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    Coronation Street

    Coronation Street

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    ITV
    Coronation Street is credited as being one of the longest running soaps in the world and the longest running television soap in Britain (with the longest running overall being The Archers on BBC radio). The show has been on British TV screens since 1960 and has aired over 6,000 episodes. Coronation Street was created by Tony Warren, who drew on his own experiences living in Salford when developing the show for Granada Television in Manchester. The show's working title was Florizel Street. In a memo from Tony Warren to Granada, he explains the basis of the show: "A fascinating freemasonary, a volume of unwritten rules. These are the driving forces behind life in a working class street in the north of England. The purpose of Florizel Street is to examine a community of this nature, and to entertain." The first episode of Coronation Street, written by Tony Warren and containing the first airing of the iconic theme music (composed by Eric Spear), was transmitted live at 7.00pm on Friday 9th December 1960 and was an instant success due to its eliment of "realism". The series began as a twice weekly serial (airing originally on Wednesdays and Fridays) and was initially only commissioned for twelve episodes but due to the series' success with the viewers it became a perminant fixture, soon changing its transmission days to Monday and Wednesdays. Almost 30 years later the number of episodes increased to three per week in 1989 (additional episode on Fridays) and then to four in 1996 (additional episode on Sundays). Recently that has increased again with a second episode being added on a Monday night at 8.30, leaving a half hour gap between the end of the first episode of the evening and the start of the second. Coronation Street, Corrie or The Street (however you know it) has been at the top of the ratings for most of it's long run and despite tough competition from new soaps and even new TV channels it remains the highest rated programme on British television. William Roache is now the only original cast member remaining - he's played Ken Barlow since episode one. The Set: In early 1960, after Granada Television commissioned twelve episodes of Coronation Street, the set designer Denis Parkin was taken on a tour of Salford by series creator Tony Warren for inspiration on the set. The street's set was based on Archie Street in the Ordsall district, a film shot of which was used in the opening credits of the programme from 1960 to 1964. Archie Street itself was knocked down in 1971. The original television set was built indoors, the cobbles and paving slabs were painted to the floor and the houses were made out of wood. The set was so big and the studio so small that it had to be erected in two parts which explains why shots of the entire street were not seen until 1968 when Granada decided that the interior set was too limiting and so re-erected the set outside in a yard rented from British Railways on Grape Street on Manchester, behind the Granada studios. The cast hated it! They complained that it was draughty and cold; nevertheless it was soon re-built in bricks and mortar and survived until the end of the 1970s when the decision was made to incorporate the set into the Granada Studios Tour. By 1982 a brand new set had been erected on a new site just a few hundred yards away. When the set was complete it was opened by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. The new set was first seen on-screen in episode 2210, broadcast on Monday 7 June 1982. From 1982 up until 1999, it was possible for fans of the show to visit the exterior set as part of the Granada Studios Tour. With the closure of the tour, Granada were able to expanded the exterior set to incorporate further buildings on Rosamund Street (the Health Centre) and later on Victoria Street (Roy's Rolls & Elliot and Son). Coronation Street currently airs on the following days in the UK: Monday @ 7.30pm & 8.30pm, Wednesday @ 7.30pm, Friday @ 7.30pm, Sunday @ 7.30pm. Note: This episode guide mirrors the episode numbers that are used by Granada Television. These, in turn, are based on the episode production numbers. On the odd occasion over the years these have proven to be slightly haphazard. To explain; the first episode of the programme was production code P228/1, the second P228/2, etc. In 1970, the production team reached episode 999 with the episode that was broadcast on Wednesday 19th August that year. The next episode, the 1000th, was not given the production code of P228/1000 but instead was given the new production code of P694 and the number 1! (To confuse matters more, Granada also publicised episode 999 as the 1000th episode!). The actual 1000th episode was therefore known as episode P694/1. As the seventies went on, two episodes (P694/26 and P694/27) were edited down into one half-hour episode, supposedly because Doris Speed - playing Annie Walker - was ill, and four episode numbers were not used at all - P694/503, P694/504, P694/505 and P694/549. You will therefore not find episodes 1503, 1504, 1505 or 1549 in this guide - because they were never made! When the 4000th episode was broadcast in April 1996, Granada's production codes skipped from P694/2999 to P694/4000, thereby mirroring better the actual episode number being shown and publicised. The fact remains though that other episode numbers have been skipped or counted as double episodes and therefore the publicity over episodes such as number 6000 in 2005 are a few episodes out. This is no big secret and, on occasion, comments have appeared in the UK press about this anomoly.moreless
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    Heartbeat

    Heartbeat

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    ITV (ended 2010)
    Heartbeat is set in the 1960s, in the fictional Yorkshire town of Aidensfield. The first seasons focus on the lives of London policeman Nick Rowan, who moves to the village with his doctor wife Kate. Nick's police colleagues feature in the series, under the leadership of the crusty but kindhearted Sergeant Blaketon. Blaketon's nemesis is Claude Jeremiah Greengrass, poacher and occasional small-time fence. Greengrass is a regular patron of the Aidensfield Arms hotel, run by George Ward and his pretty niece Gina. It's here at the pub that we see much of the day-to-day social interaction in the series. Heartbeat is based on the Constable books by Nicholas Rhea.

    There have been a load of Heartbeat coppers over the years. They are listed below:

    Sgt Oscar Blaketon PC Alf Ventress PC Phil Bellamy PC/Sgt Nick Rowan PC/DC Mike Bradley Sgt Raymond Craddock PC Tom Nicholson Sgt Dennis Merton PC Steve Crane Sgt George Miller PC Rob Walker PC Geoff Younger

    The musical theme, originally performed by Buddy Holly, is performed here by original show star Nick Berry.moreless
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    The Bill

    The Bill

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    ITV (ended 2010)
    Welcome to The Bill guide at TV.com. The Bill recounts the goings-on within and around Sun Hill, a Metropolitan Police Station located in the fictional Borough of Canley, in east London. Running for over 25 years, The Bill was Britain's longest running police drama series, finally outstripping Dixon of Dock Green on 10 August 2005. It adapted to meet the challenges of the highly competitive world of independent television, evolving from a standard post-watershed police procedural drama, through a period as a twice- and, later, thrice-weekly early evening ratings grabber with stand-alone plots, then as a twice-weekly one-hour drama with ongoing soap-style exploration of the troubled personal lives of its police officers. The Bill reverted to a once a week, post-watershed drama on 23 July 2009, but ITV decided not to renew the show when the contract came up for renewal the following year. The Bill is not your average cop show, but rather an extraordinary police drama that brings each episode to the audience through the eyes of the characters. An excellent cast, supported by some of the country's leading writers and directors and some innovative camera work gives an incredible sense of realism. Other police dramas have been created in an attempt to mirror its conventions and match its success, but none has lasted. The Bill truly deserves its accolade as Britain's most successful police drama.moreless
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    Midsomer Murders

    Midsomer Murders

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    ITV
    Welcome to the Midsomer Murders guide at TV.com. This English crime drama series, based on books by Caroline Graham, is filmed mostly in the villages and towns of the rural counties of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. John Nettles played Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby of Causton CID, a laconic, down-to-earth detective who faced many ingenious and remarkable murders — usually several in each episode — amid the eccentric denizens of Middle England. Barnaby's partners in detection were Sergeants Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey), Dan Scott (John Hopkins) and Ben Jones (Jason Hughes). Other regulars included Tom's wife Joyce (Jane Wymark) and his daughter Cully (Laura Howard). In 2011, Nettles left the show, and Tom Barnaby was replaced by his cousin, DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon). Midsomer Murders has been sold to more than 200 countries around the world. The show is made by Bentley Productions for ITV.moreless
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    Agatha Christie's Poirot

    Agatha Christie's Poirot

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    ITV (ended 2013)
    Welcome to the Poirot guide at TV.com. This is a British series which brings to life Agatha Christie's Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, played by David Suchet, whose sleuthing for the purposes of this series belongs in the mid-1930s. Based in London, with the very English Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) as his Dr Watson, Poirot's field of operations ranges around the world. The series has strong story lines, good production and acting, and a real period flavour. Poirot won two BAFTA awards in 1990, then had more BAFTA nominations as Best Drama Series in 1991 and 1992. All of Agatha Christie's seventy-two Poirot stories were produced with David Suchet as Poirot, and the show has been broadcast in more than one hundred countries around the world.moreless
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    Taggart

    Taggart

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    ITV (ended 2010)
    Welcome to the Taggart guide at TV.com. In the early 1980s, Robert Love, Controller of Drama at Scottish Television, and Glenn Chandler, pathologist-turned-writer, created a Glaswegian police detective named Jim Taggart, a creation that resulted in a world-wide successful television drama that lasted for twenty-seven years. Over the course of 110 stories the series, which followed the exploits of Maryhill CID, continued to win over viewers old and new despite major changes in the cast which caused most in the business to write it off. From the pilot broadcast, "Killer", to the final episode, the show presented more grizzly murders and plot twists than even the most ardent of fans can remember. Its film noir quality, along with the stunning setting of Glasgow, the second city of the empire, helped it remain a success even after the death of the titular character. The excellent cast, both past and present, have provided characters that have become much loved and remain in the hearts of fans even after their departure. This guide is dedicated to the memories of Mark McManus, Iain Anders, Robert Robertson and Tom Watson. Taggart was made by Scottish Television (later Scottish Media Group) Productions and broadcast on the ITV network across the UK. In 2010, with ITV assessing their output due to financial issues, the show was at risk of being cancelled. The two broadcasters agreed a co-production arrangement for the next series, which was broadcast first on STV, and later aired in the rest of the UK on ITV1. However, despite the new format and the series' continuing popularity in Scotland, viewing figures across the rest of the UK were disappointing, and ITV announced in May 2011 that it had decided not to commission any further series.moreless
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    Emmerdale

    Emmerdale

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    ITV
    Emmerdale first screened on ITV on the 16th of October 1972, which makes it one of the longest running soaps in British Television History.
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    The Blackheath Poisonings

    The Blackheath Poisonings

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    ITV (ended 1992)
    "The Blackheath Poisonings is a Victorian era murder drama starring Christine Kavanagh and Zoe Wanamaker and based on the novel by Julian Symons. Two families, The Collards and the Vandervents live together in a spacious villa in the London suburb of Blackheath in what appears to be a picture perfect life, but which actually holds many wicked secrets."moreless
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    Cold Feet

    Cold Feet

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    ITV (ended 2003)
    Cold Feet is about three couples. Adam Williams (Systems Analyst; James Nesbit) and Rachel Bradley (Helen Baxendale) start the series about a year and six or so weeks into their relationship. The pilot shows this couple coming together. Jenny (Fay Ripley) and Pete Gifford (John Thomson) are a married couple that start the series with the birth of their first child. Karen (Hermione Norris) and David Marsden (Robert Bathurst) are another married couple, and when the series starts they already have a child, and are thinking of having another. The three couples end up friends after going through the "friends of friends" process. Jenny, Pete and Adam are friends, and Adam's relationship with Rachel pulls Karen (Rachel's friend) and David (Karen's husband) into the friends relationship.moreless
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    A Touch of Frost

    A Touch of Frost

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    ITV (ended 2010)
    Welcome to the A Touch of Frost guide at TV.com. Detective Inspector Jack Frost is a disorganised DI for the Denton Police Force and will do anything to see that justice is done, even if he has to break the rules.moreless
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    Sharpe

    Sharpe

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    ITV (ended 2008)
    Welcome to the Sharpe guide at TV.com.

    This is a spectacular drama about the career of a British soldier during the Napoleonic Wars. In the first episode, Rifleman Richard Sharpe saves the life of the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Talavera and is commissioned from the ranks. In later episodes, Sharpe battles his way across Spain and France, defeating French spies and generals, and womanizing along the way. The original series, based on the Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell, ended with the Battle of Waterloo. Two further stories were made, in which Sharpe is called out of retirement and sent to India.

    The traditional song, Over the Hills and Far Away, is heard at the end of most episodes, as performed by John Tams, who played the part of Rifleman Hagman.moreless
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    Cadfael

    Cadfael

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    ITV (ended 1998)
    Welcome to the Cadfael guide at TV.com. Brother Cadfael is a twelfth-century Anglo-Welsh monk created by the late Edith Pargeter, writing under the pen name of Ellis Peters. A retired crusader disappointed in love, now a herbalist in charge of the gardens of Shrewsbury Abbey, Cadfael (played by Derek Jacobi) is often called on to solve murders and other crimes in and around Shrewsbury, Shropshire, in the border country where England meets Wales. The producers decided to film the series on location in Hungary, seemingly on the grounds that it looks more medieval than present-day England. This is why quite a number of Hungarian actors appear as guests. The original Cadfael books are: A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977), One Corpse Too Many (1979), Monk's-Hood (1980), Saint Peter's Fair (1981), The Leper of Saint Giles(1981), The Virgin in the Ice (1982), The Sanctuary Sparrow (1983), The Devil's Novice (1983), Dead Man's Ransom (1984), The Pilgrim of Hate (1984), An Excellent Mystery (1985), The Raven in the Foregate (1986), The Rose Rent (1986), The Hermit of Eyton Forest (1987), The Confession of Brother Haluin (1988), The Heretic's Apprentice (1989), The Potter's Field (1989), The Summer of the Danes (1991), The Holy Thief (1992) and Brother Cadfael's Penance (1994).moreless
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    Inspector Morse

    Inspector Morse

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    ITV (ended 2000)
    Welcome to the Inspector Morse guide at TV.com. Morse (played by the late John Thaw) is not the ideal policeman, his superiors think. He is prickly and sarcastic, a bachelor, an Oxford graduate, an intellectual snob, and he doesn't always follow protocol strictly as he should. But he gets results. Sergeant Lewis (Kevin Whately) is a plain family man, he follows orders, and the thing that keeps him from advancing in the Force is that he seems a little slow. The show takes place in and around Oxford, where many a mysterious murder occurs. Colin Dexter, the author of the Morse novels from which most of these dramas developed, appears in cameo roles in very nearly every episode. The books are: Last Bus to Woodstock (1975), Last Seen Wearing (1976), The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (1977), Service of All the Dead (1979), Winter's Crime (short stories) (1981), The Dead of Jericho (1981), The Riddle of the Third Mile (1983), The Secret of Annexe 3 (1986), The Wench Is Dead (1989), The Jewel That Was Ours (1991), The Way Through the Woods (1992), The Daughters of Cain (1994), Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories (1995), Death Is Now My Neighbour (1996) and The Remorseful Day (2000). Barrington Pheloung's theme tune for the series is based on the Morse code for m-o-r-s-e. Less well known is the fact that he weaves other characters' names into the score in Morse code at suitable moments. Pheloung appears as a choirmaster in The Remorseful Day, the last episode of the series featuring John Thaw. The Inspector Morse concept waslater revived by ITV,with spin-off seriesLewis (starring Kevin Whately as Inspector Lewis) and prequel episode Endeavour featuring Shaun Evans as a young Endeavour Morse.moreless
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    Cracker

    Cracker

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    ITV (ended 1995)
    Welcome to the Cracker guide at TV.com.

    Dr. Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald is an avowed drunkard and gambler, as well as being an expert criminal psychologist. In spite of marital and family problems, he has a knack for getting inside the minds of the criminally disturbed, and is called upon to assist the police in difficult cases that they cannot otherwise solve.

    Cracker ran for three seasons and was a consistent ratings success. It subsequently returned to British screens with a two-hour special in 1996 and 2006.moreless
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    Prime Suspect

    Prime Suspect

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    ITV (ended 2006)
    Welcome to the Prime Suspect guide at TV.com. This is a long-running occasional detective drama series starring Helen Mirren as DCI (later Detective Superintendent) Jane Tennison, based on stories by Linda La Plante. The show has won awards on both sides of the Atlantic.moreless
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    Horatio Hornblower

    Horatio Hornblower

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    ITV
    The adventures of Horatio Hornblower based on the classic series of books by Author C.S. Forester, told in chronologic order.
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    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984)

    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984)

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    ITV (ended 1994)
    Welcome to the Sherlock Holmes guide at TV.com. This listing takes in several series (all made by Granada, between 1984 and 1994) in which the late Jeremy Brett played the great detective :- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, together with a number of specials. Granada Television had set themselves the task of filming every one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. A number of the mysteries were still waiting to be filmed at Jeremy Brett's death in 1995, but Granada decided not to continue without him.moreless
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    The Vice

    The Vice

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    ITV (ended 2003)
    Welcome to The Vice guide at TV.com. The Vice told the story of the London Metropolitan police forces vice squad, where prostitution, murder and organized crime are everyday occurrences. Charged with leading a small, dedicated team, Detective Inspector Pat Chappel struggles to keep his home life separate from the tough world in which he works. Working at the seedy side of life takes its toll on the team (Sgt. Joe Robinson, PC Cheryl Hutchins, PC Dougie Raymond and new recruit PC Kirsty Morgan, many of whom do not make it intact to the end of the show's run. The show experimented with formats: 3 seasons of 2-part, one-hour episodes, a single season of 90-minute episodes, and a final extended seaon of self-contained one-hour episodes, but was not renewed following the departure of mainstay Ken Stott. The Vice is a Carlton production for the ITV Network.moreless
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    Van der Valk

    Van der Valk

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    ITV (ended 1992)
    Welcome to the Van der Valk guide at TV.com. In his time with the Amsterdam Police, Commissaris Piet van der Valk has seen it all. His cynicism sometimes shocks even his assistant Johnny Kroon. Their caseload brings them into contact with the city's many subcultures from drug-users to sexual perverts. Van der Valk is known for his ability to break difficult cases by pursuing his famous hunches. However, his superior, Hoofdcommissaris Samson, is always more concerned with the political and public relations ramifications of van der Valk's investigations. The city meanwhile provides an attractive backdrop for the stories. The character of van der Valk was created by the author Nicolas Freeling in a popular series of novels, though none of the storylines in the televison series are directly based on the books. Van der Valk initially ran for two series, but was resurrected in 1977 by Thames Television's Euston Films subsidiary, shooting on location using 16mm colour film. A second revival followed in 1991. The theme tune, Eye Level, was very popular when the show was first broadcast, spending several weeks in the British music charts.moreless
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    Touching Evil (UK)

    Touching Evil (UK)

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    ITV (ended 1999)
    Welcome to the Touching Evil guide at TV.com. Touching Evil follows the exploits of the Organized and Serial Crime Unit (OSC). Maverick Detective Inspector Dave Creegan is the newest member of the unit, an elite, rapid-response crime squad. The OSC uses their diverse crime-fighting skills to bring justice to society. Along with his stalwart partner DI Susan Taylor, Creegan squares off against some of England's most dangerous criminals – a serial murderer of children, a killer intent on murdering hospital patients, and a cyber-criminal who lures young Web-surfers with a gothic fantasy game and manipulates them into committing violent crimes.moreless
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