with "The Top 10
Hottest Degrassi Episodes of All Time," airing weeknights now through December
31 at 7 p.m. ET.

    With 24 brand-new episodes, Degrassi's biggest season to date, Season 7
picks up in the middle of the school year - where past, present and new
Degrassi students are faced with fierce competition, blossoming relationships
and new hardships.

    In the controversial, two-part, Season 7 premiere, entitled "Standing in
the Dark" (Thursday, Jan. 10 at 8 and 8:30 p.m. ET), the corridors of Degrassi
have become a pressure cooker. With an unexpected influx of students from
Lakehurst, Degrassi students find themselves facing old enemies and new
friends. But Darcy has her own problems to worry about. In her final semester
of Grade 11, the God-loving Spirit Squad Captain finds herself being pulled in
two different directions. When she chooses a secret weekend getaway with
bad-boy boyfriend Peter over the objections of her parents, Darcy quickly
finds herself in an explosive, dangerous situation that will impact her life
forever.

    In the season's third episode, entitled "It's Tricky" (Monday, Jan. 14 at
7:30 p.m. ET), Ashley decides to pursue her own music - starting with a
performance at the Lakehurst-Degrassi talent mixer - after seeing Craig's
newly released album on the shelves at the record store. She encourages Jimmy
to rap on the track she's recording, provided he does it her way. Jimmy only
wants to support his girlfriend, so when her school performance goes downhill
fast, he can't help but intervene. Their spontaneous duet makes the crowd go
wild, and it looks like this could be the start of a lucrative musical
partnership.

    (xx) Media Note (xx) Download all-new photos from Season 7 of Degrassi:
The Next Generation at ctvmedia.ca

    "The evolution of Degrassi continues with the addition of talented young
Canadian actors to its already strong cast," said Susanne Boyce, President,
Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. "With new faces and relevant
storylines, Degrassi Season 7 holds true to the colourful and entertaining
stories that our audiences have come to expect from this groundbreaking
series."

    "With the infusion of the new students from neighbouring Lakehurst High
into Degrassi this season, our writers and actors have been able to keep the
storylines as fresh as they were in season one," said Linda Schuyler,
Executive Producer and CEO, Epitome Pictures Inc. "From date rape to dealing
with cancer, I am very proud of how the series continues to tackle the tough
issues that teens are confronting every day."

    Degrassi Top 10 Marathon
    ------------------------

    As previously announced, CTV continues to air "The Top 10 Hottest
Degrassi Episodes of All Time," Monday to Friday at 7 p.m. ET on CTV, with the
No.1 episode airing New Year's Eve, Monday, December 31 at 7 p.m. ET. The
countdown began Dec. 18 with "Venus, Part 1" where Manny appears topless on
camera, and continued Wednesday with "Redemption Song" where Spinner was
forced to choose between his rebellious friends and a relationship without
sex. From inappropriate online photos to even more scandalous hook-ups,
Degrassi fans will be able to predict which episode will be the No.1 episode
of all time by voting online at degrassi.ctv.ca. At the top of each "Top 10"
episode, Tanya Kim hosts eTalk "sneak peeks" with Degrassi cast members Aubrey
Graham (Jimmy Brooks), Nina Dobrev (Mia Jones) and Shenae Grimes (Darcy
Edwards) that provide insight into that night's episode and the Season 7
premiere.

    Degrassi on iTunes
    ------------------

    True to its groundbreaking legacy, episodes from previous seasons of
Degrassi: The Next Generation are now available from the iTunes Store in
Canada (www.itunes.ca). Episodes from Season 7 will be made available the day
after broadcast. Degrassi joins other original CTV programs on iTunes
including Corner Gas, Instant Star and Robson Arms.

    About Degrassi on The CTV Broadband Network
    -------------------------------------------

    Following its television premiere, Episodes No.701 & 702 will be made
available on demand on The CTV Broadband Network at CTV.ca, Friday, Jan. 11 at
9 a.m. ET. Then, beginning Tuesday, Jan. 15, each subsequent episode of
Degrassi: The Next Generation Season 7 will be made available on demand
following its television broadcast on Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET. Degrassi also
extends its brand with 16, new, scripted webisodes to complement Season 7,
along with 14 behind the scenes extras, all available on demand on The CTV
Broadband Network. Five Degrassi character spots, revolving around cast and
where they've experienced over the years, will also be available mid-January.

    About Season 7
    --------------

    A fire at rival school Lakehurst, the school of JT's killer, forces many
of its students into the halls of Degrassi with explosive results. Amidst the
newfound clutter and chaos, Spinner and Darcy deal with dark, personal
tragedies, Jimmy and Ashley test their love, and Emma and Manny explore new,
surprising relationships - all while hurtling toward graduation. New students
struggle to find their places in the school, leading to violence and tears,
but also to healthy competition and new friendships.

    At the university house, the gang gets a new roommate, and strays further
from the safety of Degrassi Community School. Ellie and Marco discover that
exploring their new freedom comes with dire consequences, while Paige, fresh
from flaming out of school, lands a great new job, but quickly learns the
demands of the real world.

    Eight talented young actors join the cast of Degrassi this season. New
series regulars include: Raymond Ablack (The Lion King) as Sav, the tall and
attractive, but naive teen who has some growing up to do; Charlotte Arnold
(Naturally, Sadie, Custody of the Heart)) as Holly J., the heir to the popular
girl's throne; Paula Brancati (Dark Oracle, The Blobheads) as Jane, who likes
to be as close to mortal danger as she can be while still living to brag about
it; Mazin Elsadig (The Perfect Man) as Damian, Lakehurst's resident
overachieving academic and Student Council President; Marc Minardi (Ace
Lightning) as Lucas, whose recreational pursuits find him at odds with either
school authorities or the law; Samantha Munro (Falcon Beach, Would Be Kings)
as Anya, who somehow ended up in the cool crowd when school began; Scott
Paterson (Knights of South Bronx) as Johnny, the street-wise bully; and
Nathaniel Stephenson (Heartstopper) as Griffin, the music producing,
event-planning in-the-know kind of guy.

    Returning for Season 7 from the high school class are Shenae Grimes as
Darcy; Jamie Johnston as Peter; Shane Kippel as Spinner; Nina Dobrev as Mia;
Dalmar Abuzeid as Danny; Sarah Barrable-Tishauer as Liberty; Jake Goldsbie as
Toby; Aubrey Graham as Jimmy; Mike Lobel as Jay; Miriam McDonald as Emma;
Melissa McIntyre as Ashley; and Cassie Steele as Manny. Returning graduates
are Lauren Collins as Paige; Adamo Ruggiero as Marco; Steve Belford as Jesse;
Deanna Casaluce as Alex; Stacey Farber as Ellie. Returning classic cast
members are regulars Stefan Brogren as Snake and Amanda Stepto as Spike, with
a special appearance by audience favourite Stacie Mistysyn as Caitlin.

    About Recent Degrassi Awards
    ----------------------------

    The sixth season of Degrassi won the award for Choice Summer Series at
the 2007 Teen Choice Awards in Hollywood. Nominated this fall for four Gemini
Awards, Degrassi took home the prize for Best Performance in a Children's or
Youth Program or Series (Shenae Grimes). Degrassi was also nominated for a
2007 Director's Guild of Canada Award.

    About Degrassi Around The World
    -------------------------------

    Degrassi: The Next Generation has been successfully licensed in over
150 countries, including France, Switzerland, and Australia. In the U.S.,
Degrassi is the flagship series for cable channel The N.

    About Degrassi Online
    ---------------------

    Check out Degrassi's award-winning Website at www.degrassi.ctv.ca, winner
of the 2003 Gemini for Most Popular Website and Best Interactive Award in 2003
and 2002.

    Degrassi: The Next Generation is produced by Epitome Pictures in
association with CTV. The series was co-created by Linda Schuyler, co-producer
of the original Degrassi series and Yan Moore. Schuyler and Stephen Stohn
serve as Executive Producers. Brendon Yorke executive produces. Distribution
company Program Partners launched the series into U.S. syndication in
September 2007. Kathleen Meek is the CTV production executive working with the
series. Louise Clark is Vice-President, Program Development for CTV. Susanne
Boyce is President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc.

    CTV, Canada's largest private broadcaster, offers a wide range of quality
news, sports, information, and entertainment programming. It has the
number-one national newscast, CTV National News With Lloyd Robertson, and is
the number-one choice for prime-time viewing. CTVglobemedia Inc. is Canada's
premier multi-media company which owns CTV Inc. and The Globe and Mail. CTV
Inc. also owns radio stations across the country, and leading national
specialty channels. Other CTVglobemedia investments include an interest in
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and in Dome Productions, a North American
leader in the provision of mobile high definition production facilities. More
information about CTV may be found on the company website at www.ctv.ca.




For further information: Amanda Rinaldo, CTV Inc., (416) 332-5325 or
arinaldo@ctv.ca; Laura Heath, CTV Inc., (416) 332-4633 or lheath@ctv.ca