Coronation Street shifts from Wednesday to Thursday

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The Independent Online

Coronation Street is to move from Wednesday nights in a break with almost 50 years of broadcasting tradition.

Episodes will be shifted from 7.30pm on that day to a new time slot of 8.30pm on Thursdays as part of ITV1's popular drama overhaul.

Corrie has been broadcast on Wednesdays since the soap's launch in 1960.

Scheduling changes will also see Emmerdale screening two half-hour episodes instead of one on Thursdays and cutting its hour-long episode on Tuesdays in half to 30 minutes.

The volume of soaps will remain the same and the changes will not clash with EastEnders, which airs at 7.30pm on Thursday evenings.

Kicking off on July 23, the new line-up sees Thursday nights crammed with popular drama on ITV1, topped off by The Bill which is moving to its edgier 9pm time on that date.

The Bill is being repositioned to a post-watershed slot for the first time in its 25-year history.

Soap fans will have an episode of Emmerdale at 7pm and a second one at 8pm on Thursdays, followed by Coronation Street at 8.30pm.

An ITV spokesman said the changes will “reflect ITV's contracts for the Champions League, FA Cup and England internationals, which will see ITV1's live football broadcast on Wednesday evenings.

“We're delighted that Thursday evenings on ITV1 will be a great showcase for soap from Weatherfield and the Woolpack,” he added.

The Bill, which has been on British television screens for the last 25 years, is being comprehensively overhauled — including an end to its well-known theme tune and the use of incidental music for the first time.

The show's bosses say the new time slot will enable them to tackle grittier storylines and “delve deeper” into existing characters.

Executive producer Jonathan Young said the revamp —including the new title music — would give viewers a “more immersive experience”.

However, Mr Young added: “We haven't sought to totally reinvent The Bill. The heart of the show will remain the same, but will look very fresh.”

It has been confirmed that The Bill’s first 9pm episode will be a gritty two-parter entitled ‘Live by the Sword’ and ‘Die by the Sword’.

The story will focus on a 15-year-old boy who is stabbed on a Sun Hill estate.

The second part of the episode will air at 9pm the next night following Coronation Street.

ITV company STV, which broadcasts to north and central Scotland, has confirmed it will not be showing the revamped version of The Bill.

The broadcaster will instead use to slot to air locally produced programming.

ITV has launched a campaign featuring soap stars Michelle Keegan and Sammy Winward to direct viewers to the new Thursday night soap special.

Coronation Street is the longest running television programme in the UK, and was first broadcast on December 9, 1960.

It became fully networked on March 6, 1961, when ATV, the only remaining franchise then still not broadcasting the programme, began airing it.

The working title of the show was Florizel Street, but a tea lady named Agnes remarked that “Florizel” sounded like a brand of disinfectant, so the name was changed.

The choice of new name was between Jubilee Street and Coronation Street, with Granada executives Harry Latham, Harry Elton, and H. V. Kershaw deciding on the latter.

Taken from the Belfast Telegraph