UK broadcaster Channel 4 is to cut the number of weekly episodes of its long-running soap Hollyoaks from five to three from September 2024.

The broadcaster said the new episode strategy reflected evolving viewing habits and will see Hollyoaks play on streaming, E4 and YouTube. There will also be an hour-long weekly omnibus episode broadcast on Channel 4 and available to stream.

4. Hollyoaks

Channel 4 is to cut the amount of weekly episodes of Hollyoaks 

Channel 4 said its data showed that the most loyal soap fans now watch an average of three episodes per week.

The changes to the drop pattern of the show will have an impact on its production with reports saying it could result in up to 135 redundancies for staff, around a third of the total. Channel 4 said it will work alongside Lime Pictures to minimise these impacts where possible.

Meanwhile, the production company behind Hollyoaks, Lime Pictures, has appointed Hannah Cheers as Executive Producer. Cheers has been Interim Showrunner since September 2023.

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Ian Katz, Channel 4’s Chief Content Officer, said: “These changes are a decisive step forward, designed to reflect how audiences are watching. A tighter schedule promises a new era of more scale and impact. We are of course mindful of the impacts on the production team and will work closely with Lime Pictures to minimise these where possible.

Ben Wadey, Channel 4 Commissioning Executive for Hollyoaks, said: “Don’t forget Hollyoaks initially launched with just one episode per week in 1995, gradually increasing to two in 1996, three in 1999, four in 2001 and finally five in 2003. But now in 2024 we must flex again, as we have always done, to best serve our audiences and keep our young skewing soap in step with young viewers. We’re not afraid of change, it has been key to Hollyoaks’ longevity so far and will be the key to its future.”

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