The Bill will be cutback to one episode per week

Some Sun Hill regulars are facing the axe following a decision by ITV bosses to cut the police drama The Bill to just one episode per week.

The cuts are being introduced in a move to save millions in production costs
by halving the number of episodes and screening the drama from 9pm, says a report in the Daily Mirror.

TV executives hope the schedule change, to a post-watershed slot, will free more prime-time slots to screen cheaper entertainment shows which could attract bigger advertising revenues.

It has been reported that show bosses are conducting a consultation process with staff. It is likely that some employees, including actors on the show, will be axed or forced to take pay cuts.

An inside source said: "This has sent shockwaves through the cast. No one is sure about their future and everyone will be worried until their contract is sorted out.

"It's impossible for everyone to stay on so there will be some tears at the end of this consultation process."

Peter Fincham, ITV's director of television said: "I'm delighted to announce The Bill's transition to a weekly 9pm drama on ITV1.

It's a fantastic opportunity to take the series to another level, marking a new era for one of the most established brands on British television."

It has been reported that the transition will occur before the autumn.

The Bill is British television's longest running police drama and the show has been broadcast in 55 different countries.

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