The BBC has halted production of all soaps and continuing dramas including Casualty, Doctors, Holby City, Pobol y Cwm and River City in a bid to protect cast and crew from the Coronavirus.
The broadcaster is also dropping the numbers of EastEnders episodes it broadcasts to two per week, down from the current four, in order to make already recorded episodes last “as long as possible”.
In a statement it said: “In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, it has been decided that filming on all BBC Studios continuing dramas will be postponed until further notice. The decision was made after the latest government update.
“We will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the World Health Organisation and public health organisations.”
The news comes just a day after the BBC scaled back its live political programming in order to focus resources on its main bulletins and rolling news channel.
Branded shows such including Politics Live, Victoria Derbyshire, The Andrew Neil Show, Newswatch and The Travel Show have been halted while Newsnight and The Andrew Marr Show will remain on air but will be operated by fewer technical staff.
ITV says production is to continue on its soaps, though both will see changes to their scheduling from Monday 30 March with Emmerdale airing Monday to Friday at 7pm and Coronation Street Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7.30pm.
In a statement the firm said: “The continued transmission of both soaps is a priority to all of us at ITV and to our audiences who enjoy the shows.
“Whilst carefully adhering to the latest health advice from the Government and Public Health England, our production teams are continuing to film episodes in Manchester and Leeds.
“With this change of transmission pattern it will ensure we have great new soap episodes coming to air every weekday night until at least the early summer.