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In a plot twist that could have come straight from the show itself, Neighbours, the iconic Australian soap that looked like it had finished for good after 37 years and almost 9,000 episodes, is set to make a dramatic return.
Amazon Freevee and the show’s producer Fremantle have unveiled that a new season of the beloved series — which helped launch the careers of a host of stars, including Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce — will start shooting in Australia next year, continuing the long-running drama involving the residents of Ramsay Street in the fictitious Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough. Stefan Dennis, Alan Fletcher, Ryan Moloney and Jackie Woodburne will return to reprise their leading roles.
The revitalized series is set to premiere exclusively, and for free, on Amazon Freevee in the U.K. and U.S. and will include streaming rights to thousands of episodes from the previous seasons, available prior to the new season’s premiere. The series will also stream on Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
While not quite the classic 11th-hour save that fans may have been hoping for, the news comes four months after what was thought to be Neighbours‘ final episode, with show bosses revealing in March that it would be coming to an end after its key U.K. broadcast partner, Channel 5, pulled out and attempts to find alternative funding proved fruitless. The July finale, which welcomed back some of its most famous alumni — most notably Kylie Minogue, but also Pearce and Robbie (via video message) — was watched by almost 1.4 million viewers in Australia and just over 4 million viewers in the U.K.
“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,” said Lauren Anderson, head of AVOD original content and programming at Amazon Studios. “With the power of streaming, we’re able to offer a catalog of thousands of Neighbours episodes for new audiences to discover this legendary series and current fans to relive their favorite 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.”
Australia’s Network 10, the home of Neighbours for 36 years and part of Paramount Global, will retain first-run rights in Australia for the new series.
“Neighbours is a unique series with a powerful connection with its fans across the world. We cherish the show and all those who have been part of its incredible story over many decades, so we are thrilled that we have found a new home with Amazon Freevee. Thanks to the innovative Amazon Freevee platform, many classic episodes will be available to fans, and Neighbours will go back into full production in Australia early next year, providing our fans with new episodes,” said Jennifer Mullin, global CEO, Fremantle. “This partnership with Amazon Freevee marks an exciting new chapter, and we look forward to collaborating with them, along with our long-term and valued partner in Australia, Network 10.”
Neighbours is produced by Fremantle. Jason Herbison, Neighbours’ executive producer since 2013, will maintain his position on the new chapter of Neighbours, with Andrew Thompson returning as producer.
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