The scheduling of ITV soap opera Emmerdale has varied since it was first shown in 1972. For the first 25 years, there were only 2 episodes per week. Between 1997 and 2004 the number of episodes per week increased in stages, and since 2004 there have been 6 episodes a week which is 1 more than fellow ITV soap Coronation Street currently has.
Until December 1988, Emmerdale Farm took seasonal breaks; since then, it has been broadcast year-round. This was a change which occurred around the same time as the show was renamed from Emmerdale Farm to Emmerdale.
From 1977 the series moved out of Daytime, with the majority of ITV regions choosing to accommodate the programme in the 19:00 Tuesday and Thursday slot. Anglia Television, Grampian Television, Thames Television and Westward Television preferred 17:15 slot, with the days sometime changing. Scottish Television broadcast Emmerdale twice a week at different times and days, with no fixed slot, including 15.45, 17.15, 18.30 and 19.00, and would continue to move the series about, especial from January 1980 onwards when it give its own soap Take The High Road priory,
In January 1982; Anglia Television, Grampian Television, Scottish Television, Thames Television and TSW finally given series a fixed slot of 17:15 on Monday and Friday in-between Crossroads. From January 1984, Anglia Television, Grampian Television and Thames Television showed Emmerdale Farm at 17:15 Monday and Tuesday, Scottish Television following suit in October 1984.
In 1985 Thames Television/Television South West moved series back to 7pm in line with the network. Anglia Television, Grampian Television and Scottish Television Kept the 17.15 slot until December 1987, which results in episode being broadcast in an hour-long format on Sunday afternoon if network programming required the 17.15 slot.1972 - 20 episodes
1973 - 102 episodes
1974 - 99 episodes
1975 - 62 episodes
1976 - 38 episodes
1977 - 92 episodes
1978 - 75 episodes
1979 - 53 episodes
1980 - 86 episodes
1981 - 68 episodes
1982 - 68 episodes
1983 - 72 episodes
1984 - 76 episodes
1985 - 93 episodes
1986 - 100 episodes
1987 - 100 episodes
From 6 January 1988, all ITV regions networked the show in the Wednesday and Thursday 18.30 slot. Anglia Television and Central Television chose to move the programme to 19:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays in February 1989, This was the first time Anglia had screened Emmerdale Farm in the 19:00 slot, Central were simply returning to the slots they used until December 1987, for a period Anglia and Central saw episodes one week later than other regions.
From January 1990 all other regions followed the Central and Anglia schedule in the familiar Tuesday and Thursday 19:00 slot.1988 - 102 episodes
1989 - 103 episodes
1990 - 102 episodes
1991 - 104 episodes
1992 - 105 episodes
Most companies continued to broadcast the series at 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, repeats was shown in the daytime slot of the previous evening episode, in certain regions. By 1 January 1997, ITV had opted to increase their output to three episodes a week with the additional episode being screened on Wednesdays
Scottish Television used the 19:00 slot to broadcast daily regional programmes, including Take the High Road resulting in Emmerdale moving to 17:10, from early September 1993 until early 1998 when the show went back to the 19:00 slot.1993 - 104 episodes
1994 - 105 episodes
1995 - 104 episodes
1996 - 105 episodes
1997 - 157 episodes
1998 - 162 episodes
1999 - 164 episodes
From 2 October 2000, a further two episodes were added on a Monday and Friday evening, thus making "Emmerdale" a daily soap. A sixth episode begin to air on Sundays in 2004.
In January 2008, as with Coronation Street, ITV announced they would cease airing Emmerdale on a Sunday night; this meant that Emmerdale would still air at the same time on a Monday–Friday, but, to compensate, the Tuesday episode would run until 20:00. Producers of the soap revealed that "each hour-long episode on Tuesday will be specially written and won't be two half-hour ones put together. Each Tuesday episode was given an episode title but this practice was stopped in August 2008. The second half-hour of each Tuesday episode was broadcast at the same time as the BBC's soap EastEnders; this was unusual, as the main terrestrial channels in the UK usually schedule their soap operas to avoid clashes like this.
On 8 July 2009, ITV announced that they were to revamp their schedule yet again. This time, Emmerdale's Tuesday hour-long episode was reduced back down to 30 minutes, and replaced with a second Thursday episode. Emmerdale and EastEnders ratings have improved thanks to this, with Emmerdale getting 7.7 million, its highest in over 6 months, on 1 October 2009.
Old episodes of Emmerdale Farm were repeated in the 1990s on Sky Soap, the episodes shown in March 1997 were from 1973, but by the time Sky Soap ended in April 1999 the episodes shown were from 1988. In July 1998, episodes from the first episode of the renamed soap were repeated on Granada Plus, and the 2001 episodes were being shown when the channel ended in November 2004. the repeats ended with Episode #2827 - Thursday 4 January 2001.