ITV Granada bosses are said to be ‘baffled’ as to why their flagship serial is dwindling in the ratings. Coronation Street has seen viewing figures slide across the past year.
Tabloid newspapers are often quick to note EastEnders‘ rating slides, but rarely pick up on ‘national institution’ Coronation Street and its decline – however The Sun has finally reported that ITV executives are ‘baffled after a massive drop in ratings.’
The newspaper reports that the viewing figures have decreased by around a third over the past year with 1.5 million less viewers tuning in during the summer of 2014 compared to the same period last year.
Current executive producer, former Emmerdale boss, Stuart Blackburn, is reportedly aware of the problem and will address the issue with a possible host of ‘sensational’ storylines and the luring back of ‘popular’ ex-cast members.
“At its peak prior to [Ex-boss Phil] Collinson’s departure, Corrie was pulling in around 9.5million, but recently figures have been nearer 6.7million.” – The Sun
Coronation Street launched in 1960 and was soon dominating the ITV ratings, however it isn’t the first time the series has had rating issues. In the 1970s the prime time serial was regularly beaten in the ratings by daytime soap opera Crossroads, and the BBC’s EastEnders gave the saga a ratings thrashing in the late 1980s.
“There has been much scratching of heads in recent weeks with the viewing figures. There have been meetings to discuss the situation as they can’t fall any lower. Summer months are notorious for small audiences but when you compare the three corresponding weeks over the previous three years the facts speak for themselves.” – An ITV Granada insider quoted by The Sun
Ex-cast including John Savident, Thelma Barlow and Jean Alexander have criticised the series in recent times for moving away from its everyday ‘kitchen sink drama’ roots into a more sensational ‘soap opera’. Some fans also suggest the number of episodes which air every week has brought about a decline in the standard of script, production values and acting quality. When Corrie began the show only aired twice weekly.
“It surely can’t baffle ITV that much, it isn’t difficult to see the problems the show has; everyone has slept with everyone else, every wedding has to turn into a nightmare. There are few characters who people can care about and love anymore, as everyone seemingly has a horrid secret or deed to do. There are appalling actors who are as believable as an episode of Most Haunted. I could go on, the list is virtually endless. Basically Corrie needs to stop trying to be the Brookside/EastEnders clone and go back to doing what it does best, being Coronation Street.” – TV Critic Queenie.
An ITV spokesperson said that Corrie is still ahead in the ratings compared to EastEnders. However recent stats show both shows at around the same figures, with EastEnders slightly ahead with the audience share.
Coronation Street airs on ITV, UTV and STV on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.