New beat for The Bill

Thursday, January 22, 2009 by

ITV has announced its twice-weekly cop show is to drop to one episode and get a new slot.

Later this year, The Bill will move to a permanent 9pm position. ITV explains that “a post watershed slot [will allow] for a grittier, action filled series in a more traditional home for terrestrial drama.”

Peter Fincham, ITV’s Director of Television said: “I’m delighted to announce The Bill’s transition to a weekly 9pm drama on ITV1. It’s a fantastic opportunity to take the series to another level, marking a new era for one of the most established brands on British television.”

Lorraine Heggessey, CEO, added: “This is a huge vote of confidence from ITV in the show and is a genuine first on UK television. We are incredibly proud of the show and we look forward to embracing the new opportunities this will bring.”


11 Responses to “New beat for The Bill”

  1. Rob Williams on January 22nd, 2009 6:26 pm

    The Bill has been moving this way for ages and really its need to do this.

    With its counterpart in Germany Soko Lepzig, who they teamed up with they do a similar thing. It was never a soap but drama, moving back into the realms of Z Cars and other police shows. Of which there have been a lack of really other then detective shows like Taggart, should give it a new lease of life

  2. Ian Jones on January 22nd, 2009 7:50 pm

    In what way is it ‘a genuine first on UK television’?

  3. David Bridgman on January 22nd, 2009 10:27 pm

    No doubt many of us remember that when The Bill first started back in 1983, it was only one hour-long episode each week. Hardly a revolutionary move by ITV1 then . . .

  4. Steve Williams on January 23rd, 2009 8:32 am

    Indeed, and when it moved back from half an hour to an hour, for the first few months it was only on once a week. It was only a bit later in, when ITV ran out of other stuff, that it went twice-weekly. So indeed we’re back where we started.

    The main reason for shifting it, anyway, is because from next season ITV have Champions League matches on Wednesdays rather than Tuesdays, so something had to shift.

  5. Jonathan Haw on January 23rd, 2009 10:41 am

    Personally, I’d rather see a return to the self-contained 30-minute format. Half an hour is just the right length to tell a simple, procedural story without having to pad it out with all the incidental stuff about people’s private lives. When it started getting all soapy was when I stopped watching.

    Mind you, Lorraine Heggessy does a very good job of making what is essentially a 50% cut in business from ITV sound like it’s somehow a positive thing for Talkback Thames!

  6. Chris Allen on January 25th, 2009 11:57 pm

    Lorraine Heggessey, CEO, added: “This is a huge vote of confidence from ITV in the show and is a genuine first on UK television”

    In what way?

    I used to like the original 1-hour Bill, but soon lost interest when it was on week after week after week after week after week after week after week….. etc.

  7. Jason on January 31st, 2009 4:14 pm

    Jonathan Haw clearly hasn’t watched the Bill for very long time or is watching some other program as The Bill hasnt gone into peoples private lives and lost its SOAP style format ages ago. Its much better that it gets a 9pm slot as its already grittier format can be taken to another level. Shame it cant be made into a 2 hour weekly slot though like some other dramas.

  8. Jon Haw on February 1st, 2009 11:03 am

    It is a long time since I watched it, Jason – maybe I should give it another go. But I just hope “grittier” doesn’t just mean “a bit more swearing”…

  9. Dorothy Little on July 24th, 2009 9:01 am

    I looked everywhere last night to try to find what side the Bill was on – where was it on and at what time?

  10. Graham Kibble-White on July 24th, 2009 12:10 pm

    If you live in Scotland, Dorothy, that might be why you’re having difficulty find it. STV have opted not to screen the show. But it will air on ITV3 – if that’s any use. The first two episodes will go out on Wednesday 29 July between 11pm and 1am.

  11. Glenn Aylett on July 24th, 2009 6:27 pm

    Nice to see the good old regional variations are alive and well in Scotland after England buried them years ago. However, this could be a case of sour grapes as ITV plc are considering ditching Taggart, which is STV’s biggest money spinner. Either way Scots fans being denied The Bill and both nations losing Taggart is a retrograde move.