Emmerdale, is a long-running British soap opera
Soap opera
A soap opera, sometimes called "soap" for short, is an ongoing, episodic work of dramatic fiction presented in serial format on radio or as television programming. The name soap opera stems from the original dramatic serials broadcast on radio that had soap manufacturers, such as Procter & Gamble,...

 set in Emmerdale (known as Beckindale until 1994), a fictional village in the Yorkshire Dales
Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales is the name given to an upland area in Northern England.The area lies within the historic county boundaries of Yorkshire, though it spans the ceremonial counties of North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Cumbria...

. Created by Kevin Laffan
Kevin Laffan
Kevin Barry Laffan was an English playwright and screenwriter, best known for creating ITV soap opera Emmerdale Farm. Laffan had undergone heart surgery but two weeks later, he died after suffering a bout of pneumonia....

, Emmerdale was first broadcast on 16 October 1972. It is produced by Yorkshire Television
Yorkshire Television
Yorkshire Television, now officially known as ITV Yorkshire and sometimes unofficially abbreviated to YTV, is a British television broadcaster and the contractor for the Yorkshire franchise area on the ITV network...

, (now known as ITV Studios
ITV Studios
ITV Studios is a television production company owned by the British television network ITV. It not only makes programmes primarily for its parent company, but also for other networks...

), and has been filmed at their Yorkshire Studios since its inception. It has since been shown in all regions of ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 almost throughout its existence. It is the United Kingdom's second oldest soap opera.

It was originally conceived and broadcast as a daytime programme in an afternoon slot, becoming an early evening programme in 1978 in most ITV regions, but excluding London and Anglia, both of which followed in the mid-1980s.