“With effect from Monday 30 March Coronation Street and Emmerdale’s scheduling pattern will be changing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Emmerdale will air Monday to Friday at 7pm and Coronation Street Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7.30pm.” – ITV
In a statement from ITV this afternoon the broadcaster announced the changes to the transmission pattern of Coronation Street and Emmerdale due to the coronavirus pandemic.It follows the news earlier today that the BBC is suspending production on all continuing serials including EastEnders, Holby City, Casualty and River City.
“The continued transmission of both soaps is a priority to all of us at ITV and to our audiences who enjoy the shows. Whilst carefully adhering to the latest health advice from the Government and Public Health England, our production teams are continuing to film episodes in Manchester and Leeds. With this change of transmission pattern, it will ensure we have great new soap episodes coming to air every weekday night until at least the early summer.” – ITV
In scheduling, the broadcaster added that across their family of channels they aim to keep the programming as regular as possible thanks to a large amount of the ITV content being pre-recorded programmes well in advance of transmission.
Programmes they note unlikely to be affected, due to a large amount recorded for broadcast already include daytime quiz shows such as The Chase and Tenable and evening dramas such as Belgravia and Liar. ITV note they will be able to over the coming months be able to still provide new peak-time programming such as Quiz, Honour, Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow, Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip, Harry’s Heroes: Euro having a laugh, Our Queen At War, Absolutely India: Mancs in Mumbai and The Sister.
“However, with the spread of COVID-19 increasing, inevitably our ability to produce shows is being affected and shows will no longer be recorded with studio audiences. For example, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway will air this weekend without a live audience for the first time and we appreciate the huge efforts, across production, our on-screen talent and commissioning, that have gone into making that happen.” – ITV
The Voice UK knockouts, which are pre-recorded, will continue to be broadcast this weekend and Britain’s Got Talent audition shows are due to be broadcast in the next few weeks as planned.
“We have, however, taken the difficult decision to postpone until later this year The Voice UK’s live semi-final and final, which were due on air on the 28th March and 4th April, and are working to replace them in the schedule with some bespoke Voice specials. We are also working with our production colleagues to see how we can make the BGT live shows work in an ever-changing situation and we will update on this in due course.” – ITV
National and regional news will continue.
“This week has seen an escalation in the impact of the coronavirus with the Government ramping up measures and recommendations that are having profound implications for people and organisations across the UK. All businesses are being deeply affected and ITV is no exception, but as a Public Service Broadcaster we remain committed to doing everything we can to continue to provide news, drama, entertainment and factual programmes to our viewers to keep them informed about this crisis and to offer them an escape from it.
“The health of our own people and those who work with us remains our priority and we will implement the latest official guidance. I would like to thank everybody for the extra efforts being made in every team across ITV. We are also working closely with our partners in the industry to keep our shows on air. Whatever happens, we will continue to broadcast our six channels, which, between them, offer hundreds of hours of content every week for free and accessible to everyone in the UK.” – Carolyn McCall, ITV’s CEO
On programming for the over 70s, ITV note that most of this age group rely solely on Free to Air TV and aren’t able to access online content services. This age group will be able to enjoy as usual the content of ITV3, which is the home of much-loved dramas like Midsomer Murders, Foyle’s War, Agatha Christie’s Marple and Poirot. The channel also screens Classic Coronation Street and Classic Emmerdale episodes. Young viewers will also see a ‘refreshed’ CITV Channel schedule from Monday 30th March.
“As a public service broadcaster, ITV has a vitally important role to play in helping to provide the latest information, insight and guidance to viewers, told through trusted presenters and programmes. We’ve already seen significantly increased viewing of our news and live programming which demonstrates the public’s need for fair, accurate and impartial news and information.
“Our News teams across national and regional programmes are continuing to produce the highest quality journalism while our Daytime teams engage with viewers with their trademark flair and personality each day.
“Our live Daytime output continues to evolve and contingency plans in place would allow us to air from alternative locations and in more nimble ways – such as guests appearing remotely via other studios or Skype and FaceTime. Today we are announcing a new, weekly Monday night show Coronavirus Report, produced by ITV News, that has been newly commissioned to give viewers an in-depth insight into issues affecting them during the current crisis. We will continue to explore new ideas that will allow us to react to the world around and reflect that in our schedule in the weeks ahead.” – Kevin Lygo, ITV Director of Television