Screening of soap operas in Australia
The following is a list of soap operas from Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States that have aired in Australia over the years, in daytime and primetime slots on both free-to-air and pay television.
Eleven airs Australian soap Neighbours at 6:30 pm each weeknight, while the Seven Network airs rival soap Home and Away at 7:00 pm from Mondays to Thursdays. Network Ten airs The Bold and the Beautiful, the only US daytime soap on free-to-air television, at 4:30 pm each weekday. Foxtel's Arena screens US daytime soaps Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless, as well as New Zealand soap Shortland Street, twice each weekday. Foxtel's BBC UKTV airs British soaps Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale, and Hollyoaks weekdays and weeknights.
- 1 Current broadcasts
- 2 Former broadcasts
- 3 References
Home and Away
Home and Away is an Australian soap opera that began airing on the Seven Network on 17 January 1988. During the show's early years, it aired at 5:30 pm in Adelaide, at 6:00 pm in Melbourne and Sydney, at 6:30 pm in Brisbane, and at 7:00 pm in Perth. In January 1992, Seven moved Home and Away into the 7:00 pm timeslot across the network, putting it up against rival soap opera Neighbours on Network Ten. This caused Ten to move Neighbours to the 6.30 pm timeslot two months later. Home and Away currently airs at 7:00 pm from Mondays to Thursdays, and is the second-longest running drama series in Australian television. In March 2013, Better Homes and Gardens began replacing Home and Away on Fridays due to Seven's AFL coverage. Friday's episodes of Home and Away now air on Thursdays at 7:30 pm.
Neighbours is an Australian soap opera that first aired on the Seven Network on 18 March 1985. The first season aired at 5:30 pm in Sydney, at 6:00 pm in Melbourne and Adelaide, and at 7.00 pm in Brisbane. Neighbours underperformed in Sydney, where it was then moved to a 3.30 pm timeslot. By September 1985, the show was cancelled by Seven after 170 episodes. Neighbours was then picked up by rival network Ten, where it began screening with episode 171 on 20 January 1986 at 7:00 pm. In March 1992, the show moved to the 6:30 pm timeslot to avoid direct competition from rival soap opera Home and Away on the Seven Network. In 2011, Ten moved Neighbours to its digital secondary channel Eleven, due to poor ratings. The show began screening on Eleven on 11 January 2011, the channel's launch day. Neighbours currently airs at 6:30 pm each weeknight, and is the longest running drama series in Australian television.
Shortland Street is a New Zealand soap opera that airs on both Foxtel's Arena, and free-to-air digital secondary channel 7TWO. Arena began screening the show on 4 February 2013 from episode 5111; it airs at 11:30 am EST and on their timeshift channel Arena +2 at 1:30 pm EST. Episodes are six weeks behind New Zealand.
7TWO broadcasts Shortland Street at 5.00 pm weekdays, and repeated the following morning at 9:30 am. Episodes are almost three years behind current New Zealand episodes. The show first aired in Australia on SBS TV between 1994–1995. It then aired on BBC UKTV from 1997 until 2000. Shortland Street also aired on ABC1 between 2010–2011, weekdays at 4:30 am.
Coronation Street is a British soap opera that first aired in Australia in 1963 on TCN-9 Sydney, GTV-9 Melbourne and NWS-9 Adelaide. By 1966, Coronation Street was more popular in Australia than in the United Kingdom. The show eventually left free-to-air television in Australia in the 1970s. It briefly returned to the Nine Network in a daytime slot during 1994–95. In 2005, Channel Nine in Perth began airing Coronation Street at 5:30 pm each weekday to improve the lead in to Nine News Perth, but this did not work and the show was cancelled a few months later.
In 1996, Foxtel's Arena began screening Coronation Street in one-hour instalments on Saturdays and Sundays at 6:30. It was later moved to Foxtel's BBC UKTV where it currently airs at 6:50 pm EST each weeknight. Episodes are approximately two weeks behind the UK airings. From 2009 until September 2014, free-to-air digital secondary channel 7Two had broadcast old episodes of Coronation Street on weekdays at 10:00 am.
EastEnders is a British soap opera that first aired in Australia by ABC TV from 1987 until 1991. The show now airs on BBC UKTV from Mondays to Thursdays at 6:15 pm EST. Episodes are around two weeks behind the UK airings.
Emmerdale is a British soap opera that began airing on BBC UKTV in July 2006 from episode 4288. It currently airs at 5:45 pm EST each weeknight. In 2006, BBC UKTV were showing episodes four months behind the UK. Emmerdale is a six episodes a week series. However, BBC UKTV screens only five episodes a week. As of April 2015, Episodes being aired in Australia are from September 2013, 19 months behind the UK airings.
Hollyoaks is a British soap opera that first aired in Australia on free-to-air digital secondary channel, 7Two from 18 October 2010 to January 2012, in double episodes from September 2009. The show began airing on BBC UKTV on 2 April 2013 at 6:30 pm EST each weeknight. Beginning on 7 October 2013, Hollyoaks moved into a daytime slot and now airs at 11:30 am EST. Episodes are 16 weeks behind the UK airings.
The Bold and the Beautiful
The Bold and the Beautiful is an American soap opera that began airing on 23 November 1987 on Network Ten, screening at 1.00pm each weekday. Network Ten stopped broadcasting the show in June 1989, but reinstated it within a month after viewer protests. In 1996, the timeslot was changed to 4:30pm. On 1 December 2008, Network Ten moved the show to a 6:00pm primetime slot. The shift in timeslot led to protests from some regular viewers. The show did not rate as well at 6:00pm and was moved back to the 4:30pm timeslot on 19 January 2009.
For the 4:30pm timeslot, the show had to be edited to meet the Australian G classification, which included cutting some violent or sexually explicit scenes, as well as use of words such as 'rape', 'abortion', 'slut', 'whore', and 'sex'. In August 1999, Australian media regulator the Australian Broadcasting Authority upheld a complaint against Network Ten that it had broadcast material that did not meet the requirements of the G classification in one episode of the show; Network Ten said it would exercise more care with future broadcasts.
On 23 February 2012, Network Ten began removing up to 90 seconds from each episode ensuring they ran no longer than 20½ minutes in length. Network Ten cut exterior location footage; shortened long lingering stares; regular removal of the opening credits, and complete removal of the closing credits. Network Ten made these non-classification edits after any classification edits necessitated in order to keep episodes G-rated. David Knox of TV Tonight, Australia's leading TV blog, sought comment from Network Ten and exposed the unnecessary editing in an article on his blog. On 19 September 2014, upon publication of the article, Network Ten immediately ceased all non-classification edits however they continue to remove the closing credits. Classification edits remain in order to keep the show G rated for the 4:30pm timeslot.
On 3 December 2012, Network Ten added a repeat of the previous day's episode, airing weekday mornings at 9:00am. Ten used the G-rated edited version of the show for the morning repeat, despite being permitted to show PG material in that timeslot. The repeat broadcast was discontinued on 1 November 2013 to make way for new morning programming, however it was later reinstated on 26 May 2014 screening weekdays at 7:30am. In April 2013, the show had an average rating of 415,000 viewers in the 4:30pm timeslot. Australia is currently 41 episodes (8 weeks) behind the US broadcast.
Days of Our Lives
Days of Our Lives is an American soap opera that was initially broadcast on the Nine Network from 25 March 1968 to 26 April 2013 at 2:00 pm each weekday. During its run on the Nine Network in the early 2000s, episodes ended up being nearly five years behind the United States, due to the network's coverage of cricket each summer. In an attempt to get viewers up to date with the US, Nine aired a one-hour special on 13 September 2004 titled, Days of Our Lives: A New Day, which summarized four years of storylines and caused mixed feelings among regular viewers. This special was followed by episodes airing at the same pace as the US. However, the show ended up being behind the US again, and by April 2013, episodes were airing at a delay of 16 months.
On 17 June 2013, Days of Our Lives resumed to Australian viewers free and on-demand at Crackle.com, as well as across Crackle's web apps on mobile devices, connected TVs and game consoles. Crackle picked up where the Nine Network left off with 10 new episodes in its first week and seven new episodes every Monday thereafter. From 20 January 2014, Crackle began releasing five episodes each week.
Days of Our Lives returned to television on Foxtel's channel Arena in April 2014. It airs weekdays after The Young and the Restless at 12:50 pm EST, and on the timeshift channel Arena +2 at 2:55 pm EST. In order to bring TV viewers up to date, Arena screened ten catch up episodes, each presented by Days of Our Lives cast members, from 1 April 2014 to 14 April 2014, featuring key storylines missed during the 11-month Australian television hiatus. Then on 15 April 2014, Arena began airing episodes at the same pace as the US. An encore of the weeks full episodes screen on Arena each Sunday morning around 7:00 am EST.
The Young and the Restless
The Young and the Restless is an American soap opera that first aired in Australia on the Nine Network from 1 April 1974 to 23 February 2007. Nine paired The Young and the Restless with Days of Our Lives, with the two shows airing one after the other. By 2004, the show ended up being four to five years behind the United States, due to Nine's coverage of cricket each summer. As was the case with Days of Our Lives, Nine aired a one-hour special on 14 September 2004 titled, The Young and the Restless: The Next Chapter, which summarized four years of storylines.
In January 2007, it was announced that Nine had not renewed its contract with The Young and the Restless, and that Foxtel would pick up the show from where Nine left off. On 2 April 2007, the show began airing on W at 12:00 pm EST and 6:40 pm EST, and on its timeshift channel W2 at 2:00 pm EST and 8:40 pm EST. The Young and the Restless moved to Arena on 20 August 2012 after W rebranded as SoHo. It now airs on Arena at 12:00 pm EST, and on its timeshift channel Arena +2 at 2:00 pm EST. Australia is approximately 7.5 months behind the US broadcast at present.
The following table is a list of the current cast in Australian episodes. Recurring actors appear in italics.
Doctors is a British soap opera that began airing in Australia from 2 April 2013 on BBC UKTV each weekday. Episodes were around two weeks behind the UK airings. BBC UKTV ceased screening episodes of Doctors from 29 August 2014.
All My Children
Another World is an American soap opera that appeared variously on both Nine Network and Network Ten. It particular became very popular in the early 1990s when Australian actress Carmen Duncan played the role of villainous Iris Wheeler. Foxtel relaunched the series in 1995 being only 3 months behind the U.S. and continued to air it til its final episode in September 1999.
As the World Turns
General Hospital is an American soap opera that first aired on the Nine Network in 1983, with episodes five years behind the US. By the late '80s, the show was in a slump, and left Australian television soon after. It was briefly revived in the early '90s by Network Ten and again in 1999, lasting less than a year. General Hospital was picked up by Foxtel in 2004. After running for several months on W, the show was moved to FOX8, before being pulled altogether in December 2005. Fans in Australia lobbied hard to get it back. General Hospital returned to Australian television on 5 July 2010, again on W, at 12:50 pm and on its time shift channel W2 at 2:50 pm, with episodes ten weeks behind after the US. W dropped the show on 17 June 2011. General Hospital has had Australian-born actors George Lazenby, Rick Springfield, Tristan Rogers, and Thaao Penghlis as cast members.
Generations is an American soap opera that had a short run on Australian television. It was screened on the Seven Network in the early hours of the morning.
Loving is an American soap opera that aired for a short time on the Nine Network in an early morning time slot in the late 1980s. Foxtel relaunched the show as part of its soap line up in 1996 keeping it on air until it reached the end and began screening The City.
One Life to Live
Passions is an American soap opera that aired on the Seven Network from 2001 to 2007 and Seven affiliate Prime from 2001 to 2004. It originally began in a 3:00 pm time slot on weekday afternoons, before being shifted to a 9:30 am time slot in 2005. New episodes stopped airing in Australia later that year, as NBC Productions judged it too expensive to clear music rights for international distribution. Passions then moved into re-runs at a 2:00 am time slot.
Rituals is an American soap opera that had a short run on Australian television and featured Australian-born actor George Lazenby. It was screened on the Seven Network in the early hours of the morning.
Santa Barbara is an American soap opera that aired on Network Ten from 1987 to 1994. It premiered on Australia television the same day as The Bold and the Beautiful in November, in a soap opera block from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm. The show had Australian-born actors Thaao Penghlis and Dame Judith Anderson as cast members.
Sunset Beach is an American soap opera that aired in an early morning time slot from 1999 to 2001 on Network Ten, then Foxtel's FOX SOAP/TALK channel, and finally FOX8. After reaching the final episode, FOX8 re-screened the final 6 months in double episodes early weekday mornings.
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