A SHAKE-UP at River City means a new format and new characters for the long-running drama.

From October, the hit BBC Scotland series will air as three distinct series each year, with six weeks in between.

The current run will come to an end on August 9 with a dramatic cliffhanger, in which the life of one character is left hanging in the balance after a showdown goes horribly wrong.

River City – which recently won Best Drama at the RTS Scotland 2023 awards - will then take a 10-week screen break over August and September, returning in its new multi-series drama format from October 23.

Each series will run for 11 weeks, twice-weekly, with new episodes premiering every Monday on BBC iPlayer.

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Gavin Smith, commissioning executive at BBC Scotland said: “This new format allows the production team the chance to delve deeper in to storylines and create more ‘must-see’ moments, which River City has become renowned for.

“When the series returns in October, Montego Street will have had a mini makeover and we’ll be introducing the first of three new characters so there will be lots for River City fans to look forward to in the autumn.”

Louise Thornton, head of commissioning at BBC Scotland added: “BBC Scotland is very proud of River City and we know it has an incredibly loyal audience who tune in to follow the drama in Shieldinch every week.

“That drama will continue but we are changing the broadcast pattern to allow us to keep delivering value to all licence fee payers whilst at the same time bringing more dramatic storylines to Montego Street.”

Martin McCardie, BBC Studios series producer for River City, said: “‘We are all excited by the new format changes to River City. It means we can be more ambitious with stories and can develop the series to reflect Scotland in 2023 and beyond.”

River City debuted on BBC One Scotland on September 25, 2002.