EastEnders is being discontinued on KTEH, the San Jose PBS station. This is very bad news for many Bay Area viewers. I’ve only been able to watch KTEH since I got my digital converter box. I’ve come to rely on my biweekly visits to Albert Square, although I’m not as devastated as this fellow commenting at the KTEH website: “This is one of the biggest disappointments that I’ve ever experienced in my television viewing life.”
KTEH says they’re cancelling EastEnders because it’s one of their most expensive programs and it has the least number of viewers. I’m not sure how they’re counting viewers, but they claim that the show has lost half its audience in the last year. Sounds to me like they simply can’t track DVR style viewing. Plenty of folks are protesting the cancellation, but I can’t complain because I’m guilty of not being a member of KTEH. (Can’t afford it right now.)
There are places online that Bay Area viewers can watch current episodes of EastEnders, but here’s the problem: KTEH viewers are SEVEN YEARS behind the UK’s broadcast. How are we going to catch up? We won’t recognize the new characters, and we will wonder what happened to our beloved characters who are gone. Yes, the BBC has an archive on their EastEnders webpage where you can read a description of every episode for the last seven years, but that’s like reading the music of your favorite song. It’s not the same.
So, this week and next will be my last visits to the Albert Square that I recognize, with Alfie serving up pints at the Vic. Alfie is my favorite, and I know he won’t be there when I find EastEnders online….
AN UPDATE TO THIS POST: Oh, goodness! I just discovered that Alfie Moon is coming back to EastEnders! It’s like a consolation prize. I also discovered that the BBC has removed the episode archive on their website.