15:15 06 December 2012
The BBC was forced to move its show ‘Call the Midwife’ to a new time-slot in their Christmas Day schedule, after reportedly ITV went back on their word by moving ‘Downton Abbey’ forward.
ITV officially announced last month that the hit period drama will be aired at 9:00PM on Christmas Day.
To avoid a clash that will force fans of the two period dramas to choose one over the other, BBC agreed to position ‘Call the Midwife’ at a different time-slot, and announced that it will be aired from 7:45PM to 9:00PM.
However, less than an hour before the official schedules were signed off last Tuesday, ITV suddenly announced that ‘Downton Abbey’ would begin at 8:45PM, causing a 15-minute overlap between the two high-rating shows.
Some speculate that ITV exec’s were hoping viewers would switch to ‘Downton Abbey’ and miss the cliffhanger of ‘Call the Midwife’s’ Christmas episode. Luckily, BBC had time to adjust its schedule and move the program 15 minutes earlier.
BBC sources claim the problem occurred because ITV was worried about ‘Call the Midwife’s’ first Christmas episode. A spokesperson said, however, that the BBC “wanted to avoid a clash because it would do viewers no favours”.
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