We learned in May that two long-cancelled TV shows would be returning. The first, a revival of Peacock’s Quantum Leap, is seven episodes into its first season. The other, an HBO Max revival of Degrassi, never materialised. We now know it’s because the show has been cancelled once again.
This information comes from the Wall Street Journal, as part of a bigger report on Warner Bros Discovery’s current status. According to reports, the Degrassi revival is one of several scrapped projects geared at children and teenagers. This included a Charlotte’s Web adaptation co-produced with Sesame Workshop.
This year has seen a number of cancellations at HBO Max. One of the most notable examples was Batgirl, which was cancelled after filming was completed – despite the fact that Warner Bros. had already spent roughly $60 million. In the months leading up to Warner Bros. and Discovery’s merger, critically praised shows such as Gentleman Jack, Snowpiercer, and Raised by Wolves were also cancelled.
Nothing seemed to be sacrosanct either. Senior executives are also claimed to have asked TBS if they could back out of a two-year commitment to air Seth McFarlane’s American Dad, though this proposal was scrapped for unknown reasons. Disney owns American Dad, which you probably don’t want to engage into a legal dispute with.
Degrassi is one of those shows that tends to survive in some form or another. Over the past four decades, there have been five main Degrassi series. The first three series aired almost continuously from 1979 to 1991, with Degrassi: The Next Generation after a ten-year gap. That show aired until 2015, and was succeeded by Nextflix’s Degrassi: Next Class from 2016 to 2017.
Few shows can boast that type of longevity, so it was natural that Degrassi would return at some point. Unfortunately, that return will not be on HBO Max, and the reason appears to be executives cutting costs for original programming.
Lara Azzopardi and Julia Cohen were working on the new Degrassi remake. The original creative stated that they would not return this time since it was time to “transfer the torch” to new leadership.
Unfortunately, we don’t know whether the show can be shopped around to other networks and sites in the hopes of finding a new home. The fact that we haven’t heard much about the show yet suggests that development didn’t get very far, but it doesn’t tell us much. Perhaps we’ll see Degrassi again in the near future, but there’s also a chance we won’t. All we can do is wait and see.
Let’s hope Warner Bros Discovery begins investing in quality scripted material soon. After all, there’s only so much you can get out of House of the Dragon.