Amazon Freevee Saves ‘Neighbours’ After Channel 5 Axing

Turns out it wasn’t a final goodbye from Australia’s Neighbours after all.

The iconic soap, about the Ramsay Street residents living in the fictional Erinsborough, has been saved from the scrapheap by Amazon’s free streamer Freevee, following a deal with program maker Fremantle.

A new series will begin filming in Australia next year, with the likes of Stefan Dennis, Alan Fletcher, Ryan Moloney and Jackie Woodburne reprising their roles. A premiere is slated for the second half of the year.

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Watch a teaser for the new run here.

The daily series had bowed out on Network 10 in Australia and long-time British home Channel 5 in June after 37 years, after the Paramount-owned UK network pulled its funding from the show. Due to the costs of running a daily drama, Network 10 and Fremantle relied on a British co-funder to keep it going.

Alumni such as Margot Robbie, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Guy Pearce returned for an emotional finale, which scored the show’s best ratings since 2009.

Freevee will have the exclusive rights in the UK and U.S. and will take streaming rights to thousands of previous episodes, which will be available before the new run’s premiere. Network 10 will have first run rights in Australia but Prime Video will also show it there Australia, along with in New Zealand and Canada. 

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, Amazon Studios.

“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 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.”

For Fremantle Australia, the deal comes after a concerted push to find the show a new home. Sources close to the show have been confident since its initial axing that a new home could and would be found.

Neighbours is a unique series with a powerful connection with its fans across the world,” said Jennifer Mullin, Global CEO, Fremantle. “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. 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 ran for nearly 9,000 episodes, and became a cult hit in the UK, where it initially aired on the BBC before switching to Channel 5, since its launch in 1985. The show acted as the launchpad for several global stars, including singer Minogue, Memento and L.A. Confidential’s Pearce and Wolf of Wall Street and Tonya star Robbie.

Fremantle Australia will produce the new show, with Jason Herbison, Neighbours’ executive producer. Herbison is working with Network 10, Channel 5 and Fremantle on a new Australian series, Riptide, a primetime thriller starring Stay Close actress Jo Joyner.

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