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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Home and Away’s Australian network explains 35th anniversary snub

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To inquire about the age of a soap is impolite.

This year, Home and Away turned 35!

You might not know this because the soap’s network, Seven, decided not to make a big deal out of the anniversary other than screening some classic episodes.

Seven has now provided an explanation for why they chose not to air any special anniversary content, such as extra episodes, specials, or celebrations, and it turns out that they just do not want the serial opera’s advancing age to be apparent.

The 35th season of Home and Away is off to a great start, proving that soaps, like wine and cheese, do really improve with age. When it returned at the start of January, Brook Hall, head of scheduling for Seven, said (via TV Tonight): “The first week had its largest streaming episode ever; the total is currently 1 million people, and it’s just so encouraging watching that show.”

Why not celebrate the birthday then? You probably recall how other soap operas went all out in the past to mark significant anniversaries.

For example, neighbours celebrated their 35th birthday in 2020 with gusto. All week long, the soap opera aired extra nighttime episodes with massive plotlines, while the programmes that aired at their regular times earlier in the day included one wedding every episode, along with some retro nostalgia.

The decision to depart from the same theme, according to Hall, was deliberate because “it’s one of our most important concerts and it’s frequently discussed.

The tough part is striking a balance between saying, “This is a really important legacy brand — and highlighting its age,” and perhaps we’re reading this incorrectly. Perhaps you’re overthinking things, but people today are so fickle and always want something “shiny and new.” Therefore, it causes anxiety to say that it is 35.

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