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[03/14/06 - 12:00 AM]
Graduation Looms, Worlds Collide and Kevin Smith Returns to the N's Degrassi: The Next Generation as Season Five Resumes with Issues of Sexuality, Extramarital Kissing and Impending Births

[via press release from The N]

Graduation Looms, Worlds Collide And Kevin Smith Returns To The N�s Degrassi: The Next Generation As Season Five Resumes With Issues Of Sexuality, Extramarital Kissing And Impending Births

Four-Part Degrassi Rollout Kicks Off Online At The-N.com Beginning Friday, March 17 With A 21-Day �Countdown To Degrassi,� Continuing With �The Degrassi Weekend Marathon� Friday, March 31 and �The Degrassi Video Yearbook� Sunday, April 2

Second Half Of Season Five Premieres Friday, April 7 at 8 P.M. (ET) On The N

Degrassi: The Next Generation Season Three To Be Released on DVD Monday, March 28

New York, NY, March 14, 2006 � After a three-month hiatus, the students of Degrassi return to the nighttime network for teens for the highly anticipated second half of season five�s Degrassi: The Next Generation. The N�s hit drama heats up with a special hour-long premiere titled, �The Lexicon of Love� premiering Friday, April 7 at 8:00 p.m. (ET). Paige explores her first female kiss with Alex, Emma�s step-father begins an extramarital affair with Principal Hatzilakos, and Liberty inches nearer to her due date. Degrassi airs regularly on The N every Friday night at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. (ET).

Leading up to the mid-season premiere on Friday, April 7, The N honors the graduating class on-air and online with a four-part celebration of all things Degrassi.

The celebration commences on Friday, March 17 at www.the-n.com with the launch of �Countdown To Degrassi�, a 21-day countdown to the midseason premiere. Viewers can log on and view something new and exclusive every day including never-before-seen footage, all new Degrassi Minis, candid �IMterviews� with the senior class, and flipbook photos of the past five years. Online fans will also be able to test their Degrassi knowledge with brand new quizzes, as well as Degrassi-themed avatar accessories and secret avatars.

�The Degrassi Weekend Marathon� will kick off a special week of Degrassi TV programming, with a weekend marathon on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1 from 6:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m. (ET). The marathon includes 48 �best of the best,� back-to-back episodes featuring the most memorable moments in Degrassi: The Next Generation�s history.

The celebration continues on-air on Sunday, April 2 as The N presents �The Degrassi Video Yearbook,� a four-day retrospective of the senior class that chronicles their lives both on and off camera each night throughout the week from 8:00 p.m. � 1:00 a.m. (ET). �The Degrassi Video Yearbook� will spotlight the following seniors: Paige Michalchuk (Lauren Collins) on Sunday, April 2, Jimmy Brooks (Aubrey Graham) on Monday, April 3, Ellie Nash (Stacey Farber) on Tuesday, April 4, and Craig Manning (Jake Epstein) on Wednesday, April 5. In addition, on Thursday, April 6, The N will encore the first 10 episodes of season five from 8:00 p.m. - 3:00 a.m. (ET), giving viewers the opportunity to get caught up on the new season.

The Degrassi mid-season five premiere on April 7 will also coincide with the world-wide premiere of Lauren Collins� New Line feature film �Take the Lead� opposite Antonio Banderas and Alfre Woodard.

Additional premiere episodes of the second half of season five�s Degrassi: The Next Generation include:

�Together Forever� � Premieres Friday, April 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET

Craig bursts into rehearsal with good news. They�ve been accepted to perform at a Northern Sounds Showcase! Although the band is rough around the edges they still manage to shine through and catch the eye of a major record label, so does that mean they are off to Vancouver and for how long? Meanwhile, President Liberty can�t hide her pregnancy anymore.

"I Against I" � Premieres Friday, April 21 at 8:00 p.m. ET

Since joining the Friendship Club, things have been going great for Spinner. Old friend Marco has returned and befriends him once again. Spinner is over the moon to finally have his old friend back, but things turn for the worst when Spinner realizes how Linus, the Friendship Club�s leader, feels about Spinner�s other friends.

�Our Lips Are Sealed, Part One� � Premieres Friday, April 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET

The Simpson-Nelson household is in chaos and the responsibility falls on Emma to keep them together. She has no control over her life: including who she dates. When Manny begs Emma to help her lose weight for an upcoming audition, Emma throws herself into it finding control and comfort in helping Manny.

�Our Lips Are Sealed, Part Two� � Premieres Friday, May 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET

Emma feels so in control these days she finally gives in to Peter and agrees to become his girlfriend. But, with her compulsive running and lack of eating she spirals out of control. She also finds herself stuck in the middle of her best friend and her boyfriend�s issues.

�Total Eclipse of the Heart� � Premieres Friday, May 12 at 8:00 p.m. ET

Facing the pressure of final exams Marco�s thoughts are not focused on what happened a year ago when Dylan broke his heart. He believes that the past is behind him until he spots Dylan at Paige�s party. Emotions run high and Marco realizes he�s quite not over Dylan and Dylan finds himself asking �is he over Marco?�

�High Fidelity, Part One� � Premieres Friday, May 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET

The end of another school year finds Darcy�s faith � in her boyfriend � being put to the test. Darcy grapples with a harsh reality of teen romance: jealousy and trust. Though Spinner is in no way a virgin � he decides to let Darcy believe this lie, knowing how much it will freak her out to learn about his sexy past with Manny and others. But when she finds her boyfriend isn�t a virgin and a liar she can�t let it go.

�High Fidelity, Part Two� � Premieres Friday, May 26 at 8:00 p.m. ET

Darcy regrets her fight and breakup with Spinner. But Spinner wasn�t on his best behavior during their split. When Jimmy forgives Spinner he has hope that Darcy can forgive him too-realizing that Darcy is the girl for him. Of course graduation wouldn�t be complete without some old couples reuniting.

Degrassi: The Next Generation is a fictional, dramatic series that tackles tough issues in a realistic way. This spring Degrassi delves into topics including: eating disorders, teen pregnancy, religion and cheating. Degrassi introduces a new generation of kids going through the trials and tribulations of adolescence in the 21st century at the newly refurbished Degrassi Community School. The series follows Emma (Miriam McDonald), Ashley (Melissa McIntyre), Paige (Lauren Collins), Manny (Cassie Steele), Ellie (Stacey Farber), Craig (Jake Epstein), Jimmy (Aubrey Graham), Hazel (Andrea Lewis), Liberty (Sarah Barrable Tishauer), Spinner (Shane Kippel), Marco (Adamo Ruggiero), Toby (Jake Goldsbie), J.T. (Ryan Cooley), Jay (Mike Lobel), Alex (Deanna Casaluce) and Peter (Jamie Johnston) as they journey through high school.

Parent discussion guides are available for Degrassi: The Next Generation on http:\\discussions.the-n.com. The episode-specific guides offer parents tips and questions about the issues raised in Degrassi to use as discussion starters with young adolescents.

Epitome Pictures and its affiliate companies have been producing quality Canadian programming since 1976, including the multi-award winning, internationally recognized Degrassi franchise, The Kids of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High, which still air throughout the world. Epitome Pictures has also produced the series Liberty Street and Riverdale, as well as several MOWs. For more information, please visit www.epitomepictures.com.

The N, the nighttime network for teens, is a programming arm of MTV Networks and is currently available in 46 million households via cable, digital cable and satellite television. The N's mission is to be the authentic voice for teens and help them figure out their lives with relevant, topical programming on-air and online at the network�s web site www.the-n.com. The N airs everyday from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. (ET). The N and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.





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