Thursday, December 09, 2010

Coronation Street goes online - first published May 16, 2008

CBC celebrates the 50th anniversary of Coronation Street with a primetime tribute special on Dec. 9, 2010 called Corrie Crazy: Canada Loves Coronation Street. To mark the occasion, we offer a look back at this feature story from 2008.




Trauma on the Street

Coronation Street fans can stop waiting for Sunday mornings. Each week's episodes are available online, any time of the week.

By Eric Kohanik

The Stanley Cup playoffs are always a dramatic and traumatic time in Canada.

This is true for hockey fans, of course, particularly if there is a favourite team that is still in contention for Lord Stanley’s classic piece of silverware.

But the real deep emotional trauma that begins in April and lasts clear through to mid-June is the one that befalls the dedicated fans of Coronation Street.

They end up having to give up their week-night doses of the famed British soap opera. Instead, since mid-April, they’ve been forced to rely on CBC’s Sunday morning marathons of the show in order to keep up with all the shenanigans taking place on the rain-soaked cobblestones of TV’s most famous avenue.

Oh, and there sure have been plenty of those shenanigans.

That has particularly been true for Ashley Peacock (Steven Arnold), whose emotions have been tattered and torn apart by an affair with Casey/K.C. Carswell (Zoey Henry), the questionable acquaintance of Ashley’s fragile wife, Claire (Julia Haworth).

Then, there has been the ongoing romantic heartache of pub owner Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson), who is still struggling to get some traction in his relationship with dishy barmaid Michelle Connor (Kim Ryder).

There are new developments to come on those fronts in the next couple of weeks –not to mention a big 50th-anniversary party at the Rovers for crusty Jack Duckworth (Bill Tarney) and his wife, Vera (Elizabeth Dawn).

But I digress. The real reason for this column is the nifty, high-tech twist available to fans of Coronation Street during this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

CBC has been loading each Sunday’s episodes onto its website, making them available for viewing via broadband streaming during the week before their TV broadcast. All of which means Corrie fans don’t have to wait for Sunday mornings anymore.

CBC’s broadband player works nicely on both PCs and Macs. And accessing Corrie episodes is simple (go to, although you really do need to have high-speed Internet access to make it all workable.

The episodes of Coronation Street that are airing in Canada now have already been shown in Britain, of course. In fact, this week’s batch aired there way back in the middle of last August.

That enormous lag has always been another thorn in the sides of Coronation Street fans,who are tired of waiting so long –and are not at all shy in complaining to TV columnists about it.

But at least the trauma of those Stanley Cup playoffs has been eased for them somewhat this year, thanks to the wonders of broadband streaming. And that may well be a hopeful sign for the future.

After all, CBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics in Beijing is still to come.