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Shortland Street is a New Zealand prime-time soap opera centring on the fictitious Shortland Street Hospital, first broadcast on Television New Zealand’s TV2 on 25 May 1992. It is the country’s longest-running drama and soap opera, being broadcast continuously for over 5,900 episodes and 23 years, and is one of the most watched television programmes in New Zealand.
The show was originally screened as five half-hour episodes each week and initially receiving mixed reviews on its premiere. After its launch it dropped in ratings and would have been cancelled if TVNZ had not ordered a year’s worth of episodes in advance. TVNZ renewed the production in early 1993 when the show’s rating had picked up, and it now has long-term public enthusiasm .Today, it is one of New Zealand’s highest-rated shows, frequently making AGB Nielsen Media Research’s top 5 programmes of the week.