Coronation Street viewers were left fearing for Ken Barlow's life after he was left for dead at the bottom of the stairs in Monday night's programme.
The soap veteran, played by William Roache, was found unconscious on the floor after someone apparently tried to kill him.
Fans are now worried that it is the end for the Weatherfield stalwart.
Several wrote on Twitter they would struggle to cope if the character was killed off, with some using the hashtag "PrayForKen".
"If Ken Barlow is dead, I'll need a day off work to recover," said one viewer.
"If Ken Barlow is dead now I give up all hope," grumbled another.
Another said: "My man Ken better pull through."
As Ken's family gather round his hospital bed in Wednesday night's episode of the ITV soap, they will be given the shocking news that police are launching an attempted murder investigation.
The Barlow clan will then find themselves at the centre of a dramatic whodunnit, as police realise the family have many skeletons in their closet and any one of them could be responsible for what happened to Ken.
The identity of the assailant is under wraps, with even actor Roache, 84, saying he was kept in the dark about it.
But that has not stopped viewers from starting the guessing game on social media, with many pointing fingers at prime suspects Adam Barlow and Pat Phelan.
"Will Ken pull through? Great episodes tonight. Adam or Phelan did it," speculated one viewer.
"Who pushed Ken Barlow down the stairs? My guess is Adam. Or Phelan," said another.
One viewer quipped: "It was Miss Scarlet in the conservatory with the lead piping."