BBC Cancels Holby City After 23 Years

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The long-running UK medical soap Holby City has been canceled after 23 years on air, according to the BBC. Regularly drawing in an audience of three million viewers, the BAFTA-winning drama currently employs over 250 staffers in front of and behind the camera.

The BBC said in a statement:

We are incredibly proud of Holby City but it's with great sadness that we are announcing that after 23 years, the show will end on screen in March of next year. 

We sometimes have to make difficult decisions to make room for new opportunities and as part of the BBC's commitment to make more programmes across the UK, we have taken the difficult decision to bring the show to a close in order to reshape the BBC's drama slate to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country.

The network added:

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the amazing team at BBC Studios and all the cast and crew who have been involved in the show since 1999.

Holby has been a stalwart with audiences, delighting millions of viewers each week and winning hundreds of awards with a compelling mix of cutting edge medical stories and explosive personal stories.

We look forward to working with the team over the coming months to ensure that when it ends, Holby goes out on a high.

The move to better represent diverse parts of the UK on screen is reflected in programming changes. In March, the BBC announced that it is launching a new soap set in the north of England.

First airing in 1999, Holby City began as a spin-off from another drama, Casualty. It was created by then-BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series Mal Young, who'd later become showrunner of The Young and the Restless, and former Coronation Street actor and EastEnders writer/director Tony McHale.

Holby City is set in the same hospital as Casualty, but it delves more into the personal and professional lives of the doctors and patients The show has proven a launching pad for new talent and a space for familiar faces to show off their dramatic chops. Former stars of Holby City include Phyllis Logan (AKA Downton Abbey's Mrs. Hughes), Robert Pugh (AKA Game of Thrones' Craster), and Eleanor Fanyinka, who is headlining the fairy-tale pilot Epic.

Some of Holby City's most memorable plots and episodes include: conjoined twins being separated by the show's longest-running character, Dr. Ric Griffin (Hugh Quarshie);  a special called The Anniversary Waltz that celebrated 70 years of the National Health Service (NHS); and Gina Hope (Gillian Bevan)'s assisted suicide after struggling with motor neuron disease.

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