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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Connie Evans

Neighbours to return to screens just months after iconic soap’s cancellation

Neighbours is coming back

Neighbours will return to screens just months after the Australian soap opera was cancelled earlier this year.

The final episode of Neighbours on Channel 5 aired in July after the soap failed to secure new funding since being dropped by the British broadcaster.

Despite its initial axing, the long-running show is now set for a revival by streaming site Amazon Freevee and production company Fremantle, with a new series to begin filming in Australia next year.

After seeing the “fanfare" generated by the ending of the soap, Amazon Freevee and Freemantle have opted to continue the daily drama series with the likes of Stefan Dennis, Alan Fletcher, Ryan Moloney and Jackie Woodburne returning to reprise their leading roles.

In a social media teaser clip announcing the news, Woodburne, 66, is seen in character as Susan Kennedy excitedly informing some of the soap’s most recognisable characters, including Karl Kennedy, Toadie Rebecchi and Paul Robinson, of the news.

Neighbours first aired in 1985 and followed the lives of those living and working in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough.

After the finale, which featured a host of favourite characters returning to the cul-de-sac community of Ramsay Street and attracted an average audience of 2.5 million, according to Channel 5, a revitalised series will premiere for free exclusively on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US and the site will also stream thousands of Neighbours episodes from previous series.

The series will also stream on Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. However, it has yet to be confirmed if the show will also be available to stream in any other countries including Ireland.  

Commenting on the news, head of AVOD original content and programming at Amazon Studios, Lauren Anderson, said: “Neighbours has captivated its audience for nearly 40 years, building a dedicated and loyal following for the lives and stories of the characters on Ramsay Street.

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“With the power of streaming, we’re able to offer a catalogue of thousands of Neighbours episodes for new audiences to discover this legendary series and current fans to relive their favourite moments.

“We look forward to immersing the audience in new Ramsay Street experiences when we relaunch the show next year for Amazon Freevee and Prime Video customers.”

Along with the return of a number of recognisable on-screen characters, Jason Herbison, Neighbours’ executive producer since 2013, will maintain his position on the new chapter of Neighbours and Andrew Thompson will also return as producer.

Production is set to commence in early 2023, with a world premiere slated for the second half of the year.

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