Ackley Bridge is a popular comedy-drama series on Channel 4 and the students will be returning to the small screen tomorrow night (April 19). Fans have noticed the show will not air during its familiar slot, and will instead air on the network at an earlier time of 6pm. The half-hour episodes will be shown on consecutive days over the next two weeks at this new teatime slot.
Ackley Bridge now forms a double bill with Hollyoaks on weeknights, which has been described as a smart move.
Both shows bring in a similar teen audience and it is hoped the change in schedule will help out with viewership ratings.
Caroline Hollick, Head of Channel 4 Drama, said: “We’ve put younger viewers squarely at the heart of our new strategy, making each episode a snappy 30 minutes and moving the time slot to the brand-new time of 6pm.
“Sandwiched between The Simpsons and Hollyoaks, Channel 4 will truly own teatime!”
The full series will be made available to watch on the streaming platform All 4 following the release of the first episode.
READ MORE: Ackley Bridge season 4 cast: Who is in the cast of Ackley Bridge?
The first episode will introduce a newcomer, Johnny (played by Ryan Dean), who catches the eyes of many students.
Johnny definitely knows how to make an entrance as he arrives on horseback as part of a traveller community.
Also joining the cast this season are Fizza (Yasmin Al-Khudhairi) and Kayla (Robyn Cara), who are quick to make their mark on the school.
Like the previous three instalments, this season will highlight race, body shaming and bullying amongst other poignant themes.
Fans have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts in the schedule shake-up ahead of the first episode.
One said: “Poor planning @channel4 moving @AckleyBridgeTV to 6pm. For me, I will probably see the last 20 mins by the time I’m in from work/walked dog.
“+1, I hear you cry, then that would bugger up my Corrie viewing! Please put back to 8pm on a Tuesday! I have no recording facilities/WiFi.” [Sic]
Another said: “Why the b***** h*** have @Channel4 moved #AckleyBridge to 6pm. Prime time show moved to an early slot, do they have no faith in this new series?” [Sic]
The Twitter account for 4Viewers shared their enthusiasm, saying: “We are so excited for the new series too! Roll on Monday! #AckleyBridge“
The trailer for the upcoming season has been released and it shows Kayla and Fizza both having conversations about Johnny.
Kayla is heard telling the newcomer her life was “so much easier” before she met him.
Later on in the trailer, she is seen hugging her best friend, so hopefully they do not let the relationship feud get the better of them.
Ackley Bridge airs on weeknights on Channel 4 at 6pm.