It is the second-longest-running Australian drama. It originally screened as a 93-minute pilot episode, or a television film as it is known, and a day later aired at its usual time of 22 minutes. The show airs Mondays through to Thursdays at 7:00 pm.
Home and Away is set in the fictional town of Summer Bay, a coastal town in New South Wales, and follows the personal and professional lives of the people living in the area. The show initially focused on the Fletcher family, Pippa (Vanessa Downing) (later played by Debra Lawrance) and Tom Fletcher (Roger Oakley) and their five foster children Frank Morgan (Alex Papps), Carly Morris (Sharyn Hodgson), Steven Matheson (Adam Willits), Lynn Davenport (Helena Bozich), and Sally Keating (later Fletcher) (Kate Ritchie), who would go on to become one of the show’s longest-running characters.
The show also focuses on the Stewart family. During the early 2000s, the central storylines focused on the Sutherlands and, later, the Hunters. Home and Away had proved popular when it premiered in 1988 and had risen to become a hit in Australia, and after only a few weeks, the show tackled its first major and disturbing storyline, the rape of Carly Morris; it was one of the first shows to feature such storylines during the early timeslot. H&A has tackled many adult-themed and controversial storylines; something rarely found in its restricted timeslot.