In response to the channel's declining share of the audience, ITV ordered an increase in Coronation Street's weekly output to four episodes. To achieve this, rehearsal and studio days were dropped and a system adopted whereby individual scenes would be rehearsed and immediately recorded. Generally, scenes set in one location would be shot in bulk, in the same manner as location scenes such as those set in Firman's Freezers had been since 1989. This resulted in reduced rehearsal time for the actors but allowed recording to take place on multiple episodes at the same time, with different camera crews.
The new installment was scheduled on Sundays at 7.30pm and the first episode was screened on 24th November. The main storyline saw Ken Barlow - recently reconciled with Deirdre Rachid after seven years - rush to No.1 to stop Denise Osbourne snatching their son Daniel. Denise Black returned to the programme after nine months for a custody battle between Ken and Denise over Daniel, before leaving again in January 1997.
In September, confectionery giant Cadbury become Coronation Street's first official sponsor. Starting with Episode 4062, the top and tail end of each episode carried adverts for Cadbury products, usually with a Coronation Street theme.
Roy Barraclough returned full-time as Alec Gilroy, four years after he quit the series. As Jack and Vera Duckworth were now running the Rovers, writers created another outlet for Alec's talents; Sunliners Travel Agency in Rosamund Street, a new fixture of the programme which also employed Deirdre Rachid as well as cleaner Joyce Smedley, Judy Mallett's mother played by Anita Carey. Meanwhile, Alec's previous appearance in Coronation Street - The Feature Length Special was given an airing on television on 24th March, thus breaking a promise to consumers that the VHS release would not be transmitted within a specified time period. Although it was an abridged version, ITV was criticised for the move and later gained a fine for not keeping to this promise.
Other cast additions included Tina Hobley as barmaid Samantha Failsworth, Sarah Moffett as Daniel Osbourne's child minder Kelly Thomson, Glenn Hugill as detective Alan McKenna, boyfriend of Fiona Middleton, and Maggie Norris and Emily Aston as mother and daughter Claire and Becky Palmer, who formed a family with Des Barnes. Meanwhile, Steven Arnold and John Savident's roles of Ashley Peacock and his uncle (later revealed to be father) Fred Elliott were expanded, Deborah McAndrew returned as Angie Freeman for three episodes before coming back full-time in 1997, and Helene Palmer's role of Ida Clough became recurring for the first time since 1988. Ida once again worked for Mike Baldwin at his new factory Baldwin's Sportswear.
Sarah Lancashire was the main departee, quitting the programme after five years as Raquel Watts. The episode in which Raquel told Curly she was leaving Weatherfield to take a modelling job in Kuala Lumpur was hour-long and also featured the wedding of Tracy Barlow and Robert Preston, with Dawn Acton making a short return as Tracy and Maggie Jones appearing as Blanche Hunt for the first time in 15 years.
Jill Summers played Phyllis Pearce for the last time in Episode 4007 on 1st May. Despite ill-health, she had refused to leave the programme but her appearances had become sporadic in recent months and she passed away on 11th January 1997. After Summers's death, Phyllis's fate was left ambiguous, and the character was simply no longer mentioned.
Other departures included Chloe Newsome as Vicky McDonald, Ellie Haddington as Josie Clarke and Warren Jackson as Nick Tilsley. Jackson intended to return as Nick the following year, but the part was recast with Adam Rickitt instead. Lastly, Nigel Pivaro made a short return as Terry Duckworth, his first for three years.
Viewers were given a chance to watch old episodes of Coronation Street starting with Episode 1588, originally shown on 5th April 1976, on the new satellite channel Granada Plus. Shown under the title Classic Coronation Street, the repeats continued until the channel went defunct in 2004. Jean Alexander reprised the role of Hilda Ogden in a special trailer advertising the repeats.
Overall aggregated ratings were down for the fourth year in a row, by a slightly smaller factor than the previous two years. The average for 1996 was 15.76 million viewers, a drop of 300k on 1995. February, March, May and August saw increases year-on-year, though none significant. The biggest drops occurred in October and December, each of almost two million viewers. The latter drop was the result of the new Sunday episode struggling to build an audience and a disastrous performance by the Christmas Day episode, whose audience was 10.32 million viewers and which only reached 30th place for the week, despite being an aggregated figure.
The highest-rated episode of the year was Episode 3980 on 28th February, which was seen by 19.8 million viewers - the highest peak in a year since 1993. Meanwhile, the programme continued to rate excellently in the charts, with 45 episodes reaching number one.
|1||3955||Monday 1st January||Tom Elliott||Penelope Shales||16,400,000||7|
|2||3956||Wednesday 3rd January||Patrea Smallacombe||Penelope Shales||18,380,000||1|
|3||3957||Friday 5th January||Peter Whalley||Penelope Shales||17,950,000||3|
|4||3958||Monday 8th January||Sally Wainwright||Jon Woods||18,560,000||1|
|5||3959||Wednesday 10th January||Phil Woods||Jon Woods||17,120,000||3|
|6||3960||Friday 12th January||Stephen Mallatratt||Jon Woods||17,910,000||2|
|7||3961||Monday 15th January||John Stevenson||John Michael Phillips||18,420,000||2|
|8||3962||Wednesday 17th January||Stephen Lowe||John Michael Phillips||17,720,000||3|
|9||3963||Friday 19th January||Mark Wadlow||John Michael Phillips||18,480,000||1|
|10||3964||Monday 22nd January||Tom Elliott||Brian Mills||18,200,000||3|
|11||3965||Wednesday 24th January||John Stevenson||Brian Mills||18,640,000||2|
|12||3966||Friday 26th January||Adele Rose||Brian Mills||19,250,000||1|
|13||3967||Monday 29th January||Stephen Lowe||Mervyn Cumming||18,980,000||1|
|14||3968||Wednesday 31st January||Julian Roach||Mervyn Cumming||18,200,000||2|
|15||3969||Friday 2nd February||Barry Hill||Mervyn Cumming||17,940,000||3|
|16||3970||Monday 5th February||Stephen Mallatratt||Jon Woods||19,300,000||2|
|17||3971||Wednesday 7th February||Patrea Smallacombe||Jon Woods||19,510,000||1|
|18||3972||Friday 9th February||Peter Whalley||Jon Woods||19,290,000||3|
|19||3973||Monday 12th February||Martin Allen||John Michael Phillips||18,340,000||2|
|20||3974||Wednesday 14th February||Tom Elliott||John Michael Phillips||18,580,000||1|
|21||3975||Friday 16th February||Phil Woods||John Michael Phillips||18,180,000||3|
|22||3976||Monday 19th February||Julian Roach||Brian Mills||19,570,000||1|
|23||3977||Wednesday 21st February||Peter Whalley||Brian Mills||18,550,000||2|
|24||3978||Friday 23rd February||Stephen Lowe||Brian Mills||18,440,000||3|
|25||3979||Monday 26th February||John Stevenson||Mervyn Cumming||19,050,000||3|
|26||3980||Wednesday 28th February||Adele Rose||Mervyn Cumming||19,800,000||1|
|27||3981||Friday 1st March||Stephen Mallatratt||Mervyn Cumming||19,110,000||2|
|28||3982||Monday 4th March||Stephen Mallatratt||Colin Cant||18,120,000||1|
|29||3983||Wednesday 6th March||Patrea Smallacombe||Colin Cant||14,050,000||8|
|30||3984||Friday 8th March||Barry Hill||Colin Cant||17,980,000||2|
|31||3985||Monday 11th March||Adele Rose||John Michael Phillips||17,580,000||2|
|32||3986||Wednesday 13th March||Tom Elliott||John Michael Phillips||18,740,000||1|
|33||3987||Friday 15th March||Sally Wainwright||John Michael Phillips||17,510,000||3|
|34||3988||Monday 18th March||John Stevenson||Brian Mills||18,100,000||1|
|35||3989||Wednesday 20th March||Peter Whalley||Brian Mills||15,220,000||6|
|36||3990||Friday 22nd March||Peter Whalley||Noreen Kershaw||17,270,000||2|
|37||3991||Monday 25th March||John Stevenson||Mervyn Cumming||18,470,000||1|
|38||3992||Wednesday 27th March||Adele Rose||Mervyn Cumming||17,530,000||2|
|39||3993||Friday 29th March||Peter Whalley||Mervyn Cumming||17,260,000||3|
|40||3994||Monday 1st April||Tom Elliott||Colin Cant||16,420,000||1|
|41||3995||Wednesday 3rd April||Stephen Mallatratt||Colin Cant||12,740,000||7|
|42||3996||Friday 5th April||Julian Roach||Colin Cant||14,540,000||4|
|43||3997||Monday 8th April||Mark Wadlow||Richard Signy||15,850,000||3|
|44||3998||Wednesday 10th April||Barry Hill||Richard Signy||16,450,000||2|
|45||3999||Friday 12th April||Martin Allen||Richard Signy||17,360,000||1|
|46||4000||Monday 15th April||Barry Hill||Noreen Kershaw||16,130,000||1|
|47||4001||Wednesday 17th April||Adele Rose||Noreen Kershaw||13,370,000||6|
|48||4002||Friday 19th April||Julian Roach||Brian Mills||15,750,000||2|
|49||4003||Monday 22nd April||John Stevenson||Mervyn Cumming||17,170,000||1|
|50||4004||Wednesday 24th April||Peter Whalley||Mervyn Cumming||16,480,000||2|
|51||4005||Friday 26th April||Tom Elliott||Mervyn Cumming||15,040,000||3|
|52||4006||Monday 29th April||Patrea Smallacombe||Colin Cant||16,550,000||2|
|53||4007||Wednesday 1st May||Stephen Mallatratt||Colin Cant||16,870,000||1|
|54||4008||Friday 3rd May||Phil Woods||Colin Cant||15,920,000||3|
|55||4009||Monday 6th May||Mark Wadlow||Richard Signy||13,780,000||5|
|56||4010||Wednesday 8th May||Tom Elliott||Richard Signy||16,010,000||1|
|57||4011||Friday 10th May||Stephen Lowe||Richard Signy||15,920,000||2|
|58||4012||Monday 13th May||John Stevenson||Brian Mills||15,520,000||3|
|59||4013||Wednesday 15th May||Barry Hill||Brian Mills||16,430,000||1|
|60||4014||Friday 17th May||Frank Cottrell Boyce||Noreen Kershaw||15,710,000||2|
|61||4015||Monday 20th May||Sally Wainwright||Mervyn Cumming||15,820,000||1|
|62||4016||Wednesday 22nd May||Adele Rose||Mervyn Cumming||13,370,000||6|
|63||4017||Friday 24th May||Peter Whalley||Mervyn Cumming||15,550,000||2|
|64||4018||Monday 27th May||Barry Hill||Colin Cant||16,020,000||1|
|65||4019||Wednesday 29th May||Stephen Mallatratt||Colin Cant||15,410,000||2|
|66||4020||Friday 31st May||Martin Allen||Colin Cant||14,350,000||4|
|67||4021||Monday 3rd June||Peter Whalley||Richard Signy||14,930,000||1|
|68||4022||Wednesday 5th June||Sally Wainwright||Richard Signy||13,800,000||3|
|69||4023||Friday 7th June||Stephen Lowe||Richard Signy||13,770,000||4|
|70||4024||Monday 10th June||Phil Woods||Brian Mills||13,440,000||2|
|71||4025||Wednesday 12th June||John Stevenson||Brian Mills||13,710,000||1|
|72||4026||Friday 14th June||Adele Rose||Brian Mills||9,990,000||9|
|73||4027||Monday 17th June||John Stevenson||Mervyn Cumming||14,070,000||4|
|74||4028||Wednesday 19th June||Sally Wainwright||Mervyn Cumming||12,160,000||10|
|75||4029||Friday 21st June||Patrea Smallacombe||Mervyn Cumming||13,640,000||6|
|76||4030||Monday 24th June||Adele Rose||Noreen Kershaw||13,310,000||4|
|77||4031||Wednesday 26th June||Peter Whalley||Noreen Kershaw||12,320,000||9|
|78||4032||Friday 28th June||Stephen Mallatratt||Noreen Kershaw||15,250,000||3|
|79||4033||Monday 1st July||Julian Roach||Colin Cant||13,870,000||3|
|80||4034||Wednesday 3rd July||Tom Elliott||Colin Cant||14,590,000||1|
|81||4035||Friday 5th July||Mark Wadlow||Colin Cant||14,350,000||2|
|82||4036||Monday 8th July||Barry Hill||Brian Mills||14,230,000||1|
|83||4037||Wednesday 10th July||Adele Rose||Brian Mills||13,430,000||3|
|84||4038||Friday 12th July||Phil Woods||Brian Mills||13,100,000||5|
|85||4039||Monday 15th July||Frank Cottrell Boyce||Kay Patrick||14,160,000||1|
|86||4040||Wednesday 17th July||Martin Allen||Kay Patrick||13,030,000||3|
|87||4041||Friday 19th July||Julian Roach||Kay Patrick||13,000,000||4|
|88||4042||Monday 22nd July||Stephen Mallatratt||Simon Massey||14,220,000||2|
|89||4043||Wednesday 24th July||Peter Whalley||Simon Massey||14,300,000||1|
|90||4044||Friday 26th July||John Stevenson||Simon Massey||13,170,000||3|
|91||4045||Monday 29th July||Sally Wainwright||Noreen Kershaw||14,640,000||1|
|92||4046||Wednesday 31st July||Barry Hill||Noreen Kershaw||14,390,000||2|
|93||4047||Friday 2nd August||Stephen Lowe||Noreen Kershaw||13,550,000||5|
|94||4048||Monday 5th August||Jim Hitchmough||Colin Cant||14,010,000||3|
|95||4049||Wednesday 7th August||Peter Whalley||Colin Cant||14,670,000||1|
|96||4050||Friday 9th August||John Stevenson||Colin Cant||14,670,000||1|
|97||4051||Monday 12th August||Phil Woods||Mervyn Cumming||14,420,000||1|
|98||4052||Wednesday 14th August||Adele Rose||Mervyn Cumming||14,180,000||2|
|99||4053||Friday 16th August||Stephen Mallatratt||Mervyn Cumming||13,570,000||3|
|100||4054||Monday 19th August||Stephen Mallatratt||Simon Massey||14,100,000||3|
|101||4055||Wednesday 21st August||Stephen Lowe||Simon Massey||14,180,000||2|
|102||4056||Friday 23rd August||Peter Whalley||Simon Massey||14,880,000||1|
|103||4057||Monday 26th August||Tom Elliott||Noreen Kershaw||12,990,000||6|
|104||4058||Wednesday 28th August||Patrea Smallacombe||Noreen Kershaw||15,480,000||1|
|105||4059||Friday 30th August||Barry Hill||Noreen Kershaw||14,170,000||2|
|106||4060||Monday 2nd September||Frank Cottrell Boyce||Brian Mills||15,640,000||1|
|107||4061||Wednesday 4th September||Julian Roach||Brian Mills||14,850,000||2|
|108||4062||Friday 6th September||Adele Rose||Brian Mills||12,900,000||8|
|109||4063||Monday 9th September||Martin Allen||Mervyn Cumming||15,880,000||1|
|110||4064||Wednesday 11th September||Adele Rose||Mervyn Cumming||13,790,000||6|
|111||4065||Friday 13th September||Jim Hitchmough||Mervyn Cumming||13,710,000||7|
|112||4066||Monday 16th September||Patrea Smallacombe||Simon Massey||15,600,000||1|
|113||4067||Wednesday 18th September||Peter Whalley||Simon Massey||15,190,000||4|
|114||4068||Friday 20th September||Phil Woods||Simon Massey||14,040,000||6|
|115||4069||Monday 23rd September||Sally Wainwright||Kay Patrick||16,680,000||1|
|116||4070||Wednesday 25th September||Mark Wadlow||Kay Patrick||13,550,000||9|
|117||4071||Friday 27th September||Julian Roach||Kay Patrick||14,930,000||6|
|118||4072||Monday 30th September||Stephen Lowe||Brian Mills||15,930,000||2|
|119||4073||Wednesday 2nd October||Barry Hill||Brian Mills||15,720,000||3|
|120||4074||Friday 4th October||Julian Roach||Brian Mills||15,350,000||5|
|121||4075||Monday 7th October||Phil Woods||Mervyn Cumming||16,710,000||4|
|122||4076||Wednesday 9th October||Adele Rose||Mervyn Cumming||15,940,000||7|
|123||4077||Friday 11th October||Peter Whalley||Mervyn Cumming||15,300,000||9|
|124||4078||Monday 14th October||Sally Wainwright||Colin Cant||17,190,000||2|
|125||4079||Wednesday 16th October||Stephen Mallatratt||Colin Cant||13,720,000||10|
|126||4080||Friday 18th October||John Stevenson||Colin Cant||15,410,000||7|
|127||4081||Monday 21st October||Barry Hill||Noreen Kershaw||16,650,000||4|
|128||4082||Wednesday 23rd October||John Stevenson||Noreen Kershaw||16,190,000||7|
|129||4083||Friday 25th October||Tom Elliott||Noreen Kershaw||15,200,000||8|
|130||4084||Monday 28th October||Adele Rose||Brian Mills||17,510,000||1|
|131||4085||Wednesday 30th October||Jim Hitchmough||Brian Mills||13,940,000||7|
|132||4086||Friday 1st November||Peter Whalley||Brian Mills||14,530,000||6|
|133||4087||Monday 4th November||Peter Whalley||Mervyn Cumming||17,390,000||1|
|134||4088||Wednesday 6th November||Martin Allen||Mervyn Cumming||16,360,000||3|
|135||4089||Friday 8th November||Stephen Lowe||Mervyn Cumming||15,580,000||4|
|136||4090||Monday 11th November||Phil Woods||Colin Cant||17,590,000||2|
|137||4091||Wednesday 13th November||Julian Roach||Colin Cant||18,260,000||1|
|138||4092||Friday 15th November||Adele Rose||Colin Cant||16,480,000||5|
|139||4093||Monday 18th November||Tom Elliott||Noreen Kershaw||17,600,000||1|
|140||4094||Wednesday 20th November||Patrea Smallacombe||Noreen Kershaw||14,280,000||7|
|141||4095||Friday 22nd November||John Stevenson||Noreen Kershaw||15,690,000||5|
|142||4096||Sunday 24th November||Tom Elliott||Noreen Kershaw||15,670,000||6|
|143||4097||Monday 25th November||Sally Wainwright||Brian Mills||17,570,000||1|
|144||4098||Wednesday 27th November||Martin Allen||Brian Mills||16,910,000||3|
|145||4099||Friday 29th November||Adele Rose||Brian Mills||15,480,000||8|
|146||4100||Sunday 1st December||Tom Elliott||Mervyn Cumming||14,690,000||10|
|147||4101||Monday 2nd December||Tom Elliott||Mervyn Cumming||17,360,000||2|
|148||4102||Wednesday 4th December||Patrea Smallacombe||Mervyn Cumming||13,440,000||10|
|149||4103||Friday 6th December||Julian Roach||Mervyn Cumming||15,420,000||6|
|150||4104||Sunday 8th December||Sally Wainwright||Colin Cant||13,670,000||9|
|151||4105||Monday 9th December||Adele Rose||Colin Cant||16,890,000||1|
|152||4106||Wednesday 11th December||Barry Hill||Colin Cant||16,290,000||3|
|153||4107||Friday 13th December||Phil Woods||Colin Cant||15,540,000||5|
|154||4108||Sunday 15th December||Patrea Smallacombe||Noreen Kershaw||14,110,000||10|
|155||4109||Monday 16th December||Tom Elliott||Noreen Kershaw||16,820,000||1|
|156||4110||Wednesday 18th December||Peter Whalley||Noreen Kershaw||15,960,000||2|
|157||4111||Friday 20th December||Julian Roach||Noreen Kershaw||15,240,000||5|
|158||4112||Sunday 22nd December||Tom Elliott||Brian Mills||13,110,000||9|
|159||4113||Monday 23rd December||Phil Woods||Brian Mills||16,250,000||7|
|160||4114||Wednesday 25th December||John Stevenson||Brian Mills||10,320,000||30|
|161||4115||Friday 27th December||Mark Wadlow||Brian Mills||16,260,000||6|
|162||4116||Sunday 29th December||Patrea Smallacombe||Mervyn Cumming||14,300,000||11|
|163||4117||Monday 30th December||Martin Allen||Mervyn Cumming||17,140,000||3|
Who lives where
- Rovers Return Inn - Jack and Vera Duckworth.
- 1 Coronation Street - Ken Barlow. Denise Osbourne (January only). Daniel Osbourne (until November). Kelly Thomson (May to November).
- 2a Coronation Street - Fiona Middleton (from March).
- 3 Coronation Street - Emily Bishop. Percy Sugden.
- 4 Coronation Street - Derek and Mavis Wilton.
- 5 Coronation Street - Don Brennan. Josie Clarke (until June). Ashley Peacock (from October).
- 6 Coronation Street - Des Barnes. Andy McDonald (until May). Claire and Becky Palmer (both from August).
- 7 Coronation Street - Curly Watts. Raquel Watts (until November). Samantha Failsworth (from December).
- 8 Coronation Street - Martin, Gail, Sarah Louise and David Platt. Nick Tilsley (until September).
- 9 Coronation Street - Gary and Judy Mallett.
- 10a Coronation Street - Rita Sullivan.
- 11 Coronation Street - Jim McDonald (January to April and from August onwards). Liz McDonald (until August). Andy McDonald (May to September).
- 12 Coronation Street - Maureen Holdsworth (April only). Alec Gilroy (from July).
- 13 Coronation Street - Kevin, Sally, Rosie and Sophie Webster.
- 15a Coronation Street - (Empty).
- 17a Victoria Street - Claire and Becky Palmer (first week of November only).
- 5 Crimea Street - Deirdre Rachid. Tricia and Jamie Armstrong. Roy Cropper. Bill Webster. Jim McDonald. (April to August).
- 2 Douglas Road - Maxine Heavey (from March).
- Gable Street - Joyce Smedley.
- 5 Grasmere Drive - Alf and Audrey Roberts.
- 37 Hillside Crescent - Billy and Betty Williams.
- Mayfield Court - Phyllis Pearce.
- No. 4 Montreal House, Weatherfield Quays - Mike and Alma Baldwin.
- No. 6 Montreal House, Weatherfield Quays - Steve and Vicky McDonald (both until May).
- 7 Nightingale Street - Maud Grimes. Maureen Holdsworth (except April).
- 16 Orchard Close - Andy McDonald. Anne Malone (both from September onwards).
- B&B, 15 Park Road - Alec Gilroy. Vicky McDonald (both from April to June).
- 170 Park Street - Liz McDonald (from August).
- 23 Seymour Drive, Oakhill - Fred Elliott.
Awards and nominations
National Television Awards
- Most Popular Serial Drama: Coronation Street (Nominee)
- Most Popular Newcomer: Tracy Shaw (Nominee)
- Most Popular Actress: Sarah Lancashire (Nominee)
Royal Television Society (North West) Awards
- Best Network Programme: Coronation Street (Nominee)
- Best Actress in a Network Programme made in the region: Sarah Lancashire (Nominee)
- Best Actor in a Network Programme made in the region: William Tarmey (Nominee)
- Best Other ITV Show: Coronation Street (Nominee)
|Coronation Street in the 1990s|
|← 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 →|