EastEnders fans are worried that the popular BBC soap opera “won’t survive” as it competes with ITV soap operas following a scheduling change that is expected to spark a ratings war.
In three key soap operas – EastEnders, Corrie, and Emmerdale – the BBC and ITV will compete for viewers.
“It is a huge blow for fans of Albert Square,” an insider told the Daily Star of the move.
The regular half-hour nightly news bulletin at 6.30 pm will be extended to a full hour starting in March, which means Emmerdale will no longer begin at 7 pm, causing a major schedule shift.
Because of ITV’s reorganization, two of the network’s most popular soap operas will have to change their timeslots to accommodate the network’s plans.
Emmerdale will air at 7.30 p.m. every night.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Corrie will air double episodes from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
EastEnders, a BBC One rival, will clash with the soaps on the other channel as a result of the ITV reshuffle.
Every time EastEnders airs, it will be in direct competition with either Corrie or Emmerdale, resulting in a ratings war sooner or later.
This comes as EastEnders is already experiencing a ratings decline, with fears for the show’s future growing as Danny Dyer, who plays Mick Carter in the soap, departs.
Danny Dyer announced his departure from EastEnders earlier this month, leaving fans devastated.
After being poached by Sky and leaving the soap in a complete crisis, he decided to leave.
The actor, who has been playing Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter since 2013, has signed a six-figure deal with the satellite channel, which is less than the £1 million-a-year so-called BBC deal he currently has.
When fans learned that EastEnders would be suffering yet another setback as a result of the ITV schedule change, they couldn’t help but vent their displeasure.
“We don’t need an hour of news,” one grumbled, adding, “EastEnders won’t last this.”
“The new format gives Coronation Street a brilliant new canvas on which to shine,” ITV drama boss John Whiston said.
And in this new time slot, Emmerdale will do what it does best.”
When the ITV shake-up begins in March, EastEnders will be pitted against the other two soaps.
This comes as Corrie’s schedule is set to change dramatically this week due to ITV’s coverage of the FA Cup.
- ‘This must be the end’ Fury as BBC announce ‘woke’ soap to rival EastEnders
- BBC EastEnders’ Sid Owen watched partner Victoria nearly die in childbirth
- EastEnders icon Sam Mitchell returns with heartbreaking news about Grant?
- EastEnders star James Farrar shares rare snap of baby after becoming a dad last year
- EastEnders’ Tommy Moon killed in Phil Mitchell exit plot as history repeats?
- EastEnders’ Bernie star Clair Norris unrecognisable in glam snaps at party with pals
- EastEnders’ Sid Owen on traumatising moment fiancée nearly died giving birth to first baby
- EastEnders spoilers: Sam Mitchell returns to soap – but who’s …