New TV3 soap Red Rock off air over the summer before September return
TV3's fledgling soap Red Rock is set to take a break for the summer.
Even though it has only been airing for six months, the current season will wrap up on June 4 before returning to TV3 on Wednesday September 2.
Although it's unheard of for British soaps like Coronation Street, Emmerdale, or Eastenders to take a break, it's usual practice for Aussie soaps Neighbours and Home and Away.
According to TV3, it was always the plan to take a break over the summer.
"We're commissioned for 80 episodes a year so when you break that down with two episodes a week from January to June and then September to June it allows for taking a break," said a spokesperson.
"It's not that unusual. Series in the US and Australia take a break. And the writers like the idea of wrapping up incredibly strong on a cliffhanger. It's going to be really gripping."
The €7m drama, led by showrunner Gareth Philips and lead writer Kim Revill, employs 130 full-time staff and features actors including 'Braveheart' actor Liam Carney, Richard Flood, Denise McCormack and Cathy Belton.
Recent storylines including Sergeant Brian McGonigle's affair with schoolgirl Rachel Reid, Garda Sharon’s beating and Conor Tyrell’s heroin addiction, have proven a hit with viewers.
Thursday night's episode featuring Rachel being confronted by Sergeant McGonigle averaged 173,000 viewers and consolidated figures are hitting 200,000 on average.
"Obviously the first episode had large viewers and that levelled off to a slight drop and then what we saw was it pick up again. It's the 'J curve' which is what we were expecting - a fall off and then a climb again. The last couple of weeks have been 170,000-180,000 which is great."
The Red Rock season finale will broadcast on Thursday June 4 at 8.30pm and the return in September will feature new additions to the cast.
Red Rock airs every Wednesday and Thursday at 8.30pm on TV3.