Image: ITV Be

The Twentieth season of The Only Way is Essex began on March 5, 2017

S20 Started March 5, 2017

TOWIE 19 and Beyond!

The Only Way Is Essex, the scripted-reality show that has won BAFTA awards, is back, and there are some surprise changes to the cast this series!

Earlier in 2016, there was a single-episode documentary aired on ITVBe in which Mark Wright hosted a discussion and history lesson of the show. It was packed full of celebs, past, present, and future cast members, where they talked about not only their own fame, but the fame of the show itself and the effect TOWIE has had on the UK economy. This show influences more citizens in the UK than the news media.


It’s no surprise that viewership is measured more through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram these days than the old fashioned way of monitoring channels on television sets in the home. The show’s official Facebook page has 1.16 million likes and their Twitter feed has over 1.3 million followers. If we were to also take into consideration all of the stars’ personal social media accounts on this show, then those numbers would soar. That is how wildly popular this show is.

When the show moved from ITV2 to ITVBe beginning with series 13 in 2014, it lost about half-a-million viewers and hasn’t been able to reclaim them. However, viewers may be watching the series online or through other means which are not included in the viewership numbers. Series 18 earned an average viewership of 1.06 million, which is lower than series 17, but it also only had 10 episodes compared to the 14 episodes in series 17.

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Series 19 has some cast changes that may delight (or upset) some viewers. Lauren Goodger is back after a long hiatus! She was last on the show in series 6, and made a special appearance on the Essexmas special in 2015. Billie Faiers will not be joining the cast this series, as she officially quit at the end of series 18 (and thus, ends the Faiers sisters’ empire on this show). Two new faces will be joining this series, Ercan Ramadan and Ben Shenel!

The premiere episode of series 19 aired on 9 October 2016, and pulled in 1.05 million viewers with part one of The Only Way Is Marbs. The show tried something new by inviting viewers along to Marbella, Spain (via social media) with the entire Essex cast posting, tweeting, and snapping their way through vacation. They even did a Q&A on Facebook Live feed poolside. Part two aired three days later and grabbed another 1.15 million viewers. The rest of the series remained above the 1.1 million mark, proving that the show isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The network officially announced on 3 June 2015, that The Only Way Is Essex had been renewed for another six series at least, which confirms its future through series 21. Catch up with previous series of The Only Way Is Essex by streaming it on Hulu.

What do you think of

the return of Lauren? Do you like the two new cast members, Ercan and Ben? Did you follow TOWIE to Marbella on their social media accounts?

Tell us what you think about The Only Way Is Essex by commenting with your answers to those questions! Subscribe with us if you want to be the first to receive official announcements from ITV about future premiere dates, along with all the hot news and updates about this show.

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1 year 4 days ago

Can you tell me when the show will be back in Australia . Last episode was episode 18.