Warning: The following post contains information about events which are yet to occur on The Bill. If you do not wish to know in advance, then do no read this post!
As noted back in January, The Bill is about to have its production halved  from two episodes per week to one per week, and move from the 8pm timeslot to the 9pm timeslot in the UK. The changes are set to occur later this year, and Australia should see the changes from early next year.
The show itself will be changing a bit, and a number of those changes are now coming to light.
Firstly, and disappointingly, a number of cast members are leaving the show. PC Tony Stamp (actor Graham Cole) is being given the chop after being on the show for 22 years. Cole was told by the producers that Stamp “doesn’t fit” the show’s “new dynamic ” which, according to reports, is set to make the show sexier and more violent.
Also leaving the show is DI Samantha Nixon  (in my opinion, Sun Hill’s most interesting detective) played by Lisa Maxwell.
Lisa decided to quit after seven years on the show: ‘I’ve loved every minute of my seven years on The Bill but feel I have taken the character of Sam as far as I can. It is time to move on to new challenges.’
Her character will leave the drama in an ‘explosive episode’ later this month.
I recall the producers promising not to have another “Sun Hill bombing” or “station fire”, so what “explosive” means in this context is anyone’s guess.
Superintendent John Heaton (Daniel Flynn) is leaving and taking Inspector Rachel Weston (Clare Goose) with him . I’m not a huge fan of Rachel (probably because I preferred her predecessor, Inspector Gina Gold) however I think dropping Heaton is a big mistake.
On the bright side, there are some sensible decisions. DCI Jack Meadows (Simon Rouse) is being promoted to Superintendent, sensible as he is the only person suitable to take over from Heaton if the show is to maintain any credibility, and Sergeant Dale “Smithy” Smith will be promoted to Inspector, as he should have been when Gina left. One can only hope that Smithy’s promotion reignites the frosty relationship between him and Sergeant Callum Stone, and also gives Stone the chance to work more closely with the relief, which is clearly what his character’s purpose has always been.
In addition, DC Stevie Moss (Lucy Speed) will be promoted to Detective Sergeant while trainee DC Will Fletcher (Gary Lucy) will become a fully fledged DC.
In non-storyline news, The Bill will start screening in High Definition from July 1 in the UK. Hopefully the show’s crew learnt a thing or two from their High Definition double episode for their 25th birthday. The lighting needs some serious work in their sets if the show is going to work in HD.