Albion Market launched in August 1985, four months before Coronation Street celebrated its 25th anniversary. Granada Studios dubbed it a "continuing drama series", considering the term "soap opera" derogatory. The show ran twice weekly on Friday and Sunday night; at the time, 7.00pm on Fridays and Sundays were considered "graveyard slots", usually broadcasting game shows or American imports.
At launch the chairman of Granada claimed that "When Coronation Street celebrates its Golden anniversary, Albion Market will be celebrating its silver anniversary..." Despite this, the show lasted for only one year.
The show received negative reviews from critics and did not do well in the ratings. Despite attempts to encourage viewing figures by bringing in Coronation Street actor Antony Booth and 1960s singer Helen Shapiro, the ratings did not improve and the show ended after 100 episodes.
For many years the outdoor with its distinctive arch-shaped Albion Market sign above the River Irwell remained intact. When the Granada Tours Experience was closed in 1999, the sign was removed, and the building which was once Albion Market was sold. It now forms part of the Victoria and Albert Hotel.