Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 17:11 UK

Schedule shake-up affects Corrie

Kevin and Molly in Coronation Street
Kevin and Molly have been involved in a recent tempestuous storyline

Soap opera Coronation Street is to move to Thursday, ending almost 50 years of regular episodes on Wednesday evenings.

The programme will move to its new regular slot of 2030 BST on Thursdays from 23 July, ITV has announced.

It will be preceded by a double helping of Emmerdale and followed by police drama The Bill, which has been revamped as a once-weekly post-watershed show.

The change will also allow the broadcaster to screen a series of live football matches on ITV1.

Soap showcase

The soap's schedule, particularly on Wednesday evenings, has often been disrupted by football coverage in the past, including key Champions League matches.

The Manchester-based serial's new slot will not affect rival BBC One soap EastEnders, which is screened at 1930 BST every Thursday.

Emmerdale's current Tuesday evening double episode will shrink to one half-hour instalment, with the other half of the Yorkshire series moving to Thursday evenings.

A spokesman for ITV said the new line-up would make Thursday nights a "great showcase for soap from Weatherfield and the Woolpack".

The Bill, which has been on air for 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".

But he added: "We haven't sought to totally reinvent The Bill. The heart of the show will remain the same, but will look very fresh."

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

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

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