The Courier-Mail - - CONFIDENTIAL -

AUS­TRALIANS still pre­fer the overblown plot lines of soapie Home and Away to the ma­jor­ity of other dra­mas on tele­vi­sion.

The Chan­nel 7 soapie, which will cel­e­brate 30 years on the air next year, is the sec­ond most pop­u­lar reg­u­lar Aussie drama this year, reach­ing 2.6 mil­lion view­ers each week, 565,000 of them in Queens­land.

While it is in an ear­lier times­lot to most dra­mas, Home and Away is cur­rently only be­ing pipped in the rat­ings by Chan­nel 9’s Doc­tor Doc­tor and is prov­ing more pop­u­lar than Chan­nel 10’s The Wrong Girl and Off­spring. It reg­u­larly topped Chan­nel 9’s Love Child.

The soapie has be­come Seven’s en­dur­ing suc­cess story in 2017, at­tract­ing more view­ers than the ma­jor­ity of their other pro­grams in­clud­ing 800 Words, First Dates, and Hell’s Kitchen.

Sum­mer Bay is also at­tract­ing more view­ers than a host of top-billed re­al­ity shows, beat­ing Sur­vivor last Mon­day by more than 100,000 metro view­ers and Shark Tank by more than 250,000 metro view­ers on Tues­day.

While key char­ac­ter Alf has bat­tled both a sick­ness and a grue­some at­tack, the ad­di­tion of a new fam­ily has been tipped as a key marker for the re­vi­talised rat­ings.

Brisbane ac­tor So­phie Dill­man is al­ready feel­ing the ef­fects of be­ing a Home and Away star af­ter land­ing her first TV role as part of the new As­toni fam­ily.

Her char­ac­ter Ziggy is al­ready the sub­ject of a kid­nap­ping and a se­cret af­fair with a char­ac­ter who is tied up in drug deal­ing and did a stint in re­hab.

“It’s been a whirl­wind. I feel like I’m liv­ing a dream. Peo­ple are start­ing to recog­nise me in pub­lic,” Dill­man, 24, (pic­tured) said. “I feel like I come home the best kind of ex­hausted.” The ad­di­tion of Sam Frost into the cast is tipped to pro­duce the next rat­ings spike for the show.

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