ITV today has announced their intention of producing a sixth episode per week of Coronation Street, likely starting near the end of next year. They are planning to expand the studio to a fifth filming area in addition to the four they have now.
"ITV’s Director of Television, Kevin Lygo, said the news reflected the broadcaster’s commitment to high quality soap for its hugely loyal audience."
They're all very excited at ITV, citing "The plan, which was unveiled to the writers, cast and crew today, will create employment opportunities adding a new and exciting dimension to filming the UK’s longest running soap drama."
Many fans have long complained that the quality of the show has actually suffered for the extra air time it's gained over the past couple of decades. The cast have often said it's a tough job, learning lines and getting ready for scenes when they're trying to fit in so much each week and that's only going to get tougher. I have a lot of respect for the actors under such conditions.
I'm sure some of the fans can't get enough of their favourite show and will be rejoicing. I wonder if they'll continue the double episodes on Mondays and Fridays or if they'll go to singles from Sunday to Friday. That might make more sense.
I imagine it's a matter of keeping up the competition, but how much is too much?
further to that... This from Flaming Nora
First off, the Coronation Street set will be expanded. The Guardian reports today that the current eight acre set in Trafford, Manchester, will be expanded to
accommodate the extra filming.
In an email to staff, ITV producers said they would be holding a series of face to face meetings with staff to discuss the changes and the extra workload it would entail.
Programme makers said teams would be expanded “right across the board” and said the extra episode would enable a wider variety of storylines encompassing more families and give “space for the comedy of the show to really breathe”.
“The talent and commitment of the Corrie team, writers, cast, and crew will be central to making a sixth episode into reality,” said the email.
“We’ll also have substantial investment in our physical infrastructure, extending the current lot and creating additional studio space. And we’ll be able to strengthen and increase our teams right across the board to support making the additional episodes.
“It will also enable us to enhance all the positive things we currently do and are rightly proud of, such as training, apprenticeships, social inclusion, and sustainability.
“Editorially, moving to six episodes will give room for a larger variety of A stories spread more equally across our character groups and families. It will also help us ensure that our lighter stories don’t get squeezed out, giving space for the comedy of the show to really breathe.
“We’ll be going on air with six episodes in the autumn of 2017. That’s over a year away so it gives us the opportunity to define a bespoke Coronation Street solution for how we’ll achieve six, while carefully maintaining and enhancing the quality of what we do.
“To this end we’re setting up a project team of subject matter experts from across Corrie and the business. The team will pull together detailed plans covering all the editorial and operational elements.
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