Home And Away

has been an acting nursery for dozens of Australian stars and one of the nation's most successful TV series - and one of New Zealand's.

The long-running soap rates extremely well in New Zealand - but it's a different case in Australia, where it seems to be running out of steam and is no longer a regular fixture in the top 10.

The show's ratings are in a dangerous free fall and it's anyone's guess if it will be able to recover.

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So far this year, Home And Away is down 14 per cent compared to the first six months of 2014, which translates to about 140,000 fewer viewers per episode.

That's not the case in New Zealand: Home and Away was TV2's third highest rating show yesterday - behind Shortland Street and My Kitchen Rules. With 332,000 viewers, it out rated everything on TV3, including 3 News.

But in Australia on Monday it slumped to an unhealthy 16th on OzTAM's overnight ratings with just 750,000 viewers. It was beaten in its timeslot (7-7.30pm) by the Nine Network's A Current Affair (1.026 million viewers), ABC News (928,000) and Network Ten's chatfest The Project (779,000).

Not helping Home And Away's cause is the performance of lead-in program Seven News, in both the Sydney and Melbourne markets.

On Monday alone, Seven News trailed its main rival Nine News by more than 100,000 viewers in each of the two capital cities.

But to solely blame the News for the soap's demise would be misleading and Seven has been contacted for comment as to why Home And Away is slipping.

A scene from Summer Bay, the fictional setting for Aussie soap Home and Away.
A scene from Summer Bay, the fictional setting for Aussie soap Home and Away.

Maybe one reason is the viewing habits of Gen Y, which the show is aimed at, have changed dramatically in recent times thanks to the launch of streaming services, Netflix, Stan and Presto.

The exact age demographic that Home And Away targets are the same people who do not subscribe to appointment viewing.

They prefer to watch shows when they want and don't want to be dictated to by the commercial networks.

It could be part to blame why Home And Away, which has been a staple on Seven's primary channel since 1988 and the most successful program in Logies history, is starting to wane.

The soap, however, has done extremely well to survive as long as it has considering Network Ten shunted its main rival Neighbours to its secondary channel One a while back.

Home And Away is, like Neighbours, highly respected among Hollywood talent agents.

It has a long and proud history of producing skilled actors with a strong work ethic.

Chris Hemsworth, Heath Ledger, Ryan Kwantan and Isla Fisher are a few of Home And Away's former stars who left the set of the Seven Network show to make it in Hollywood.

However, the future of Home And Away does not look bright.

There's the distinct possibility that if it continues its downward ratings spiral, then not only could a chapter in Australian TV close, but so will the door to Hollywood for many young and promising actors.

- AAP