EASTENDERS has been cancelled tonight – with football throwing the soap schedule into chaos.
The BBC One soap usually airs an episode at 8pm on Monday nights but it will not air tonight.
Instead Manchester United’s match against Aston Villa will air on BBC One.
To catch up the soap will air two episodes tomorrow night from 7.30pm.
Tomorrow night also marks the return of the soap’s 30 minute episodes – with the first episode being full length.
The second will remain at 20 minutes, but the three other episodes will will be at full length going forward.
The Sun revealed last week how bosses are considering increasing the soap’s offerings to five episodes per week in an effort to stem falling ratings.
It means the programme is sometimes on at 7.35pm or 8.05pm rather than on the hour.
Coronation Street airs up to six times a week, ad breaks fill out the half-hour and episodes move less in the schedules.
EastEnders bosses have confirmed that it will return to 30-minute episodes starting tonight, with three of the four going back to full-length.
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A production source said: “Bosses are keen to stop the slide. Ideally, fans would get uniformity and regularity rather than guessing when it is on and for how long.”
The BBC’s drama chief Piers Wenger admitted of EastEnders: “It being scheduled off-junction and not being the full half-hour has impacted its audience.
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"But we are very focused on getting the show back into its usual slot and duration.”
Mr Wenger stressed the soap, starring Danny Dyer as Mick Carter, was a hit on iPlayer.
He said bosses wanted longer episodes but added: “It’s not going to happen overnight.”
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