EastEnders
Soaps

EastEnders could be cut to 20 minutes permanently when it returns

The show will be back with shorter episodes to begin with

EastEnders could be cut down to 20 minutes per episode permanently when it returns to screens later this year.

The soap is currently back filming after taking a break due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down all TV production.

EastEnders has already announced they will screen 20 minute outings four times a week at the start of its comeback.

But now it’s being suggested the move could be made more permanent in a bid to attract a younger audience.

EastEnders to go down to 20 minute episodes? BBC
Could younger cast members also feature more heavily to attract a younger audience? (Credit: BBC)

Read more: EastEnders star Davood Ghadami says show will ‘reset’ when it restarts

Why could EastEnders drop to 20 minute episodes?

Research has shown anything over 20 minutes long loses the attention of millennials. Streaming services such as Netflix already offer more bitesize shows targeted at the youngsters.

The move would also help to reduce production times and costs.

A source told The Sun: “Viewers are no longer using ad breaks to play with their phones, they’re doing it during shows and losing interest.

“The BBC has conducted internal research to see if they should be offering more manageable, bite-size programming to help attract a younger audience.

“It’s just one of the ideas being mooted. Of course the Beeb will still focus on longer dramas.”

Jon Sen confirms shorter EastEnders episodes

EastEnders is back filming but big challenges lie ahead (Credit: BBC)
EastEnders is back filming but big challenges lie ahead (Credit: BBC)

When EastEnders confirmed the temporary 20 minute episode move, executive producer Jon Sen said: “Resuming production is incredibly exciting and challenging in equal measure.

“Since we postponed filming, we’ve been working non-stop trialling techniques, filming methods and new ways of working so that we can return to screens four times a week – as EastEnders should be.

“Filming will inevitably be a more complex process now. So creating 20 minute episodes will enable us to ensure that when we return, EastEnders will still be the show the audience know and love.”

EastEnders 20 minutes Coronation Street Fiz credit ITV
Coronation Street episodes are already shorter (Credit: ITV)

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Due to BBC One not having adverts, the programme typically airs longer episodes than other soaps.

The temporary measure will mean the eps will actually be in line with the likes of Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks. These soaps usually run for around 23 minutes, not including ad breaks.

EastEnders is currently off air and screens Secrets From The Square on Mondays at 8pm. A classic episode on Tuesdays at 7.30pm on BBC One.

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