The storylines of popular British soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale will be affected by scheduling changes because of the coronavirus pandemic.
A spokesperson at ITV has confirmed the need to ration already filmed episodes means shows that were due to air around Easter would need to pushed back. This comes after the news the soaps were already going to start cutting back on their weekly broadcasts.
New Zealand's own long running soap Shortland Street announced yesterday it would take similar steps, downsizing to four weeknight shows and cutting its Friday night episodes from next week.
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"We've been informed Coronation Street is reducing their number of eps per week temporarily," TVNZ said in a tweet yesterday. "We'll have Coro at 9.30pm Weds, Thurs, Fri for 30mins rather than the scheduled 1 hour from next week - keeping in line with the UK broadcast."
The soap industry is being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Coronation Street's rival Eastenders has suspended filming indefinitely.
"In the coming weeks some episodes of Coronation Street and Emmerdale will understandably be out of kilter due to the temporary transmission pattern for both programmes," a spokesperson said in a statement.
"Episodes due to broadcast at Easter and those commissioned and filmed to commemorate VE Day, for instance, won't now air on the dates we'd anticipated. We'd hope the audience will understand the reasons for this and continue to enjoy the shows."
As well as reducing weekly broadcasts, both shows said earlier this week certain storylines would be re-written to exclude elderly cast members. This was so they could self-isolate at home.
Not everything is changing, however. Neither The Rovers Return or Woolpack will be saying "last call" and closing their doors anytime soon. This follows real-world government advice for people to avoid social contact in pubs and restaurants.
"As both Coronation Street and Emmerdale film many weeks before they air, episodes will continue to feature scenes set in the Rovers and Woolpack and other communal areas," the statement read.
"We'd ask viewers to make allowances for the fact that filming took place before the coronavirus pandemic ... and to make sure they follow the most recent Government's health advice."