EASTENDERS chiefs aim to return to five 30- minute episodes a week to stop its ratings rot.
BBC has been airing four, often shorter, shows a week because social distancing rules slow filming.
It means the programme is sometimes on at 7.35pm or 8.05pm rather than on the hour.
Coronation Street airs up to six times a week, ad breaks fill out the half-hour and episodes move less in the schedules.
EastEnders bosses have confirmed that it will return to 30-minute episodes starting tonight, with three of the four going back to full-length.
A production source said: “Bosses are keen to stop the slide. Ideally, fans would get uniformity and regularity rather than guessing when it is on and for how long.”
Corrie won top serial drama at last year’s National Television Awards and three trophies at the TV Choice Awards.
The BBC’s drama chief Piers Wenger admitted of EastEnders: “It being scheduled off-junction and not being the full half-hour has impacted its audience.
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"But we are very focused on getting the show back into its usual slot and duration.”
Mr Wenger stressed the soap, starring Danny Dyer as Mick Carter, was a hit on iPlayer.
He said bosses wanted longer episodes but added: “It’s not going to happen overnight.”
An EastEnders spokeswoman insisted last night there were no imminent plans to move to five episodes a week. She said:
An EastEnders spokeswoman insisted last night there were no imminent plans to move to five episodes a week. She said: “There are no plans for EastEnders to air five times a week.”
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