EastEnders future is secure despite ratings drop, says BBC boss
There are "big plans" for the soap to "evolve" in the next few years.
EastEnders remains "a very important part" of the BBC's schedule despite declining overnight viewing figures, according to the broadcaster's Chief Content Officer.
Speaking at this year's Edinburgh International TV Festival, Charlotte Moore said there are plans to "evolve [the soap] creatively" under Chris Clenshaw, who became executive producer earlier in 2022.
"I think with the changing nature of viewing, it's changing the way soaps are being watched and consumed," said Moore. "EastEnders is such an important title for us, it's the most popular young audience title we have on iPlayer in terms of the volume of people it brings in every week.
"Chris Clenshaw is our new showrunner – he's fantastic. He's got big plans to evolve EastEnders creatively in the next few years. It's an incredibly important title."
This year has seen the soap's overnight ratings hit an all-time low as new episodes – already available to watch on iPlayer – were broadcast on BBC Two, to make way for Wimbledon coverage on BBC One.
Addressing the decline, Moore said: "Of course, we are all seeing the way audiences are shifting – young audiences are shifting more than any other and they are looking at different titles across different platforms, so we would be mad not to see those shifts and those changing tastes and those changing attitudes.
"But do I think that soap will still play a part in the ecology of television in an on-demand and iPlayer world for some time? Absolutely. I think it's really, really important."
Moore went on to insist that EastEnders was "unique" in the BBC's schedule in allowing the broadcaster to "talk about very timely issues that are very relevant to people living in the UK".
She added: "It is the more younger-skewing of the soaps on television at the moment, the biggest younger-skewing soap, so again, that's a very important part that it plays."
Read more coverage from the Edinburgh International TV Festival 2022:
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- Heartstopper boss talks why they had to change Nick's journey for TV
- Channel 4 boss on Big Brother return: 'Reviving old shows is depressing'
- Armando Iannucci dismisses Doctor Who "woke" criticism, backs "colourblind" casting
- ITV boss backs Emmerdale and Coronation Street schedule change
EastEnders is available to watch on BBC iPlayer with a selection of classic episodes streaming on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free BritBox trial here.
Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV Guide.
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