“Corriegeddon” an HD Blockbuster

On the eve of TV One again playing catch-up with Coronation Street, the Blighty favourite has just celebrated its 50th birthday in Britain by going up in flames.

An explosive tram crash drove the serial’s ratings to their highest in five years, when nearly 13 million viewers — or a 45.8% share of people watching TV — tuned in to see who lived and who died.

That was about four million more than farewelled Jack Duckworth when he left Weatherfield a month earlier.

Don’t expect the commemorative “Corriegeddon” episode to screen here until early 2012 — unless TV One steps up screenings beyond twice-weekly.

It will reinstate Tuesday-Thursday airings from December 21 but over Christmas two of these will be half-hour editions to accommodate stripped hour-long instalments of MasterChef UK in the 7pm Close Up slot.

By the time the tram crash does unfold here, hopefully TV One will have switched to airing Coro St in HD — although according to The Guardian, only 527,000 viewers watched the episode on ITV1 HD.

Meanwhile, The Guardian described this weekend’s Sunday Theatre drawcard on TV One, The Road to Coronation Street, as “fond, and warm, and charming” while The Telegraph thought this “dramatisation of Corrie’s difficult birth was, despite the odd soapy moment, compelling”.

The Independent agreed it was “a disarmingly moving drama about Britain’s longest-running soap opera” but added: “If anything, it rather over-romanticised things, to the extent that the Street’s against-the-odds origins as the unfashionably banal brainchild of a young, would-be writer appeared less docudrama and more fairy tale.”

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