For over 30 years 10 and Seven have had primetime serials in Neighbours & Home & Away, respectively.
Both are sold internationally, particularly strong in the UK, with Seven also owning the IP to Home & Away and producing through Seven Studios.
But the last serial on Nine was arguably Pacific Drive all the way back in 1996.
When Nine does soap well, it pays off handsomely. Nothing surpassed the iconic The Sullivans produced by Crawford Productions in 1976.
Would it ever consider an early evening serial again?
Andy Ryan, Head of Drama at Nine told TV Tonight, “It’s possible and we do talk about it a lot.
“There are a lot of challenges, commercially and programming-wise to get a serial up. You do have to commit to a large volume of episodes to get traction. I would never say never. There are different ways that could happen moving forward. I’m very open minded to it.”
With the changes in the Drama quotas, both Seven and 10 will see the majority of their 200 points delivered by their respective soaps. That leaves much of their primetime schedule available for Reality and Entertainment formats.
“Those two shows Neighbours and Home & Away are absolute icons of our industry,” Ryan continued.
“They are hugely successful overseas and that is a massive boon to their financial model. To get to that point, of being internationally successful to the extent that they are, that’s the hurdle.
“That’s the barrier to entry for a new serialised drama.”
These are the key Nine serials (5 x 30 mins per week):
The Young Doctors 1976 1,396 episodes
The Sullivans 1976 1,114 episodes
Paradise Beach 1993 260 episodes
Pacific Drive 1996 390 episodes