There was fallacious claims "most companies placed hour long regional news at 6pm" as reason for blockbusters disappearing but that is wrong as only two ITV station did this, and by 1994 it was just Westcountry.
With London, it couldn't make up its mind with H&W all of 1993 and parts of 1994 it was 17.10, then it went back 6pm, then it went back to 17.10 by late 96?
It's hardly "fallacious claims", it's not a conspiracy to undermine Blockbusters. Although only a few regions did an hour of regional news, other regions did use 6.30 quite frequently as a slot for regional programmes, Meridian did every night for example, and the fact Carlton had an hour of regional news was an issue because Blockbusters had to go to 3.20 in London and that was obviously to its detriment on a national basis because London was the biggest region and so the ratings went down and you lost all the cult status from the London media.
The other general point is that, now there was Home and Away as well, that took up either the 5.10 or 6pm slot all year round so some regions weren't willing to then devote the other slot to Blockbusters for a large period of the year, as they were slots they liked to show regional programmes in.
Of course, when London Tonight began it was supposed to be half hard news and half showbiz and that, with the hard news at 8.30 because people in London got in late. But that flopped, so they shifted the showbiz off to After 5 and moved Home and Away back to six. But I think the regions were slightly embarrassed at the success of Home and Away - Granada shuffled it around all over the place, from 5.10 in 1989 to six in 1990 to 5.10 in 1992 to six in 1993 to 5.10 in 1997, and they treated it very badly, if they ever wanted to do an extended Granada Tonight or anything they would just shove it to 5.10, often unadvertised. I think that was the case in many of the regions, they didn't want an import doing so well.
How did STV handle hour-long editions of Emmerdale, or were they playing ball by this point?
Worth noting that particularly on Sunday afternoons, there were massive regional variations as late as 2002.
Indeed, although they would often be inelegantly shoved out of the way to make way for network stuff, I remember in Broadcast circa 2002 the production team of a regional show for Granada which was indeed going out on Sunday afternoons complained about how badly they were treating the show and how it was frequently being dropped, and Granada wrote in to say it wasn't their fault, as the network were frequently asking for that slot back if they had anything at all they wanted to put there.
As far as I can remember the first ever hour long Emmerdale was in 1995, I think to mark the two thousandth episode or something. I would assume for an occasion for that STV would show it with the network, as mentioned it didn't happen very often in those days. One thing that did happen after a couple of those hour-long Emmerdales is that the Beeb would often move 'stEnders so it didn't clash - I remember my flatmate being baffled one day that she'd switched for on 'stEnders at 7.30 and they were showing Keeping Up Appearances, and I had to explain it was getting out of the way of Emmerdale. They stopped doing that when it became so common they'd be moving it every week.
Did Thames ever try to get a soap off the ground, other than The Bill, which I doubt anyone at Thames would have considered a soap in the eighties.
Gems! This was a daytime soap in the eighties which was set in a fashion market and was supposed to be quite aspirational, but it flopped. Tony Slattery was in it and he later put it in Room 101.
Of course Carlton produced London Bridge for a few years and it seems bizarre these days to imagine the concept of regional soaps when these days we barely get any networked drama for most of the summer.