ITVBe have confirmed that The Only Way Is Essex will return for two new series in 2018, although the number of episodes airing per week is to be cut.
RadioTimes.com can reveal that the show’s format is being refreshed and instead of airing 50-minute instalments on both Wednesdays and Sundays, TOWIE will now only broadcast one hour-long episode per week.
The show will also be returning to its weekly fast turnaround filming schedule with production company Lime Pictures commissioned to make 21 episodes of the Essex reality show to air throughout 2018.
ITV are also promising “longer episodes than ever before” and airing on ITVBe across more weeks of the year.
Commissioner for Factual Entertainment at ITV, Amanda Stavri, said: “TOWIE has always been appointment to view television and we’re excited that the new hour-long weekly episodes will allow us to build to a bigger, better and more dramatic moment each week.”
Sarah Tyekiff, Head of Non Scripted content for Lime Pictures, added: “We’re thrilled that TOWIE is returning for its 22nd series and can’t wait to bring it back with a bang in the new year.
“We’re returning to a fast-turnaround production so the audience can experience all the lols, make-ups and break-ups in real time. TOWIE will also be on ITVBe for more weeks of the year meaning we get to indulge in our gorgeous and glamorous cast for that little bit longer. What happens in Essex, won’t stay in Essex!”
After Megan McKenna and Pete Wick’s break-up and Gemma Collins and James ‘Arg’ Argent’s will they/won’t they romance still rumbling on, it looks like 2018 could be even an even more explosive year in Brentwood.