Hollyoaks fans dealt ANOTHER blow as episodes axed

Hollyoaks fans dealt ANOTHER blow as episodes axed

Hollyoaks will now air three times a week instead of five in a major schedule shake-up.

Channel 4 have confirmed that from September 2024, the long-running soap will move from five new episodes per week to three on streaming, E4 and YouTube. There will also be a drama packed hour-long weekly omnibus episode broadcast on Channel 4 and available to stream. 

This new episode strategy is because of evolving viewing habits, with Channel 4 data showing that many fans watch an average of three episodes per week due to the amount of content available on other platforms. 

Therefore, the new plan will allow the show to cut through more powerfully with fewer, higher impact episodes to attract new audiences and engage fans.

Fewer episodes also means the opportunity to focus more on the characters and thrilling storylines, ensuring that Hollyoaks stays relevant and ahead of the curve in the ever-changing TV market.

Warren, Mercedes and Felix are involved in the accident

The January car crash stunt launched Hollyoaks into an exciting new chapter. (Image credit: Lime Pictures)

A Channel 4 statement revealed: "Hollyoaks with its unique voice and authentic storytelling, remains at the heart of Channel 4 programming and front and centre of its Digital First strategy. This has been reinforced by a multi-year commitment to the series."

That's not the only change, as Hollyoaks has appointed Hannah Cheers as Executive Producer to lead the soap's new chapter after bringing back members of the iconic McQueen family and orchestrating the January road crash stunt that kicked off the new era.

The episode reduction may come as a devastating blow to fans after the show was dropped from its usual 6:30pm slot on Channel 4 in September and now only airs on E4, with episodes premiering a day earlier on Channel 4 Streaming, as it became the UK's first completely digital-first soap.

Kate Little and Clare Poyser, managing directors of Lime Pictures, commented: "Given the success of the new streaming-first model, we are delighted that Hollyoaks remains at the forefront of Channel 4's digital-first strategy.

"There are implications that will mean we have to reshape Hollyoaks’ production model and amidst the buoying news for the future of the show and its audience, we must also acknowledge that a reduction in cast and crew, will be very difficult and we will support everyone in that process."

Hollyoaks airs Monday - Friday on E4 at 7pm.