Canadian original series will be back in production summer 2014

TORONTO, May 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Family Channel announced today that a third season of the hit original dance series The Next Step is on its way. Produced by Toronto's Temple Street Productions, the serialized reality-style program will see 30 half-hour episodes in production later this summer, ahead of its network premiere in Spring 2015.

The Next Step has quickly become one of Family's top-ranked programs and a fan-favourite series, performing as the most-watched program among Kids 6-12 and Girls 6-12 across all specialty stations, as well as ranking in the Top 5 for Girls 6-12 across all stations.¹ The season one finale on January 3, 2014 brought in 29% more viewers in the K6-12 demographic than the series launch, demonstrating the series' growth.² The Next Step has broken onto the global scene after being sold to Hulu in the United States, CBBC in the UK and Disney Channel Australia, among others, by BBC Worldwide.

"There's no denying that Family's viewers feel an unwavering connection to the engaging characters, relatable storylines and unexpected drama The Next Step offers," said Michael Goldsmith, Director, Original Programming, Family Channel. "With our viewership continuing to grow with each episode, it's evident that we've developed a program that showcases Canadian talent at its finest. The success of this series is a testament to our ongoing creative partnership with Temple Street where we emphasize a new approach to telling stories that resonate with kids. We're thrilled to be able to make more episodes of this inventive series for what is now a global audience."

"We're extremely pleased by how kids have embraced The Next Step and excited at how quickly they developed such a strong fan-base that continues to grow," said David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg, Executive Producers and Co-Presidents of Temple Street Productions. "We very much look forward to continue working with Family Channel as we head back into production on a third season."

The Next Step follows the lives of a group of elite dancers at The Next Step Studio as they compete at the highest level of dance. In the second season, The Next Step saw the A-Troupe dancers re-audition for their places with hopefuls from other studios in order to make the nationals team. Personal relationships are put to the test as the dancers try to find a balance between their individual talent and the dedicated teamwork required to win at the national level. New episodes of The Next Step debut Fridays at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Family Channel.

The series stars Victoria Baldesarra as Michelle; Alexandra Beaton as Emily; Brittany Raymond as Riley; Trevor Tordjman as James; Isaac Lupien as Eldon; Lamar Johnson as West; Brennan Clost as Daniel; Jennifer Pappas as Chloe; Logan Fabbro as Amanda; Bree Wasylenko as Kate; Samantha Grecchi as Stephanie; Tamina Pollack-Paris as Tiffany; and So You Think You Can Dance Canada season four winner Jordan Clark as Giselle. Joining the series for season two were: Zac Vran (Canada's Got Talent Top 2 Finalist) as Hunter; Taveeta Szymanowicz as Thalia; and Natalie Krill as Phoebe.

Commissioned by Family Channel, The Next Step is produced by Temple Street Productions and is executive produced by Frank van Keeken (Wingin' It, Kids in the Hall, Billable Hours), Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier (Orphan Black, Being Erica, Wingin' It). BBC Worldwide has acquired international distribution rights. The Next Step is also produced with financial assistance from The Shaw Rocket Fund.