BBC’s EastEnders and ITV’s Emmerdale have offered up dramatic storylines to attract viewers as they go head to head in the 7.30pm slot.
Monday evening saw the soap operas clash in the TV schedule following a revamp to both broadcasters’ evening programming.
EastEnders has changed to a new “simplified schedule” of airing on BBC One at 7.30pm to 8pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
While Emmerdale has moved to the 7.30pm slot and Coronation Street to hour-long episodes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8pm as part of ITV’s pre-9pm schedule change.
EastEnders drew in its viewers by continuing its dramatic storyline following the killer Gray Atkins as he tried to hide his connection to the murder of Tina Carter as word circulated around Albert Square on the name of his latest victim.
Tensions built further as Gray was taken to the police station for questioning as his partner Chelsea Fox was in the hospital with their newborn son.
The BBC’s head of continuing drama, Kate Oates, previously announced that this week Gray would finally be exposed for his villainous actions.
The flagship BBC soap also debuted its new set for the first time with the episode opening with an aerial shot which panned across the remodel.
BBC Director-General Tim Davie recently defended the set project, which has run over budget by more than £20 million.
The set was originally due to be finished by 2018 at an estimated cost of £59.7 million, but the bill ended up at £86.7 million.
The broadcaster previously said that the old set was was no longer “fit for purpose” as it was built in 1984 and due to be used for only two years.
The first episode of TV chef Nigella Lawson’s new show – Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat – also aired on BBC Two from 7.30pm to 8pm.
ITV’s Emmerdale also developed its murderous plotline with serial killer Meena Jutla being visited in jail by her sister Manpreet Sharma
Manpreet was seen attempting to convince Meena to confess to the murders, which include Leanna Cavanagh, Andrea Tate and Ben Tucker.
Charity and Chas Dingle also had a dispute due to a misunderstanding which leaves Charity’s relaunch of the refurbished Woolpack pub in jeopardy.
Some soap fans expressed their frustration on Twitter at the soap schedule change as they were left torn about what soap to prioritise.
Others stated the extended evening news bulletin on ITV, which sees the broadcaster output 90 minutes of continuous news programming, was a notable increase and some felt it may be too long.
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