A further 13 classic episodes of police drama The Bill are to be released on DVD.
The fifth volume of episodes will 13 episodes of the “half-hour” format of the show, released by Network DVD. The Bill originally launched as drama series in 1984 following the successful Woodentop pilot of 1983. In 1988 the series underwent a radical revamp of its format moving out of the post 9pm slot into an earlier slot and becoming an “all year round” drama with two half-hour episodes a week. It is the version of The Bill that remains enduringly popular to this day and perhaps the best remembered.
The Bill lasted on ITV1 until August of last year (2010) when its final episode aired with a special dedication to the Metropolitan Police. The axe came after an unsuccessful and much criticised revamp by ITV which saw the drama move back to a 9pm slot with just one hour-long episode per week. The revamp saw ratings fall from 6 million viewers per episode to around 3 million.
Network DVD have previously released three DVD sets containing the first three “seasons” of The Bill and four DVDs containing the “half-hour” format episodes. The fifth volume of The Bill will be released by Network DVD on Monday 11th July.