It was recently announced by both BBC and ITV that filming has paused on beloved soaps EastEnders, Emmerdale and Coronation Street. The channels have altered their broadcasting schedules in an attempt to stretch out the episodes already filmed, but it's unclear how long that strategy can last before pre-recorded material runs out, leaving a potential gap in TV listings.
As the we come to terms with the possibility of the nation's favourite soaps being temporarily paused due to coronavirus restrictions, we've been compiling the perfect substitute TV which oozes just as much scandal, melodrama and as many dysfunctional players to soak up in the meantime.
How to Get Away With Murder (Series 1 - 5)
Oscar winner Viola Davis leads this glossy and propulsive Emmy award-winning legal drama as formidable criminal defence lawyer and professor Annalise Keating. She teaches a group of aspiring law students whose lives irreversibly alter when they get entangled in an aberrant murder. Stream on Netflix now.
Elite (Series 1 - 3)
Like Gossip Girl but with more swagger and a taste for danger, the Spanish soapy drama follows three working class teens in an exclusive school in Spain, where the clash between them and their rich counterparts leads to murder. Available to stream on Netflix now.
Waterloo Road (Series 1 - 10)
Affairs, scandals, insatiable gossip and blackmail are all part of a normal day at the challenging comprehensive school Waterloo Road Academy in this BBC series. The contemporary drama stars Neil Morrissey, Jason Merrells, Angela Griffin, Denise Welch, and Tom Chambers. The complete box set is available to stream on BBC iPlayer now.
The Mallorca Files (Series 1)
This feel-good drama follows Elen Rhys as a British police officer who joins forces with Julian Looman's wise-cracking German detective to fight crime on the picturesque island of Mallorca. Crime and fun in the sun, what's not to like? Available to stream now on BBC iPlayer.
Safe (Series 1)
Harlan Coben's mysterious melodrama Safe follows Michael C Hall as widowed surgeon Tom Delaney, who becomes a man on a mission when his teenage daughter vanishes from their unnerving gated community. Expect high jinks and fast-paced twists and turns as Tom uncovers dark and unsettling secrets of those closest to him. Amanda Abbington co-stars. Stream now on Netflix.
Dynasty (Series 1 - 2)
A reboot of the classic primetime soap of the 1980s, Dynasty follows two of America's wealthiest families, the Carringtons and the Colbys, as they feud for control over their fortune and their children. Expect faux-furs to fly. Available to stream on Netflix now.
Outlander (Series 1 - 6)
Adapted from the best-selling books by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander centres on Caitriona Balfe as English combat Claire Randall, a nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. To survive, she marries Sam Heughan's Jamie Fraser, a strapping Scots warrior with a complicated past and a disarming sense of humour. A passionate relationship ensues, and Claire is caught between two vastly different men in two inharmonious lives. Watch now on Amazon Prime.
This is Us (Series 1 -3)
To quote EastEnders stalwart Peggy Mitchell: Family is everything. This Is Us chronicles the Pearson family across the decades: from Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) as young parents in the 1980s to their 37-year-old kids, Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) searching for love and fulfilment in the present day. Life-affirming and heart-warming, this family will welcome you with open arms. Available to stream now on Amazon Prime.
Lucifer (Series 1)
Tom Ellis stars as Lucifer Morningstar, a demon who has decided he's had enough of being the dutiful servant in Hell and decides to spend some time on Earth to better understand humanity. He settles in Los Angeles - the City of Angels. The devil drama has secured a cult following since originally launching on Fox in 2016. Stream on Netflix now.
Renee Zellweger plays the ludicrously wealthy and impeccably coiffed Anne Montgomery, a mysterious business woman who enjoys toying with people's lives. When she makes young scientist Lisa (Jane Levy) a steamy proposal that she can't refuse, things begin to spiral out of control for all involved. Available to watch on Netflix now.
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