The BBC canceled the long-running medical soap opera Doctors after 23 years due to money woes. Set in the fictional town of Letherbridge in the U.K.’s West Midlands, Doctors follows the lives of medical workers and their families and friends.
Variety reports that Doctors ran for 23 years, 24 seasons, and a whopping 4,389 episodes. It received four BAFTA nominations and won many British Soap Awards. The show featured actors recognizable on this side of the pond such as Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Eddie Redmayne, Sheridan Smith, and Nicholas Hoult.
In a statement, the BBC said, “We have taken the very difficult decision to bring daytime drama Doctors to an end after 23 years. With super inflation in drama production, the cost of the program has increased significantly, and further investment is also now required to refurbish the site where the show is made, or to relocate it to another home. With a flat license fee, the BBC’s funding challenges mean we have to make tough choices in order to deliver greater value to audiences.
“We remain fully committed to the West Midlands and all of the funding for Doctors will be reinvested into new programming in the region.
“We would like to thank all the Doctors cast and crew who have been involved in the show since 2000. We know the crucial role Doctors has played in nurturing talent, and we will work to develop new opportunities to support skills in scripted programming.
“The final episode will screen in December 2024 and we are working closely with BBC Studios to give it the finale it deserves.”
Doctors Told Impactful Stories About Modern British Life
Writers’ Guild of Great Britain chair Lisa Holdsworth said she was “shocked and saddened” by the announcement of Doctors‘ cancellation. “I know that the Doctors writing team boasts some of the most passionate and dedicated writers working in U.K. television,” said Holdsworth. “Over the years they’ve generated thousands of inventive and impactful stories, often reflecting the realities of modern British life whilst still remaining entertaining and accessible to the audience. I hope the BBC and the wider industry appreciates their talent going forward.”
Critics praised Doctors for not shying away from controversial and taboo topics. Welsh actor Adrian Lewis Morgan, who plays Jimmi Clay, joined the show in 2005 and is the longest-serving cast member.
The BBC's cancellation of Doctors comes two years after the television network canceled another medical drama, Holby City, which also had a run of 23 years on the air.