The eighth season of Degrassi: The Next Generation premiered in Canada on 5 October 2008, concluded on 30 August 2009, and consists of twenty-two episodes (18 episodes, and 1 movie). Degrassi: The Next Generation is a Canadian serial teen drama television series. Although only one school year passed in the story timeline in seasons six and seven, season eight is set in the first semester in which the year it aired. Writers have been able to use a semi-floating timeline, so that the issues depicted are modern for their viewers. This season depicts the lives of a group of high school freshman, juniors, seniors, and college freshmen as they deal with some of the challenges and issues young adults face such as sex, sexual identity, drug use, financial difficulties, child molestation, mental illness, cyberbullying, sexism, hostage situations, careers and relationships. Thirteen actors are added to the ensemble cast, while fourteen cast members have either left the series or been dropped from the main cast to recurring roles. The season focuses heavily on the new generation of students at Degrassi Community School, although it included storylines about those who have graduated and gone on to university.