Home and Away future backed by Australian network following Neighbours axe

It’s arguably our most important show.

Home and Away has been publicly backed by its Australian network, following the sad announcement that Neighbours will be coming to an end.

Channel 7’s director of content scheduling Brook Hall pledged its ongoing commitment to the Summer Bay soap in a recent interview with TV Tonight, suggesting that the show is going nowhere anytime soon.

“I know it’s not a sexy thing to say, but Home and Away is our main drama that we run pretty much all year,” he said.

“It’s an expensive drama, a high-quality one. It runs on our main channel in primetime. It’s not something that we use on the multi to get drama points. It is our most expensive outlay of content. And that gets lost.

“There’s no other network that would have as big a price tag on a show. It’s our biggest production of the year.”

Networks in Australia need to meet quotas by commissioning a certain amount of drama, documentary and children’s content. But Hall repeated that their backing for the Summer Bay soap wasn’t about hitting targets.

“I’m very proud of Home and Away, and it’s arguably our most important show and our biggest cash outlay,” he said. “We don’t have to do it. We believe in it.

“We don’t do it because it’s a drama quota. We do it because it’s an amazingly successful show.”

Channel 5 airs Home and Away in the UK. Unlike with Neighbours, the channel has a life-of-series contract, meaning it will continue to broadcast the show for as long as Australia produces episodes.

Neighbours is already lining up a number of returning characters to see the show off after its 37-year run, including Lucy Robinson, Shane Ramsay and Harold Bishop.