ITV bosses look determined to destroy BBC rival EastEnders by moving Emmerdale and Coronation Street with a major schedule change.
ITV has declared war on the BBC by announcing Corrie and Emmerdale will air later evenings – clashing directly with the ailing rival.
In a major shift in early evening production, ITV will now air all news from 18:30 p.m., pushing the soap into the prime time slot.
Emmerdalethere’s an important year coming up that celebrates its 50th birthday in 2022, which will move to 7:30pm.
Coronation Street, the nation’s biggest drama series, will switch to a three-hour series, at 8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
That’s bad news for the BBC’s struggling rival, EastEnders – placing ITV soaps in direct competition with it every night.
EastEnders typically airs on Mondays at 8.05pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm, and Fridays at 8pm.
BBC One has struggled in a soap ratings war recently – with Emmerdale and Corrie drawing millions more viewers each night.
Ratings dropped to just 2 million viewers on nights at various times last year, forcing bosses to launch a battle for the soap back.
The series recently started airing 30-minute episodes again after two years of being reduced in length due to the pandemic.
But ITV’s announcement will be a bitter blow to bosses looking to revive the struggling show.
“With Coronation Street bursting with great plot and characters, the new format gives the show a great new canvas to shine,” said John Whiston, ITV’s head of continuing drama.
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“And Emmerdale will do what it does best in this new period, where viewers can continue to enjoy the dramatic happenings in Dales.”
Due to the schedule change, viewers will now be able to watch live on TV in one continuous view.
Coronation Street and Emmerdale continue to be the nation’s most popular TV series, garnering an average aggregate audience of over 5 million by 2021.
Soap fans were shocked by the changes – with some calling it a “fatal blow” to EastEnders.
One wrote: “WOW. RIP EE. This is a fatal blow.”
One second said: “Wow. ITV will be hitting the final knockout for EE but this could come at a special cost for Coronation Street. “
Another tweeted: “I can’t see EastEnders surviving this. It’s already below the waterline. “
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/tv/17421562/emmerdale-coronation-street-eastenders-schedule-bbc/ ITV’s Emmerdale and Coronation Street rescheduling takes aim at EastEnders by drawing viewers from the BBC channel