Soap 'E20' to be available only online

LONDON — “EastEnders,” one of Blighty’s most popular soaps, will launch a spinoff online show aimed at teens.

The 13-part “EastEnders: E20,” a reference to the London zip code, will bow in the run-up to the flagship BBC soap’s 25th anniversary in February.

Move marks the first time that “EastEnders,” which commands a viewing share of about 40% for BBC1, has experimented in the online space.

For the Web show, four teenage characters have been created by a team of rookie writers who will also create video blogs and other behind-the-scenes material. Episodes are to be between six and 12 minutes long.

Storylines for “E20″ will be free-standing but occasionally connect to the main action in “EastEnders.”

“EastEnders: E20″ is an “opportunity to develop the BBC’s expertise in drama production by matching new young talent from the TV industry with the best creative new media talent,” said Simon Nelson, controller portfolio and multiplatform, BBC Vision.

“Together they can exploit the creative potential of the Web to create new online drama experiences.”

U.K. rival ITV’s “Coronation Street,” also a blue-collar show, has used the Internet to provide different endings to stories.

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