ITV has unveiled a big shake up to its schedule for Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
The channel will be extended its evening news shows to an hour, airing weeknights from 6:30PM after the current regional news at 6PM.
As a result, ITV’s soaps are to move into new schedule slots with Coronation Street moving to hour-long episodes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8PM.
Meanwhile, Emmerdale will now air in a consistent 7:30PM slot.
Announcing the changes, ITV’s Managing Director of Media and Entertainment, Kevin Lygo said: “As viewing habits rapidly change, live audiences to our national and international news programmes remain remarkably strong.
“Our evening news programme reached an impressive 35.6 million viewers in 2021. We are very excited to be announcing this investment in what is an important public service strength of ITV – high-quality, impartial, trusted broadcast journalism – at a time when it could not be more important.
“The nation’s two most popular continuing dramas, Coronation Street and Emmerdale, are fundamental to the success of ITV, and we know that, as with all dramas, viewers increasingly watch them whenever, and however they choose.
“The new scheduling means that viewers can watch them live on TV in one go in a continuous soap fix, as well as on ITV Hub where they are regularly in the most watched shows every month.”
John Whiston, ITV’s Managing Director of Continuing Drama added: “With Coronation Street bursting at the seams with fantastic story and character, the new format gives the show a brilliant new canvas on which to shine.
“And Emmerdale will do what it does best in this new time slot where viewers can continue to enjoy the dramatic goings on in the Dales.”
Presented by Mary Nightingale, ITV’s new news show will “offer the same high quality, accessible, and trusted journalism and will build on one of the key features of the current programme, strong on-the-ground reporting from outside of London, putting people at the heart of ITV’s coverage”.
Viewers in the Scottish STV licence areas will continue to see flagship new programme STV News at Six, Monday to Friday followed by the new hour-long news programme.
On Thursdays, STV’s current affairs programme, Scotland Tonight, will move from its usual 7:30PM slot to 8:30PM.
The changes will take place in March 2022, with an exact start date to be announced.