Better News for Shortland Street Fans Than Coro

TVNZ today announced Shortland Street would resume five new episodes a week from June 29.

But Coronation Street fans aren’t as lucky: the 60-year-old soap continues to be on hiatus in the UK, with three half-hour episodes a week being rationed indefinitely.

However, with the afternoon broadcasts catching up to the primetime instalments, TVNZ 1 has opted to maintain the 1pm slot by using it to repeat the previous night’s broadcast.

Here are the media releases:

Shortland Street returns to its full weekly schedule.

From Monday 29 June, Shortland Street will air five nights a week on TVNZ 2.

Shortland Street reduced its weekly episode volume after the advancing Covid-19 pandemic temporarily halted filming. TVNZ and South Pacific Pictures cut back to four, and then three episodes per week to ensure Shortland Street would air consistently throughout the nationwide lockdown. The move also gave fans surety over their favourite programme’s schedule.

Production resumed with strict health and safety protocols in place at Alert Level 3 in early May. The cast and crew have been building production up to pre-Covid-19 levels while prioritising the wellbeing and safety of all those involved. TVNZ and South Pacific Pictures are pleased that June 29 will mark Shortland Street being back at full force on screen for viewers.

TVNZ Director of Content Cate Slater says, “Shortland Street is such an important part of TVNZ 2’s schedule. Fans can’t get enough of their favourite drama and so we’re grateful for their patience and support as we’ve prioritised the health and safety of the production. We’re excited to be back on Thursday and Friday nights later this month. We’ve got some amazing storylines coming up that viewers are going to love.”

“I am so proud of how hard the cast and crew of Shortland Street have worked, in tricky and unusual conditions, to get the show back up and running,” says South Pacific Pictures CEO Kelly Martin. “It’s a testament to their dedication and resilience that we are back to some sort of normal and that fans of the show can once again enjoy the show five nights a week.”

Production will continue to evolve in line with best practice for the sector and government guidelines.

Coronation Street catches up on TVNZ 1

On June 10, Coronation Street Catchup airing weekday afternoons on TVNZ 1 will meet the channel’s fast-tracked primetime episodes.

In 2018, TVNZ announced it would broadcast fast-tracked episodes of Coronation Street on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings on TVNZ 1. The move was based on Kiwi fans’ feedback – viewers wanted to watch their favourite programme in line with the UK and be part of the global conversation around the popular soap.

Not all viewers were ready to skip forward though, so a separate episode stream, dubbed Coronation Street Catchup was launched 1pm Monday to Friday for viewers who wanted to see all the storylines through.

At the beginning of this project, these daytime viewers were 18-months behind those watching in primetime. TVNZ has been gradually catching the daytime viewers up by broadcasting every weekday … and now the two streams are finally joining up!

From June 10, Coronation Street will broadcast Wednesday Thursday and Fridays, 1pm and 9.30pm. Episodes will debut in primetime as usual, with a repeat now occurring at 1pm the following day (Friday’s primetime episodes will air the following Wednesday in daytime). Episodes will also be available OnDemand for viewers who prefer to watch online too.

Production of Coronation Street in the UK remains on hiatus due to Covid-19. ITV are releasing three new 30min episodes per week to ensure the programme can continue consistently during the UK’s lockdown, rather than stopping abruptly. As we follow right behind the UK, this decision impacts our broadcast too, resulting in 30min episodes rather than the usual 1-hour double episode block. TVNZ is keeping in touch with ITV to understand when production will be back up and running.

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