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It’s all change for BBC Scotland’s River City as the acclaimed drama moves to a new multi-series format after the summer on BBC iPlayer, BBC Scotland and BBC One Scotland.

From Monday 23 October, River City will air as three distinct series a year with breaks of six weeks in between. Each series will run for 11 weeks, twice-weekly with new episodes premiering every Monday on BBC iPlayer. The budget for River City remains the same but due to rising costs, the volume of hours has reduced by 15% over the course of the year. There will now be 33 hours of River City per year.

The current run will come to an end on Wednesday 9 August which will see the life of one character hang in the balance after a dramatic showdown goes horribly wrong. River City – which recently won ‘Best Drama’ at the RTS Scotland 2023 awards - will then take a 10 week ‘on screen’ break over August and September, returning in its new multi-series drama format from October.

Gavin Smith, Commissioning Executive, BBC Scotland says: “This new format allows the production team the chance to delve deeper in to storylines and create more ‘must-see’ moments, which River City has become renowned for. When the series returns in October, Montego Street will have had a mini makeover and we’ll be introducing the first of three new characters so there will be lots for the River City fans to look forward to when it returns in the Autumn.”

Louise Thornton, Head of Commissioning, BBC Scotland adds: “BBC Scotland is very proud of River City and we know it has an incredibly loyal audience who tune in to follow the drama in Shieldinch every week. That drama will continue but we are changing the broadcast pattern to allow us to keep delivering value to all licence fee payers whilst at the same time bringing more dramatic storylines to Montego Street.”

Martin McCardie, BBC Studios Series Producer for River City: “‘We are all excited by the new format changes to River City. It means we can be more ambitious with stories and can develop the series to reflect Scotland in 2023 and beyond.”

A BBC Studios production for BBC Scotland, filming resumes on Monday 28 August at the BBC Dumbarton Studios for the first of the new multi-series episodes which will air from October 2023 through to January 2024.


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