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Curtain raised on Drama's schedule and availability on other platforms

UKTV has presented its new Drama channel to the press this evening at a star studded event as schedules for the first week on air are published.

The channel, which will start broadcasting from 8am on Monday 8th July 2013 on Freeview channel 20, will become UKTV's fourth Freeview channel.

Drama will "air a diverse range of critically-acclaimed shows featuring stellar talent, many of whom have gone on to join Hollywood’s elite." The channel will be on air from 8am to 5am everyday.

The channel confirmed on Twitter today that an "announcement on Sky should come soon", inferring that while initial publicity for the channel has solely focused on Freeview, the channel is set to launch on pay TV platforms, where sister channel Blighty will close.

Credit: UKTV / Drama Channel on YouTube. 
"Stairs" - A sample from Drama's on-air identity

Launch schedule
The channel will launch with an episode of The Bill on Monday 8th at 8am, followed by a daytime diet of popular UK drama series including Rumpole of the Bailey, Monarch of the Glen and Born and Bred interspersed with Last of The Summer Wine and Birds of A Feather.

The first night of Drama looks like this, inheriting the comedy slots from sister channel Yesterday:

Monday 8th July

7:00pm Last of the Summer Wine

Series 23 Episode 2: The Mystical Squeak of Howard's Bicycle 
Comedy, starring Peter Sallis, Frank Thornton and Robert Fyfe
7:40pm Birds of a Feather

Sisters Sharon and Tracey's lives are changed forever when their husbands leave for work and never return.
8:20pm Birds of a Feather

Series 1 Episode 2: Just Visiting
The sisters face up to the realities of life with their husbands in prison, but are they able to explain it to Tracey's son, Garth?
9:00pm Inspector George Gently

Series 2 Episode 1: Gently with the Innocents
When an old man is killed in his dilapidated mansion, Gently and Bacchus dig deeper into the history of the former children's home. But it becomes clear that some of the locals, including property developer Cora Davidson, have something to hide.
11:00pm Hamish Macbeth

FIRST EPISODE  The Great Lochdubh Salt Robbery
Comedy crime drama set against the backdrop of a sleepy Highland village, starring Robert Carlyle, Ralph Riach and Valerie Gogan

On Tuesdays, Call The Midwife will air at 10pm while Sunday teatimes (5pm) are reserved for Pride and Prejudice, with Colin Firth as leading man. The drama is being shown to mark the bicentenary of Jane Austen's classic novel. Jonathan Creek will be shown on Friday at 9pm.

Overnight, the schedule includes some non-drama programming such as Britain's Best, the show where Fiona Bruce visits some of the country's greatest historical sites.

Drama as new channel forces Gold to move Home on the Freeview EPG >
The launch of Drama will produce some changes on the Freeview channel listing

Drama: Q&A >
10 questions about the new channel

From other websites:
TV Live - Drama >
TV Live will capture the presentation aspects of the channel

Drama Channel >
The channel's official website

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