Soap opera The Only Way Is Essex?
'The Only Way is Essex' could run for 11 months of the year as a weekly soap opera
'The Only Way is Essex' could be shown 48 weeks of the year like a soap opera.
Bosses of the ITV2 reality show - starring Amy Childs, Mark Wright and Joey Essex - feel it is popular enough to air for 11 months of the year, following the lead of medical dramas like 'Holby City' and 'Casualty'.
They are now looking for new characters to ensure the drama and on-off romances which have made the first two series - which both ran for 12 episodes - so popular, continue.
A source told The Sun newspaper: "Everyone is still following their bust-ups and romances anyway so it feels like the cameras should still be there to capture everything.
"The gang would have to be up for it and a deal has to be struck with the producers. But the expectation is that the stars would all want to do it."
With 'TOWIE' set to return for a third series this September, it is thought the 48-week launch will begin in 2012.
However, the are cast still only being paid a reported £50 a day to appear in the show.
Lauren Goodger recently told BANG Showbiz: "It's series three now. We did it for free at first and then got paid a small wage, so hopefully we can come to some sort of agreement, because it's doing so well.
"It's our jobs at the end of the day and a lot of people have had to leave their main jobs to take part in the show.
"I know we make money doing other things but really this is our full-time job - going to film every day for two or three months is stressful and we definitely should have a higher wage. It takes over our lives!"