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'Degrassi: The Next Generation' Cancelled After 14 Seasons

06/04/2015 01:40 EDT | Updated 06/04/2015 07:59 EDT

It's time to say goodbye to "Degrassi."

The long-running high school drama series will reach its end with a two-week finale this summer, TeenNick announced in a statement quoted by Variety on Thursday.

The final season will have 12 half-hour episodes starting July 20, said a news release from Bell Media.

An hour-long special titled "It Goes There: Degrassi's Most Talked About Moments" will lead into its finale on July 31.

It will bring former cast members to talk about the show's history.

"For an incredible 14 seasons, 'Degrassi' has been a groundbreaking show tackling so many important topics that real teens face in their everyday lives," Keith Dawkins, SVP and general manager of TeenNick, Nicktoons and Nick Jr., said.

"In the final episodes on TeenNick and through the hour-long special and social activations, we hope to say goodbye in a way that is both fitting to the show and 'Degrassi's' passionate fan base."

Social media lit up with reaction to the cancellation on Thursday.

The "Degrassi" universe began in 1979, with the airing of "The Kids of Degrassi Street," which ran until 1986.

It was followed by "Degrassi Junior High," which acquainted audiences with popular characters such as Caitlyn Ryan (Stacie Mistysyn), Christine "Spike" Nelson (Amanda Stepto), Joey Jeremiah (Pat Mastroianni) and Archie "Snake" Simpson (Stefan Brogren). It ran from 1987 to 1991.

The franchise was rebooted in 2001 as "Degrassi: The Next Generation." It featured some of the original "Degrassi" actors but also introduced audiences to students such as Spike's daughter Emma (Miriam McDonald), Lauren Collins as Paige Michalchuk and, of course, future rapper Drake as "Wheelchair" Jimmy Brooks.

We can think of at least one "Degrassi" fan who won't take the news well.

"Clerks" director Kevin Smith has long professed to loving the series, so much that he appeared on numerous episodes of "The Next Generation."

A two-part episode had Smith filming "Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh!" at Degrassi Community School.

We can only hope he and Drake make it for the hour-long finale.

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