Due to declining viewership, ALBERT Square’s future on BBC One may be in jeopardy.
The show’s low ratings have been criticised by former EastEnders producers and writers, who consider the soap opera “unsalvageable.”
Could the venerable BBC One programme, which has been airing since 1985, be on its way out?
EastEnders’ viewership numbers are raising concerns as its ITV rivals Coronation Street and Emmerdale have seen slight drops in their ratings.
According to The Times, the live audience for the soap fell below one million viewers last week for the third time in July 2022 as it only attracted 706,000 people over on BBC Two.
In the meantime, 2.9 million fans tuned in to Emmerdale in anticipation of learning who the father of Amelia Spencer’s child is.
The overnight viewership ratings for the London-based drama are reported to have fallen by 11.9% in 2021, compared to 8.4% for Coronation Street and 5.5% for Emmerdale. This is more bad news for the show.
The soap’s former producer and writers are fuming over the ratings, which are making the show’s executives shake and highlighting the soap’s “terminal collapse.”
These ex-bosses have called the soap “toast” and “unsalvageable,” with one even saying it is in the palliative care ward, according to one of them.
All of them are calling for significant changes to the show’s production, especially given that the BBC spent more than £86 million on a new set while having a budget of only $59.7 million.
The greatest individuals are working for Netflix or Sky, a former producer claimed, “but there’s no one at the BBC with the skills or power to say to [chief content officer] Charlotte Moore, ‘this is what you need to do to preserve it’.”
These worries were shared by another former soap opera executive, who described the show as “a series for Brexit Britain scripted by Remainers” and felt there was a gap between it and its viewers.
They said, “There aren’t enough individuals who can relate to the worries and struggles of the show’s protagonists since they have no idea what it’s like to sign up for or do a manual work.
Another concurred: “EastEnders no longer serves as a show that mirrors its viewers’ life. Its identification has been lost. Also, it’s sensationalised.”
The show’s latest storylines have been criticised by a former writer, who blamed numerous departures for the dramatic deterioration.
“That’s caring about actual characters,” they said, “and upping the ante was never the answer.”
“The cast spends the most of the time discussing minutiae; that’s what EastEnders used to be, but now it’s about killing people and jumping off buildings,” a viewer said.
The BBC has recently rehired Chris Clenshaw, and viewers can see that an enormous, drama-filled autumn is on the horizon.
Several characters have already been eliminated, and one is getting ready to die an emotional death on film.
However, these exits are simply making space for both new and well-known faces.
Bobby Brazier, the late reality TV personality Jade Goody’s son, will play Freddie Slater, a character who hasn’t seen in Walford since the 2000s.
Just in time for Kat Slater’s nuptials to Phil Mitchell, Shane Richie, alias Alfie Moon, will also return to the Square.
Additionally, a flashback episode starring Jaime Winstone as a young Peggy Mitchell and taking place in 1979 will be available to BBC One viewers.
Could it prevent EastEnders from being cancelled?
BBC One broadcasts EastEnders from Monday through Thursday.