Home and Away actor Sam Frost has acknowledged that there is ongoing uncertainty of the show’s scheduling in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sam, who has played Jasmine Delaney on the show since 2017 and celebrated her 31st birthday earlier this month, spoke to Fitzy and Wippa on NovaFM’s breakfast show this morning via Skype.
The show announced that it had halted production for safety reasons just over three weeks ago.
In a press release Seven stated:
Seven Studios advised today that it would halt filming of Home and Away immediately. It confirmed that no cast or crew had tested positive for COVID-19, but that the decision was made due to the increasing logistical hurdles related to the COVID-19 situation.
This announcement coincided with the show beginning a three week break on-air in Australia, in order to make way for extended news coverage.
Home and Away returned to Seven on Monday evening, and for the moment is still scheduled at its normal rate of four episodes per week.
Asked whether there’s a possibility that the show could eventually run out of episodes if the production break continued for an extended period, Sam told Fitzy and Wippa:
“I don’t know, it just depends on when we can come back. They obviously want us back as soon as possible, but how many completed episodes we have? I don’t know because we were pretty far behind with the bushfires and there was a couple of cast that were out with family issues”
“We’re pretty far behind, and I don’t know this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we have to, you know, maybe go to a couple of eps a week or so like they’re doing in the UK… I don’t know what they’re going to do.”
The episodes currently airing in Australia were filmed in October, meaning there is currently a six month gap between production and transmission, having been bumped up slightly following the three week break.
However this gap varies throughout the year, and will decrease again once we reach episodes filmed after the Christmas production break.
The other factors that Sam has mentioned, such as the bushfires (pictured on Kestie Morassi’s Instagram post below) which were said to have affected filming in November/December, could mean it goes down to around four months.
It had also been speculated that the show would likely take a two-week break later this year to make way for Olympic coverage, but with the games now being postponed until 2021 it’s unknown whether any break would go ahead as planned.
Ultimately, with the unpredictability of the current situation, it’s unlikely that Seven will be able to give any official updates on the future availability of episodes until more time has passed.
Channel 5 in the UK have already reduced Home and Away to two episodes per week—airing on Mondays and Fridays at 1:15pm—and today confirmed to us that this scheduling will be continuing until further notice.
Meanwhile, Sam’s co-stars Ada Nicodemou (Leah) and Lynne McGranger (Irene) have been busying themselves during the lockdown by inviting fans to join them in their own book club on Instagram Live.
The ‘Diner girls’ duo have already covered two books in the past few weeks, but Ada admitted on The Morning Show yesterday that they had to get to grips with a few teething problems first.
“We both have no idea how to use technology whatsoever” Ada said. “The first time I went live, I was actually going for a walk and I thought ‘I’ll do Instagram Live – I’ve never done it before’, anyway I was on mute for 10 minutes! And then I tried to redo it again and then I was on mute again…I did it three times and I was on mute.”
“I love reading, Lynne loves reading and I think we’re all just reading a lot at the moment,” Ada continued. “I used to be a part of a book club so I thought it would be nice for the social network community to join as well. It’s hilarious, and we talk over each other…it’s a couple of girlfriends just chatting basically.”
Home and Away currently continues on Seven in Australia at 7pm Monday to Thursday. For the latest weekly spoilers on what’s coming up in the next couple of weeks, see this page.
We will endeavour to bring you any further transmission updates as soon as we receive them.