Coronation Street is to broadcast six episodes a week from late 2017, ITV has announced.
The Weatherfield-based soap opera currently airs five episodes every seven days – two on Monday, one on Wednesday and two on Friday. It is not yet known where the extra episode will be broadcast or at what time, although it’s safe to assume it won’t go head to head with BBC’s flagship soap opera EastEnders. A popular spot may be early evening on Sunday nights, where Coronation has previously been broadcast.
It is understood the current layout of the Manchester set will be extended in order to allow an expansion in production and additional studio space for more intense filming activity. The set currently has four operational filming studios (as well as the exterior lot) and the new facilities will allow for a fifth filming zone on the 7.7-acre site.
Created by the late Tony Warren, Coronation Street has had a regular place on the screens of ITV viewers since 1960, where it began life as a twice-weekly show. Over the ensuing 66 years the soap opera has become a staple of British life and with its reputation, so has grown the frequency of the programme to its current five episodes a week, with a third episode added in 1989 and further episodes added in the mid 1990s.
“I am a life-long fan of Coronation Street and one of the first things I wanted to explore when I became Director of Television was taking the production to six episodes a week,” said ITV’s Director of Television, Kevin Lygo.
“The soaps are the cornerstone of the ITV schedule, and Coronation Street continues to produce some of the finest drama and comedy on television. It is a hugely important part of what has defined ITV throughout its history, and I want it to continue to be right at the heart of what ITV defines in years to come.
“As a viewer I have watched the soap as it has continued to evolve, entertain, and grip the nation with fantastic storylines and this move will be the next exciting chapter in Corrie’s story.”