When does Home and Away return in 2019? It’s been the most common question viewers have been asking since the show took its regular summer break, and it looks like this year we’ll be waiting a little longer than usual.
Despite rumours to the contrary, the show will be back in its usual 7pm slot on Seven on Monday 18th February.
As it’s returning three weeks later than usual, there is already a backlog of episodes, so Seven are starting the year with a triple-bill on Thursday 21st February.
This is what’s coming up on the first week back:
Monday 18th February
Ross presents Colby with an awful choice. Tori is blindsided by news of Robbo and Jasmines engagement. A guilt-ridden Brody remains torn between Ziggy and Simone.
Tuesday 19th February
Tragedy sets Colby and Dean on a dangerous path. Brody is forced to choose between Simone and his marriage.
Wednesday 20th February
Is Colby about to cross the line? Alf reaches out to an old friend. Maggie’s maternal instincts flare when Coco is presented with an opportunity.
Thursday 21st February (Triple episode!)
Alf’s past comes back to haunt him. Will Coco and Ben convince Maggie to make the right choice? Ryder fears retribution from the Morgan brothers.
Will Jasmine discover Tori’s secret? Alf is forced to confront his feelings for Martha. Raffy is mortified by Mason’s interference.
Marilyn attempts to bring Alf and Martha closer together.
The show usually returns in the last week of January, but this year it was announced that it wouldn’t be doing so, with My Kitchen Rules instead returning in the 7pm slot. This fuelled a whole host of rumours, including that that the show could be in search of a new timeslot.
Home and Away traditionally returns from its summer break at the end of January, after the culmination of the Australian Open tennis.
However, this year the tennis moved to Nine, replaced on Seven by Big Bash Cricket. With the cricket not ending until mid-February, there are fewer free slots in Seven’s schedule, and it looks like they’re prioritising the return of ratings juggernaut, My Kitchen Rules.
Ratings winner My Kitchen Rules will return to Seven on Monday 28th January, in the 7pm timeslot. It is believed that this move is an attempt by Seven to rival Nine’s popular reality series, Married At First Sight which will premiere at the same time.
With Home and Away not returning to our screens until Monday 18th February, this would give MKR three weeks in the coveted 7pm slot, where Home and Away has sat for the past 30 years.
As a result, 96FM purported that the show’s entire future in the 7pm slot on Seven was in doubt. They reported that if MKR proved a ratings success at 7pm, Seven executives were considering keeping it there, relegating Home and Away to a lower-profile timeslot.
The publication reported that, “Despite it being hugely profitable internationally and having consistently strong ratings for three decades, [Home and Away’s] ratings declined significantly last year. New characters and storylines have reportedly been blamed.”
The options on the table included moving the Summer Bay show to the later 8:30pm slot, or even moving it to Seven’s secondary channel, 7TWO.
Another option, moving the show to the earlier 6:30pm slot, would have it directly up against Neighbours. This would not be the first time this has happened. Until January 1992, the beachside soap aired in a 6:30pm timeslot, while Neighbours aired at 7pm. In a bid to pit Home and Away against their ailing rival, the Network moved the series to its now current 7pm timeslot. Come March, Ten had capitulated and moved Neighbours half an hour earlier in the schedule.
The rival Aussie soap, set in the Melbourne suburbs, itself moved from Channel Ten to digital channel Eleven (now Ten Peach) back in 2011.
However, to try and put fans’ minds at ease, Lynne McGranger (Irene Roberts) tweeted the following, casting major doubt on 96FM’s claims:
Finally, to end the rumours once and for all, Mark ‘Soda’ Soderstrom of 7 News confirmed to Mix 102.3:
“There’s been conspiracies theories around that they’re going to change the time or what’s going to happen with it because of the cricket and MKR. There’s no conspiracy. I am going to make this very simple. I have the official line.
“MKR is back on Monday 28th January and that will be at 7pm – the Home And Away timeslot – but the reason it’s there is because while the cricket’s on they don’t want to put Home And Away back on, they don’t want to jumble up everything and make it really hard to follow the storylines.
“So MKR at 7pm until cricket season is over, then MKR will go to 7.30pm, [with] Home and Away back in its traditional 7pm timeslot as soon as the cricket finishes.”
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