If they don’t have a programme that can variably change lengths afterwards then I don’t see them being able to shorten episodes of this depending on how many couples there are.
There are really two options, the first is to start at a different time each week, which is confusing for casual viewers, or to start the programme after at a different time each week, which isn’t a massive problem for a Gameshow but is for a drama, and whatever they air, if the start time for the preceding programme is different each week, the News at 10 won’t be at 10 for the whole run of Dancing on Ice.
Here’s what I think would be an ideal episode length for Dancing on Ice:
Episode 1 - 100 minutes
Episode 2 - 100 minutes
Episode 3 - 130 minutes
Episode 4 - 120 minutes
Episode 5 - 110 minutes
Episode 6 - 105 minutes
Episode 7 - 95 minutes
Episode 8 - 95 minutes
Episode 9 - 110 minutes
Episode 10 - 120 minutes
They only really get away with starting a programme at a different time each week on Saturdays, and even then ITV do that at their own risk, as these days The Masked Singer, The Voice UK and even BGT (the episodes that air on Saturday at least) all largely air at the same time (7pm, 8.30pm, 8pm respectively).
And bear in mind I don’t expect them to do this, I fully anticipate 2 hour episodes again if there is another series next year, as it’s been that way since 2013 I think from memory (although the show did air in two parts back then).
Really enjoyed my time on this forum. Thanks for all the memories. 2019-2021