Thursday, March 03, 2022

Channel 5 Axes Aussie Soap 'Neighbours' [Update: Australian Soap Cancelled]

Australian soap opera Neighbours has been a fixture in UK TV schedules for decades

Update (3/3) - Neighbours has been axed for good after Fremantle Media failed to find a new home for the Australian soap. Neighbours will end this summer after four decades on our screens.

Neighbours has been axed by its UK broadcaster Channel 5 - prompting moves to find a new production partner for the soap.

The beloved Australian soap opera, which follows the lives of residents on the fictional Ramsay Street, began airing in 1985 and has been pivotal in the careers of many A-list stars.

The likes of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Guy Pearce, Liam Hemsworth, and Margot Robbie all had big career starts on Ramsay Street.

Neighbours - which is the longest-running drama series on Australian television - is still reported to bring in 1.5 million viewers in the UK each day it airs. It had begun airing in the UK in 1986 on BBC One before moving to Channel 5 in 2008. The soap also aired briefly on Nickelodeon UK & Ireland in 2016.

Despite the soap’s continued popularity with UK viewers, UK broadcaster and soap production partner Channel 5 will no longer be airing or contributing to the soap from the summer onwards.

The news comes following a report that the soap was facing being axed by the broadcaster, which is understood to have been the primary financial backer for Neighbours.

A Channel 5 spokesperson confirmed to “Neighbours will no longer air on Channel 5 beyond this summer. 

“It’s been a much-loved part of our schedule for more than a decade, and we’d like to thank the cast, Fremantle and all of the production team for their fantastic work on this iconic series. 

“We’d also of course like to thank the fans for their loyal support of Neighbours across the years. We recognise that there will be disappointment about this decision, however our current focus is on increasing our investment in original UK drama, which has strong appeal for our viewers.”

Despite the soap being axed by Channel 5, its Australian broadcaster Network 10 is optimistic that production company Fremantle will find a new production partner to help the show continue.

A Network 10 spokesperson said in a statement: “As outlined in the email to Neighbours cast and crew, it is our intention to continue our association with Neighbours if another broadcast partner comes forward. 

“Network 10 has an ongoing commitment to the show, the cast and crew and is hopeful that Fremantle will find a new production partner. 

“We will provide further updates as they become available.”

Network 10 and Channel 5 are both owned by ViacomCBS. has reached out to production company Fremantle for further comment on this story.

Fans of the soap have already begun using #SaveNeighbours on social media in a bid to encourage support for the soap's survival.

Neighbours usually airs on Channel 5 on weekdays at 1.45pm. A repeat of the episode also airs later in the day at 5.30pm.

Originally published: February 08, 2022.

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