School is back in session for the teens of Degrassi: Next Class, which will start streaming its fourth season on July 7 on Netflix. And there will be plenty of drama this time around — including the fact that many fan favorite characters are set to graduate. That just means you'll be able to look forward to meeting a bunch of new characters when Degrassi: Next Class Season 5 premieres. While the series hasn't been officially renewed for a fifth season, show creator and exec producer Linda Schuyler told the Degrassiland podcast in 2016 that the writers began brainstorming Seasons 5 and 6 of the series.
The show's previous seasons have dropped on Netflix with two per year — one season premiering in the Winter and one in the Summer — so if Season 5 follows suit, Degrassi will be back in Winter 2018 for a brand new school year. For now, it's going to be sad to potentially say goodbye to the Degrassi seniors, who have been the core cast members of the Netflix iteration of the franchise. The official Season 4 trailer shows Tiny, Grace, Winston, Jonah, Miles, Tristan, Zoe, Zig, and Goldi facing for their final semester at the drama-filled high Canadian school. What's great about the Degrassi universe, though, is that new students are always enrolling with stories to tell, and beloved characters are never truly gone — alumni drop by the high school all the time.
For instance, Season 4 features another appearance by Degrassi: The Next Generation alum Craig Manning (played by Jake Epstein).
Epstein announced his cameo on the Degrassi Twitter account in a July 5 video that shows him reuniting with fellow old school cast member Adamo Ruggiero (who played Marco). In 2016, Epstein and Ruggiero returned to the show in Season 2 for the 500th episode of the Degrassi franchise, which also featured appearances by alums Lauren Collins (Paige), Sarah Barrable-Tishaur (Liberty), Shane Kippel (Spinner), and Miriam McDonald (Emma). Degrassi has been on television in several different iterations since 1979.
The modern era of the franchise kicked off in 2001 with several alums from the '80s series dropping by Degrassi: The Next Generation's pilot episode, including now-school principal Archie "Snake" Simpson (Stefan Brogren, who is also a producer and director on the series), Spike Nelson (Amanda Stepto), and Joey Jeremiah (Pat Mastroianni).
So even though many of Degrassi: Next Class' characters are graduating in the Class of 2017, it's not likely to be the last we'll see of them on-screen. In the past, the franchise has even followed some of its characters into college, as it did in several seasons of Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Either way, fans will get the chance to meet lots of new characters — and social issues — when Degrassi: Next Class Season 5 premieres on Netflix.