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Home and Away is an Australian television soap opera devised by Alan Bateman. It has been produced in SydneyNew South Wales, since July 1987 and has aired on the Seven Network since 17 January 1988. It is the second-longest-running Australian drama. It originally screened as a 93-minute pilot episode, or a television film as it is known, and a day later aired at its usual time of 22 minutes. At the beginning, the show was screened on Seven at 6:30 pm and is now aired Mondays through to Thursdays at 7 pm.

Home and Away is set in the fictional town of Summer Bay, a coastal town in New South Wales, and follows the personal and professional lives of the people living in the area. The show initially focused on the Fletcher family, Pippa (Vanessa Downing) (later played by Debra Lawrance) and Tom Fletcher (Roger Oakley) and their five foster children Frank Morgan (Alex Papps), Carly Morris (Sharyn Hodgson), Steven Matheson (Adam Willits), Lynn Davenport (Helena Bozich) and Sally Keating (later Fletcher) (Kate Ritchie), who would go on to become one of the show's longest-running characters also with some new characters like Dan Ewing, Jess Veltri and Steve Peacocke. The show also focuses on the Stewart family. During the early 2000s, the central storylines focused on the Sutherlands and, later, the Hunters. Home and Away had proved popular when it premiered in 1988 and had risen to become a hit in Australia, and after only a few weeks, the show tackled its first major and disturbing storyline, the rape of Carly Morris; it was one of the first shows to feature such storylines during the early timeslot. H&A has tackled many adult-themed and controversial storylines; something rarely found in its restricted timeslot.

H&A has been successful in several countries. It is popular in the UK and Ireland, being one of Channel 5's and RTÉ's most popular drama series, especially since the Irish broadcaster began airing the show just several months after its premiere in Australia. The show remains successful in New Zealand, and in France, where it is titled as Summer Bay.

Home and Away is the most successful programme in the history of the Logies and has earned a total of 38 Logie Awards since premiering in 1988, including Most Popular Australian Drama. The cast has earned several awards including Gold Logie Award for Most Popular Personality on Australian TelevisionSilver Logie Award for Most Popular Actor, and Most Popular Actress.

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 History

History[edit]Edit

After the Seven Network cancelled their soap opera Neighbours on 12 July 1985 due to low ratings, rival network Ten picked it up and turned it into a success.[2] A couple of years later, Seven's head of drama, Alan Bateman, became desperate to get back into the soap market and began to work out how to launch another soap that was not a copy of Neighbours.[3] While on a trip to Kangaroo Point, New South Wales with his family, Bateman began talking to locals who were "up in arms" over the construction of a foster home for children from the city.[3][4] Seeing the degree of conflict the "influx of parentless children on a tight-knit community" was having, Bateman came away with the idea for a new serial.[4] He explained "Nobody in the community wanted them to move in and I began to wonder how streetwise city kids would adapt to the new lifestyle. Suddenly I thought, there is my slice of life in a community."[3] Bateman began outlining the storyline and set the serial in the fictional town of Summer Bay. While Seven Network executives were unconvinced by the idea, audience research was positive.[3] The soap opera was initially called Refuge, but the name was changed to the "friendlier" title of Home and Away once production began.[3]

[1][2]The Surf Club has been a prominent feature inHome and Away

When the show began in 1988, it focused on Tom Fletcher and his wife, Pippa.[4] They had four foster children, Frank Morgan, Carly MorrisSteven Matheson, Lyn Davenport, and an adopted daughter, Sally Fletcher. They soon fostered Bobby Simpson, a local tearaway, much to the annoyance of Donald Fisher. They bought the caravan park and quickly built strong friendships with the locals, Ailsa StewartAlf Stewart, and Neville and Floss McPhee.

Home and Away celebrated its 21st year in production in Sydney on 23 July 2009.[5] The mayor of Sydney's Pittwater Council presented cast members with the key to Palm Beach, the filming location for the show.[5]

In preparation for the show's 25th anniversary, Seven's new digital channel 7Two began airing episodes from the very beginning. Channel 5 announced similar plans to celebrate the show's 25th anniversary by showing the best of classic episodes of the show (as voted for by viewers), showing two episodes a day from each year the series has been on air, beginning with the 1988 pilot.[6]

Characters[edit]Edit

Main articles: List of current Home and Away charactersList of Home and Away characters, and Recurring characters of Home and Away===Former cast[edit]===

Notable former cast members include Heath Ledger (Scott Irwin), Isla Fisher (Shannon Reed), Melissa George (Angel Parrish), Julian McMahon (Ben Lucini), Dannii Minogue (Emma Jackson), Chris Hemsworth (Kim Hyde) Simon Baker(James Healy), Guy Pearce (David Croft), Jason Clarke (Kick Johnson), Ryan Kwanten (Vinnie Patterson), Sharni Vinson (Cassie Turner) and Naomi Watts (Julie Gibson).[7] According to Kip Gamblin (Scott Hunter, 2003–2005), "the acting apprenticeship so many had received on the set of Home and Away had paved the way for their success."[7]

Production[edit]Edit

See also: List of Home and Away crew members

All interiors for the show were taped at Seven Sydney's Epping studios until 2010. Following the closure of these studios in early 2010, episodes have been taped at the Australian Technology Park in Redfern. Exterior scenes are taped on location, mainly at Palm Beach, and at Fisherman's Beach, Collaroy in Sydney's Northern Beaches district. The show has filmed in Melbourne twice.[8]

Home and Away was filmed in video (PAL) from the pilot episode up until mid-2003 when it was changed to high-definition video; this gives the show a film look even while watching in standard-definition. In 2007, Seven HD was launched and the show was available in full HD (1080i), although this practice ended on 25 September 2010 when Seven HD made way for 7mate.

Storylines[edit]Edit

Over the years, Home and Away has dealt with some very controversial issues. While the show has had a number of light hearted or comical story lines, there has also been a number of story lines concerned with more adult themes, including domestic violence, bullying (inside and outside of school), gambling addiction, teenage pregnancy, racism, sexual assault, drug dependency, adultery, wrongful imprisonment, suicide, murder, homosexuality, incest and child abuse.

Broadcast and viewership[edit]Edit

Australia[edit]Edit

[3][4]Cast members Steve Peacocke and Daniel Ewing during filming in 2011

Home and Away is broadcast in Australia weeknights at 7:00 pm on the Seven Network. The show is aired for approximately 46 weeks each year. Each season usually begins in January and the season finale airs in November. In March 2013, Better Homes and Gardens began replacing Home and Away on Fridays, to make way for Seven's AFL coverage. A double episode of Home and Away is aired on Thursdays at 7:00 pm.[9] The show is often the highest rating programme in its time slot, usually receiving between 1,000,000 and 840,000 viewers in 2013.[10] The last five episodes shown are broadcast on Seven's free-to-air digital channel 7TWO around 2:00 pm on Sundays.

7Two began showing repeat episodes of Home and Away from the beginning in November 2009, and is now aired each weekday at 9:00 am. Prime7 previously aired repeats between 1999 and 2002. Foxtel also aired Home and Away from the beginning on their now-defunct channel Fox Kids, and later on Fox Soap between 1996 and 1998.

International[edit]Edit

France[edit]Edit

The digital network NT1 commenced airing episodes on Monday, 4 September 2006. The series is titled Summer Bay in France. The show is on the 2008 season (season 20).

Belgium[edit]Edit

The show has been showing in Flanders (northern Belgium, with Dutch language subtitles) since Kanaal Twee (VTM's commercial sister channel, renamed 2BE in 2008) opened in 1995. Episodes are being shown aired seven months earlier in Australia. The show was originally aired once a day at 18:30 but since January 2008, ais ired twice a day; each 25-minute episode is shons at 17:55 and is repeated the next day about 7:45 on VTM. Since September 2013 the show has been aired on a daily basis, again on the motherchannel VTM at 17:10.

Ireland[edit]Edit

In Ireland, the national state broadcaster, RTÉ, has shown the programme since its inception – 1988. The show is aired Monday to Friday at 1:30 pm on RTÉ One,[11] repeating at 6:30 pm on RTÉ Two. A repeat of the week's episodes is aired on Saturday and Sunday on RTÉ Two. The show has consistently been RTÉ Two's most popular televised drama, regularly topping the ratings. Average ratings for the 6.30 pm screening on RTÉ Two are about 250,000 viewers, with 130,000 for the RTÉ One 1:30 pm screening.[11] Because the UK's Channel 5 has the rights to premiere the show in Europe, RTÉ cannot screen episodes ahead of Channel 5. RTÉ are 47 episodes behind the Australian broadcast. Previous episodes of the show are available for Irish viewers on the RTÉ Player.

New Zealand[edit]Edit

Home and Away is distributed by Endemol in New Zealand.[12] The show began screening in the country during November 1989, coinciding with the launch of TV3. The show was dropped by TV3 in 1992 and picked up by TVNZ the following year, screening weekday afternoons on TV1 and later moving to TV2 screening at 5pm. TVNZ ceased screening Home and Away in 2002 and a week later the show was picked up again by TV3.[12] Home and Away aired on weekdays at 5:30pm on TV3. Episodes were screened one week after they aired in Australia. The previous day's episode aired the following afternoon at 12:30, with the exception of Friday's episode, which aired the following Monday afternoon. That week's episodes were re-screened as an omnibus on Sunday mornings at 10:00. On 5 July 2013, Edndemol cancelled its agreement with TV3, causing them to lose the right to broadcast Home and Away.[12] The show was then picked up by TVNZ once again and it will be aired on TV2 on weeknights, with an opportunity to catch-up the following morning and during Sunday afternoons.[12][13] The series premiered on TV2 on 19 August 13 at 5:30pm.[13]

United Kingdom[edit]Edit

Home and Away debuted on British television, on ITV, in most regions, on Saturday, 11 February 1989 (however, some showed the pilot episode a day later on Sunday, 12 February). It was broadcast on ITV for 11-and-a-half years, episodes 1–2840. The last ITV-broadcast episode was aired on Thursday, 8 June 2000. At the time, ITV were nine episodes behind Australia, therefore there were regular breaks at Christmas and Easter. This continues with the Channel 5 broadcast.

After a delay in screening, Home and Away made its début on Channel 5 on Monday, 16 July 2001.[14] At this point, there were still 24 weeks worth of episodes from 2000 to be aired. In addition to this, the programme's end credits returned. The night before the first episode premiered on Channel 5 on Sunday, 15 July 2001, a new hour-long special recapped events from when screenings stopped, and previewed upcoming stories. Home and Away is one of Channel 5's highest rated shows.

Channel 5 are 45 episodes behind the Australian broadcast. 5* are 44 episodes behind the Australian broadcast. Sky Living repeated Home and Away from 1999-2002 and Trouble from Summer 2002 - early 2003.

Norway[edit]Edit

In Norway, the show is aired on weekdays on TV2 at 16:00 till 17:00. The channel is airing episodes from 2013. TV2 is airing ten episodes per week, trying to get close to the Australian airing.

Lithuania[edit]Edit

In Lithuania, the show was aired every work day before the news on LNK until 2007 (from episode 1), and later on TV1. In 2011, it started on BTV (2005–2007 seasons). The show is called "Be namų negerai" (It's bad without a home).

Greece[edit]Edit

In Greece, the show is entitled 'Το σπίτι της καρδιάς μας' (The Home of our Hearts) and is aired Monday to Friday at 16:00 on Skai TV. The show is broadcast in English with Greek subtitles. The first Greek episode was Australia's 3761–3762 episodes. It was cancelled due to low ratings four months after its premiere.

Estonia[edit]Edit

In Estonia, the show is called "Kodus ja võõrsil" and is aired on Kanal 11. The channel is airing episodes from 2013.

Theme song[edit]Edit

[5][6]Indiana EvansMark Furze and the crew during filming

The theme's lyrics have remained the same since the pilot episode, but have been gradually reduced in length to keep newer versions of the song at a shorter length. The theme was released as a single in the UK in 1989 and peaked at No.73 on the UK single charts.[15]

The single track includes the opening and closing themes and an additional saxophone section. Since the launch of the 1995 version of the theme tune, extracts from the second verse of the full-length soundtrack have been used to close the show, as opposed to an edited version of the opening song which was used until this point. The theme was shortened in 1996, and again in 2004. John Holmes, executive producer of Home and Away, explained the erosion of theme music in 2007. He said: "That's been a casualty of the accelerated flow which is the abolition of opening credits and having our closing credits condensed to such an extent that they are put on the screen at the same time as we are promoting the next episode."[16]

The 2007–2008 theme was recorded by 20-year-old actor and musician Luke Dolahenty. Israel Cannan sang the theme in early 2007, but due to complaints from fans, Network Seven decided to re-record it, making it the shortest running theme song in the programme's history.

The Home and Away theme is also used as an instrumental underscore on special occasions. It was last used during Sally's final scene and was heard several times throughout the storyline (most notably Sally and Flynn's wedding). In the early years, it was used for commercial break bumpers.

In 2009, the show debuted with a revamped opening and closing theme; however, for timing reasons the lyrics have been shortened slightly and the tune now runs at 15 seconds. The theme has returned to a male/female duet, after eight years of male group/solo singers. As it is much shorter, the theme will once again play at the start of every episode. From June 2006 to November 2008, the opening titles were played occasionally, depending on the episodes' length. The theme is accompanied by the show's first set of cast-less opening titles. The design of the titles is that of a collage, made up from many pictures of Palm Beach, the location used as Summer Bay. The opening theme has not been played since the end of the 2009 season although the closing theme tune still remains for international viewers.

For the 6 second opening titles that have been in use since 2010, short versions of the theme have been in use:

In 2010, the 1988 opening notes which were used right at the very beginning of the theme tune. In 2011, another version of the music was introduced; this was a much more upbeat and more recognizable version of the opening notes of the 1988 theme. Mid-2012, a brand new arrangement of the opening music included the "Closer Each Day, Home and Away" section of the theme at the beginning.

Version Artist Duration
1 Karen Boddington and Mark Williams January 1988 – November 1994
2 Doug Williams & Erana Clark January 1995 – November 1999
3 The Robertson Brothers January 2000 – November 2003
4 January 2004 – December 2006
5 Israel Cannan January – April 2007
6 Luke Dolahenty April 2007 – November 2008
7 Luke Dolahenty & Tarryn Stokes January 2009 – present day

(closing credits)

Controversies[edit]Edit

Home and Away is one of the most complained about shows on Australian television. From 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, there were 23 written complaints about the show as viewers thought it was inappropriate for it to be shown in its 19:00 timeslot. Home and Away was the 8th most complained about show on Australian television and was the only drama in the top ten complaint list.[17]

In March 2009, it was alleged that the Seven Network agreed to censor a scene with a lesbian kiss, after pressure from religious groups. This action was publicly condemned by several parties, including media commentator David Knox. Bevan Lee, Seven Network's Head of Creative Drama, later denied the censorship allegations, calling it a media beat up.[18][19]

In July 2009, former Home and Away actor Bryan Wiseman wrote in The Sunday Telegraph alleging a culture of drug and alcohol abuse among the younger members of the cast. The allegations followed incidents involving cast membersJodi Gordon and Lincoln Lewis. Lewis was "disciplined" by Channel Seven after it became public that he had filmed himself and a "starlet" engaged in a sexual act and then shown the film to Home and Away colleagues. Gordon and a male friend reported to police that they had seen, on a security camera, men armed with guns in the backyard of the friend's home. No men were found and the pair later admitted to police that they had consumed drugs during that day. No charges were laid.[20][21][22][23]

Merchandise[edit]Edit

Books and magazines[edit]Edit

Name Release date/year Publisher Author ISBN
Home and Away Annual 1989
Home and Away Special
Home and Away Annual 1990
Home and Away Special 1990
The Official Home and Away Annual 1992
Home and Away Annual Authorized Edition 1992
Home and Away: Behind the Scenes 1989
The Frank Morgan Story 1989
The Carly Morris & Steven Matheson Stories 1989
The Bobby Simpson Story 1989
The Matt Wilson Story 1989
Home and Away: Carly's Crisis 1989
Home and Away: Bobby & Frank 1989
Home and Away: 2 in 1 1990
Home and Away: Dangerous Ride 1989
Family Matters 1990
Home and Away Volume 1: Summer Bay Blues 1990
Home and Away Volume 2: Scandal at Summer Bay 1990
Home and Away: Hearts Divided[24] 2003 Pan Australia Leon F Saunders ISBN 978-0-330-36461-4
Home and Away: Dani on Trial[25] 2004 Leon F Saunders ISBN 0-330-36495-2
Home and Away: Prisoner No. 2549971[26] 2004 Pan Macmillan Leon F Saunders ISBN 978-0-330-36496-6
A Place in the Bay October 2004
The Long Goodbye November 2004
Mayday June 2005
Second Chances September 2005
Home and Away: Celebrating 21 Years

(official collector's edition)[27]

January 2009 Pacific Magazines
Home and Away: Celebrating 25 Years

(official collector's edition)[28]

5 November 2012 Pacific Magazines

DVD, VHS and soundtracks[edit]Edit

Name Release date/year Type of annual/book
Home and Away: The Movie (original pilot episode) 1989 VHS
Classic Home and Away 1993 VHS
Home and Away: The Official Summer Bay Special

(includes episode 1)

1996
Home and Away: Secrets and the City[29] 2002 VHS/DVD
Home and Away: Hearts Divided 2003 VHS/DVD
Home and Away: Romances

(includes pilot episode)

2005 DVD
Home and Away: Weddings 2006 DVD
Home and Away: The Sounds of Summer Bay 1996 Soundtrack
Home and Away: Songs from and Inspired by the Television Series 2000 Soundtrack
Home and Away Hits 2002 Soundtrack
Home and Away Hits 2 2003 Soundtrack

Other[edit]Edit

Name Release date/year Type of annual/book
Fan Cards 1988–present Cards
The Game of Home and Away 1989 Board Game
Home and Away the Magazine: Issue 1 1993–1994 Magazine
Home and Away Calendar 2005 Calendar
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