ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

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Billy Smart
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ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Billy Smart »

I've been trying to draw up a rough chronology for the first ten years of original drama series made and shown by ITV (i.e. not repeats) in the daytime (i.e. before the children's programmes in the afternoon). Have I missed anything out or got anything wrong?

I've divided it up in TV years from September-August, rather than calender years. I think that Emmerdale Farm went out in the evening for most of the country after 1978, but London and Anglia kept in on during the daytime.

1972-3

Crown Court (Granada)
Emmerdale Farm (Yorkshire)
General Hospital (ATV)
Harriet’s Back In Town (Thames)

1973-4

Crown Court (Granada)
Emmerdale Farm (Yorkshire)
General Hospital (ATV)
Marked PERSONAL (Thames)

1974-5

Crown Court (Granada)
Emmerdale Farm (Yorkshire)
General Hospital (ATV)
Rooms: Series 1 (Thames)

1975-6

Couples (Thames)
Crown Court (Granada)
Emmerdale Farm (Yorkshire)
Garnock Way (STV)

1976-7

The Cedar Tree: Series 1 (ATV)
Crown Court (Granada)
Emmerdale Farm (Yorkshire)
Garnock Way (STV)
Rooms: Series 2 (Thames)

1977-8

The Cedar Tree: Series 2 (ATV)
Crown Court (Granada)
Emmerdale Farm (Yorkshire)
Garnock Way (STV)

1978-9

Crown Court (Granada)
Emmerdale Farm (Yorkshire)
Garnock Way (STV)

1979-80

Crown Court (Granada) (2 cases only)
Emmerdale Farm (Yorkshire)
For Maddie With Love: Series 1 (ATV)
Take The High Road: Series 1 (STV)
Together: Series 1 (Southern)

1980-1

Crown Court (Granada)
Emmerdale Farm (Yorkshire)
For Maddie With Love: Series 2 (ATV)
Take The High Road: Series 2 (STV)
Together: Series 2 (Southern)

1981-2

Crown Court (Granada)
Emmerdale Farm (Yorkshire)
Taff Acre (HTV)
Take The High Road: Series 3 (STV)

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Simon Coward »

I'm not very good on what years different things were on, but surely that must be pretty much all of the long-running series during the period.

Thames showed episodes of Yorkshire's Castle Haven up until October 1972. These might have been old, but they weren't repeats as far as Thames were concerned, though they had previously been shown elsewhere. I don't know whether that counts.

For 1976-7, that should read Rooms: Series 2 (Thames), you've correctly got the earlier series in 1974-5.

The only completely new thing I've come up with so far is Scottish TV's Airport Chaplain. STV gave it a tea-time outing on Sundays, but the remainder* of the ITV network had it on Tuesday lunchtimes for six weeks in January / February 1980.

----------------------------------------------
* I think, certainly the majority of the remainder.
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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Billy Smart »

I've been treating October 1972 as the starting point of ITV daytime drama, with the four big weekday companies all launching their new series, but Thames' scheduling of Castle Haven is a useful example of the sort of drama programme that could be used to fill that slot before then.

I have long been intrigued by the forgotten Airport Chaplain! The premise makes a bit more sense as the springboard for an ongoing serial with an endless supply of international guest stars with interesting personal problems. Pity it doesn't seem to survive though...

Thames come out of this list very well, I think, though making a cycle of interesting series was probably more impractical than the other companies strategy of concentrating on creating one self-sustaining format (in General Hospital, Emmerdale Farm and Crown Court).

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Simon36 »

There were also the STV soaps. High Life was one, can never remember the name of the other but fairly sure they were both broadcast in daytime.

Must just mention, probably not for the first time, that COUPLES is absolutely fantastic.

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by JWG »

For the record,'Eye of Faith',one (of six) episode of 'Airport Chaplain' turned up at the BFI a year or two ago,

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Simon Coward »

Simon36 wrote:There were also the STV soaps. High Life was one, can never remember the name of the other but fairly sure they were both broadcast in daytime.
Are you thinking of High Living? That certainly was a daytime show, but it pre-dates the period Billy's looking at - it was on between 1969 and 1971.
Billy Smart wrote:Thames come out of this list very well, I think, though making a cycle of interesting series was probably more inpractical than the other companies strategy of concentrating on creating one self-sustaining format (in General Hospital, Emmerdale Farm and Crown Court).
That's an interesting point, both Granada and Yorkshire provide just a single series/serial, don't they? Albeit a very long-running one in each case.

Interesting that Thames drop out altogether after your 1976-7 season. That seems a bit unlikely, and yet I can't yet come up with anything you're missing in that regard.
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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by fatcat »

Simon Coward wrote: Interesting that Thames drop out altogether after your 1976-7 season. That seems a bit unlikely, and yet I can't yet come up with anything you're missing in that regard.

Wasn't this an afternoon series?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0399955/combined

Seemed to recall it raised a few eyebrows for an afternoon show in the 1970s- but maybe thinking of something else?

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Simon36 »

It was, and was already mentioned in Billy's list and affirmed by me.

PS Simon: yes, High Living, that's the one. There was another Scottish soap too with an odd name but can't think what that was. What time did HL go out in and was it networked? I didn't think there were daytime broadcasts on ITV before 1972...

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by JWG »

I seem to recall watching 'The Mind of Mr.J.G.Reeder' in the afternoons.Was it a repeat?

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Billy Smart »

J.G. Reeder is precisely the sort of series that got repeated during the daytime. After the original daytime series broadcast around lunchtime, repeats of evening drama successes (A Family At War, Public Eye, etc.) were broadcast in the afternoons.

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by JWG »

Thanks,Billy.At the risk of going O/T,JGR always seemed like pre-watershed material (before the days of the watershed?),and Public Eye post.

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Simon36 »

Indeed they were. Public Eye and Armchair Thriller spring to mind, and in the 80s Shine on Harvey Moon, Hazel, Strangers, Rumpole, Return of the Saint, We'll Meet Again... my Mum was forever taping stuff for me while I was at school! I remember being surprised some of the 9pm dramas got shown in this slot given their swearie words etc.

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Billy Smart »

Interesting that Thames drop out altogether after your 1976-7 season. That seems a bit unlikely, and yet I can't yet come up with anything you're missing in that regard.
The Kaleidoscope ITV Drama Guide is helpful in this regard -
A further series of 126 episodes [of Rooms was scheduled to go into production in October 1977. With the plan being to make three episodes per week, Thames found that it had insufficient studio capacity and rented a studio at Elstree for the duration of the production. A disagreement with the unions then ensued as to whether Elstree was considered a location or a base – the difference being the overtime payments for travelling to a location. So production of all daytime drama was put on hold.
Seven writers (Gilly Fraser, Cherry Potter, Alan Janes, Stephen Fagan, Shane Connaughton, Paula Milne and Alan Richards) had apparently been contracted to write six episodes each with at least two more (John Bowen and Fay Weldon) having reached an agreement, albeit without being under contract at the time of the series' cancellation. In addition, the principal actors from the previous series had also been re-engaged.
The history of British Television drama in the 1970s is often a history of strikes! This comes soon after a similar dispute at Thames over the 1977 Euston Films series of Van Der Valk, which required different working practices to the two earlier studio series.

I don't think Thames tried their hand at daytime drama again until Gems in 1985. Which was perhaps not a work of equivalent quality to the 1972-77 cycle of series.

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by fatcat »

Simon36 wrote:It was, and was already mentioned in Billy's list and affirmed by me.

PS Simon: yes, High Living, that's the one. There was another Scottish soap too with an odd name but can't think what that was. What time did HL go out in and was it networked? I didn't think there were daytime broadcasts on ITV before 1972...

Ooops! a bit early in the morning LOL

My ten pence worth just to compensate, some regions took the B/W Australian film drama series 'Delta' IIRC and the old Douglas Fairbanks Junior Presents series was clipped of its Fairbanks' introduction and shown as 'Matinee'...not to be confused with another import series called 'Matinee'. A Canadian series Dr.Simon Locke also did the rounds.

Due to lack of studio space I think the series 'Marked Personal' was actually made at LWT's Wycombe Road studios?

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

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Simon36 wrote:PS Simon: yes, High Living, that's the one. There was another Scottish soap too with an odd name but can't think what that was. What time did HL go out in and was it networked? I didn't think there were daytime broadcasts on ITV before 1972...
The wasn't much in the way of daytime television, but often there'd be a non-kids programme at 4pm or thereabouts, which was about the time that daily broadcasts began, with programmes for children starting somewhere between fifteen and twenty-five minutes later.

High Living wasn't networked, no. It was also odd in that STV and some other regions showed each episode in a 25/30 minute slot but elsewhere in the ITV network episodes were split in two and shown in 2 x 13-15 min slots. STV gave it an evening slot, but anyone else who took it (apart from possibly Grampian) put it on in the daytime.

I can't vouch for the entire run but when it began, ATV and Southern both put half-length episodes on at 4pm (or sometimes 4.02pm, depending on whether a two-minute news programme was before it or after) on consecutive days of the week.

HTV Wales had full episodes on Tuesdays at 4.25pm. HTV West who, like Westward, were showing Honey Lane in that same slot on Tuesdays, put in on Wednesdays instead, and then afterwards joined the majority of the ITV network for Discotheque and Freewheelers.
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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Simon36 »

Ah, the other Scots soap was Garnock Way (1976). Don't know if it was daytime or not though...

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

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Simon36 wrote:Indeed they were. Public Eye and Armchair Thriller spring to mind, and in the 80s Shine on Harvey Moon, Hazel, Strangers, Rumpole, Return of the Saint, We'll Meet Again... my Mum was forever taping stuff for me while I was at school! I remember being surprised some of the 9pm dramas got shown in this slot given their swearie words etc.
I wasn't sure how to read Public Eye; at times it seemed 'kitchen sink' with borrowing two bob for the gas,smelling the milk to see if it had gone off.Then Marker stepped into a pile of dog-shit,which seemed odd for daytime telly.

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Simon36 »

I must have missed those episodes...

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

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Simon36 wrote:I must have missed those episodes...
There were frequent peerings into coffee jars and putting on of kettles in the Windsor episodes.The shoe-scraping bit happened when he was following a suspect,and was the basis on which I persuaded a friend to give Public Eye a go.
To a large extent,the fact that these shows were on in the daytime prejudiced me against them: I figured that they couldn't be any good.

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Simon36 »

I'd say there's just as much coffee making in The Sweeney. I can't remember the last time I saw someone make a coffee in a soap, they all seem to be in the pub all the time!

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Jezza »

Van Der Valk had an afternoon showing in the 70's (not sure if they were repeats though)

I'd love to see "Rooms" on DVD, it's one of the few shows i remember watching with my mum when i was a kid.

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Billy Smart »

Jezza wrote:
I'd love to see "Rooms" on DVD, it's one of the few shows i remember watching with my mum when i was a kid.
The first episode of Rooms is included on the invaluable Network Soap Box DVD, which is also the only place to find episodes of Weaver's Green, Harriet's Back In Town, Marked PERSONAL and For Maddie With Love.

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by JezR »

Simon36 wrote:Indeed they were. Public Eye and Armchair Thriller spring to mind, and in the 80s Shine on Harvey Moon, Hazel, Strangers, Rumpole, Return of the Saint, We'll Meet Again... my Mum was forever taping stuff for me while I was at school! I remember being surprised some of the 9pm dramas got shown in this slot given their swearie words etc.
The writer's guide for The Sweeney indicated that the content of episodes had to be suitable for a potential afternoon repeat.

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Simon36 »

Really? It never got one though. In the 80s the IBA ruled that most episodes couldn't be shown before 9pm, after a handful got an 8pm repeat. But as I've questioned on here before, did afternoons have different criteria as most kids weren't around? Couples certainly had no probelms with strong language.

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by TonyCurrie »

There was also ATV's black & white serial "Driveway". For a while, some regions - including STV - ran RTE's rural soap "Glenroe" in the daytime. "Crossroads" was shown around 3.50pm in some regions for a time, and at 4.20 in many regions.

STV made 'High Living' for peak time local consumption but then it was used by other regions in the 4 - 5pm slot in the way so eloquently described by Simon. "High Living" was set in a new Glasgow high-rise building and was a kind of vertical version of Corrie.

When that series ended, STV made "A Place of her Own" as a spin-off, featuring one of the main characters from "High Living" moving to a new semi on the outskirts of the city. I think at least one other company took it. Then they began "Garnock Way", set in a small semi-rural town somewhere in the central belt. That ran until the ITV strike of 1979 when it was abandoned - I still have the scripts for two unmade episodes. STV then pushed the boat out with "Take The High Road" which was shown twice weekly in peaktime on STV, and in the daytime elsewhere. In 1990 it was dropped by the network. The series changed from being a very rural soap that concentrated on pretty views and farming issues, to a grittier one that dealt with younger people and their problems, in much the same way as Emmerdale and, later, Corrie did. In 1994 the name was simplified to "High Road" by which time a number of regions had - by public demand - reinstated the series. Production ended in 2003, but it continues to be shown daily on STV Glasgow, who are re-running the entire series from the beginning.

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by longtimelurker »

In a weekday afternoon slot, Danger Man was repeated late 1971 / early 1972 in the London area too. I don't know if these were seen in other regions as well.

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by RayB »

I've got a vague recollection of something called "Sam" from the mid 70's and also "Hazell" although the latter was probably a repeat...

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by longtimelurker »

Yes, Hazell was a repeat and so was Sam. I remember seeing Danger UXB after the lunchtime news as well.

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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by Simon Coward »

At the risk of derailing Billy's thread even further... there have been a few posts along the line of "I remember such-and-such in the afternoons, was that a repeat?" so I thought perhaps a list of networked repeats might come in handy. It only goes up to the 1979 strike, and that's partly because the networking of any of these kind of repeats is starting to break down by then, even though it seems that things do get shown pretty much everywhere eventually.

In amongst the VT series there were runs and re-runs of loads of film series in similar slots on different days. By "film series" I mean either home-grown product specifically aimed at the international market - so primarily ITC series and The Avengers - or various imported series, mainly American or Australian. But these were never networked and one region might be showing Strange Report while another had Department S and a third was broadcasting O'Hara U.S. Treasury or Boney.

There were plenty of feature films too and lots, and I do mean lots of sport. It's mainly down to the sport that the various series took many more weeks to complete than the number of episodes would suggest. ITV loved horse racing, show jumping and golf back in the 1970s. And you had the weeks of the party conferences and the Royal Agricultural Show to fill up the schedules too. In fact, with the exception of the summer of 1973, the repeats almost completely die out each year during the summer.

A Family at War, series 1 (Granada): Tue, 17/10/1972-16/01/1973
The Mind of Mr. J. G. Reeder, series 2 (Thames): Thu, 19/10/1972-07/12/1972
The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, series 1 (Thames): Thu, 14/12/1972-11/01/1973 (5 episodes out of 13)
Happy Ever After, series 1 (ATV): Thu, 18/01/1973-01/02/1973 (3 out of 8)
Kate, series 2 (Yorkshire): Tue, 23/01/1973-22/05/1973 (12 out of 13)
The Misfit, series 2 (ATV): Thu, 08/02/1973-08/03/1973 (5 out of 7)
Hine (ATV): Thu then Wed, 15/03/1973-15/08/1973 (12 out of 13)
Public Eye, series 5 (Thames): Mon then Tue, 09/04/1973-14/08/1973
A Family at War, series 2 (Granada): Mon, 18/06/1973-29/10/1973

The Main Chance, series 3 (Yorkshire): Wed, 31/10/1973-30/01/1974
A Family at War, series 3 (Granada): Mon, 05/11/1973-08/04/1974
Callan, series 4 (Thames): Thu, 03/01/1974-04/04/1974
Love Story, series 9 (ATV): Wed, 13/02/1974-27/03/1974 (7 out of 9)
Love Story, series 10 (ATV): Wed, 03/04/1974-26/06/1974 (9 out of 13, see below)
Van der Valk, series 1 (Thames): Mon, 22/04/1974-13/05/1974 (4 out of 6)
Van der Valk, series 2 (Thames): Mon, 20/05/1974-08/07/1974

Hadleigh, series 3 (Yorkshire): Tue, 15/10/1974-21/01/1975
Crime of Passion, series 4 (ATV): Wed, 16/10/1974-20/11/1974
Love Story, series 10 (ATV): Wed, 27/11/1974-18/12/1974 (4 out of 13, see above)
Love Story, series 11 (ATV): Wed, 08/01/1975-15/01/1975 (2 out of 6)
Zodiac (Thames): Wed, 22/01/1975-26/02/1975
Six Days of Justice, series 2 (Thames): Tue, 28/01/1975-04/03/1975

Justice, series 3 (Yorkshire): Thu, 23/10/1975-29/01/1976
A Raging Calm (Granada): Tue, 28/10/1975-09/12/1975
Village Hall, series 1 (Granada): Tue, 30/12/1975-10/02/1976
Moody and Pegg, series 1 (Thames): Thu, 05/02/1976-11/03/1976
Village Hall, series 2 (Granada): Tue, 17/02/1976-23/03/1976 (6 out of 7)
Moody and Pegg, series 2 (Thames): Thu, 18/03/1976-17/06/1976
Childhood (Granada): Thu, 15/04/1976-06/05/1976 (2 out of 6)
Joby (Yorkshire): Tue / Wed, 08/06/1976-09/06/1976

South Riding (Yorkshire): Thu, 21/10/1976-20/01/1977 (12 out of 13)
Sam, series 1 (Granada): Tue, 26/10/1976-25/01/1977
Against the Crowd (ATV): Thu, 27/01/1977-10/03/1977
Sam, series 2 (Granada): Tue then Mon, 01/02/1977-02/05/1977
Public Eye, series 7 (Thames): Thu, 17/03/1977-27/10/1977 (12 out of 13)
Life and Death of Penelope (Thames): Tue, 17/05/1977-28/06/1977
Six Days of Justice, series 4 (Thames): Mon, 18/07/1977-22/08/1977

Bill Brand (Thames): Mon, 05/09/1977-21/11/1977
The Stars Look Down (Granada): Tue, 25/10/1977-24/01/1978
Hunters Walk, series 3 (ATV): Thu, 03/11/1977-19/01/1978 (11 out of 13)
Hadleigh (Yorkshire), series 4: Wed, 04/01/1978-29/03/1978
Shades of Greene (Thames): Thu, 26/01/1978-09/03/1978 (9 out of 18)
Sam, series 3 (Granada): Tue, 31/01/1978-23/05/1978
The Crezz (Thames): Thu, 16/03/1978-03/08/1978 (10 out of 12)
General Hospital, Series 3 (ATV): Wed, 03/05/1978-30/08/1978 (11 out of 20 episodes)
Red Letter Day (Granada): Tue, 06/06/1978-04/07/1978 (5 out of 7)
Romance (Thames): Tue, 01/08/1978-08/08/1978 (2 out of 6)

Born and Bred (Thames), series 1: Tue, 19/09/1978-07/11/1978
The Bass Player and the Blonde (ATV): Thu, 28/09/1978-09/11/1978 (ITV Playhouse + episodes)
Raffles (Yorkshire): Tue, 14/11/1978-06/03/1979
Fallen Hero (Granada), series 1: Thu, 16/11/1978-21/12/1978
Danger U X B (Thames): Thu, 11/01/1979-12/04/1979
This Year Next Year (Granada): Tue, 13/03/1979-03/07/1979
Sister Dora (Yorkshire): Thu, 31/05/1979-21/06/1979
Rumpole of the Bailey, Series 1 (Thames): Mon, 16/07/1979-06/08/1979 (4 out of 6 episodes, curtailed by the strike)
Three Plays for ITV (Granada): Tue, 17/07/1979-07/08/1979

A few notes:

There were a handful of plays in addition to these, some of which were one-offs and others which came from unthemed series such as Armchair Theatre, but this is most of it. I dare say I will have missed something and there'll be runs marked as incomplete which were actually shown in their entirety. I'm sure that there will also be the odd episode of some of these which didn't get fully networked because of some important local programme. All additions and subtractions welcome.

Until late 1976, it was highly unusual for any ITV region to repeat any home-grown VT dramas in the afternoon, other than as part of a networked screening. From late 1976 onwards, this 'rule' would be broken occasionally, usually with series which other regions had shown on a Sunday afternoon or after News at Ten. Jennie - Lady Randolph Churchill was one such series and ATV briefly repeated some Upstairs Downstairs on a Thursday (I think) afternoon while the rest of the country were showing film series in the same slot.

The weekday repeats of South Riding in 1976/77 were not shown by Yorkshire who re-ran the series on Sunday afternoons instead.

The 1979 re-runs of Raffles and This Year Next Year started out networked but splintered as time went on. Some just changed timeslot - 2.25 to 3.30 - while others changed the day of the week which, certainly in Raffles' case, resulted in them falling a week or two behind the other companies because of different sporting interruptions.

The afternoon runs of Fallen Hero and Danger U X B were in-week repeats (or nearly so, in the case of the last few UXBs) of episodes shown at 9pm a few days earlier. Born and Bred began in a similar way, with repeats on Tuesday afternoons six days after the initial broadcast, but by the end of the run the afternoon repeats were almost three weeks behind.

During this period there were also repeats of a number of the half-hour daytime series mentioned in Billy's original post, which I haven't logged. Additionally, two pairs of Rooms episodes were each shown as though a 50-minute drama.

Finally, because a particular VT series isn't listed here, it doesn't mean it wasn't repeated, just that it probably wasn't repeated in the afternoons during these few years.
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Re: ITV Daytime Drama Series 1972-82

Post by JezR »

Simon36 wrote:Really? It never got one though. In the 80s the IBA ruled that most episodes couldn't be shown before 9pm, after a handful got an 8pm repeat. But as I've questioned on here before, did afternoons have different criteria as most kids weren't around? Couples certainly had no probelms with strong language.
I suspect that The Sweeney as finally realised didn't really conform with the early writers' guide. Still it is interesting that evening shows were being produced considering an afternoon repeat.

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