What is ITV’s new TV schedule? How will Coronation Street and Emmerdale be affected?

From March 2022 ITV will be making some big changes to its TV schedule and as a result, some of its popular programmes, including Coronation Street and Emmerdale, will have different time slots.

Emmerdale pub, The Woolpack, at Esholt. (Pic credit: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Emmerdale pub, The Woolpack, at Esholt. (Pic credit: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

ITV National and International Evening News is set to extend to an hour-long programme from March 2022.

What is ITV’s new TV schedule?

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The changes have been made to bolster the key programmes in its pre-9pm schedule, namely the evening national and international news and ITV’s soaps, Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

ITV is extending its commitment to national and international news and audiences across the UK with the announcement that the evening news show will be extended to an hour.

The popular national and international news programme will run from 6.30pm to 7.30pm and these schedule changes will see the biggest expansion of jobs in ITV News in 20 years.

These changes will also bring more live and out of London national news content to ITV’s daily schedules than ever before. The new ‘super soap’ scheduling will mean live TV viewers of Coronation Street can enjoy back to back episodes of the soap.

Kevin Lygo, ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment, 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.”

How will Coronation Street and Emmerdale be affected?

ITV’s flagship drama will move to new optimal time slots as ITV restructures its pre-9pm schedule.

Corrie is set to move to three hour-long episodes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting from 8pm, while Emmerdale, which has a big year ahead celebrating its 50th birthday in 2022, will move to a 7.30pm slot.

Corrie has aired both hour-long episodes and two 30-minute episodes in recent years on Fridays, and audience data reveals a clear preference for the hour-long episodes, which attract higher TV audiences.

Coronation Street and Emmerdale continue to be the nation’s most popular continuing dramas, averaging consolidated audiences of more than five million viewers in 2021, including catch up viewing on ITV Hub.

John Whiston, ITV’s managing director of continuing drama, said: “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.”