Can a college crowd draw more than a college crowd of viewers?

Degrassi might get some competition from The Best Years, a new series on college life that aims to draw in teens dreaming about the academic adventures that await them. Scheduled for roll-out next summer in the U.S. and Canada, The Best Years comes from the showrunner for Degrassi: The Next Generation.

CanWest MediaWorks and Toronto-based Blueprint Entertainment have begun production on 13 hour-long episodes of The Best Years (working title). Shooting in Toronto, the series is scheduled to premiere in summer 2007 on CH Television and on The N network for teens in the US. The Best Years creator and executive producer is Aaron Martin, known for his work as head writer and show runner on Degrassi: The Next Generation.

The show’s aim is to draw in teens looking ahead to their college years. But it could also appeal to viewers looking back fondly on their post-secondary adventures – covering everything from toga parties to romance and all-nighters. The audience is thrown into the cast’s freshman year at the prestigious Charles University in Massachusetts, with the brightest spotlight on protagonist Samantha Best (played by Charity Shea), who will juggle school work and a part-time job at a Boston hot spot.