A month after it was reported that Channel 5 would stop airing Neighbours this summer, it has now been confirmed that the show’s production will terminate completely, bringing the show’s 37-year run to a close.
Channel 5, which had been broadcasting Neighbours in the UK since 2008, stated on February 6, 2022 that their arrangement to present the show in the UK has come to an end.
Because the UK broadcaster covers a large portion of the show’s production costs, another UK broadcaster or funding alternative was required to save the show, as 10 Peach, the digital channel where the show airs in Australia, was unable to cover the entire cost.
Fans all over the world were heartbroken at the idea of the show’s cancellation, and they organised a massive effort to save it. Ex-Neighbours stars Natalie Imbruglia and Jason Donovan threw their support behind the #SaveNeighbours campaign, which was started by fan ‘Edward Skylover.’ Fans briefly got Barry Crocker’s version of the show’s theme tune to #1 on the iTunes charts, and fans briefly got Barry Crocker’s version of the show’s theme tune to #1 on the iTunes charts.
Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, production company Fremantle was unable to preserve the show. A statement was sent to the media this morning, as well as on Neighbours’ Twitter feed, indicating that production will cease in June.
“It is with sadness that we confirm that Neighbours will cease production in June after over 37 years and nearly 9000 episodes broadcast,” Fremantle stated in a statement released this morning.
“We presently have no choice but to put the show on hold following the loss of a key broadcast partner in the UK, despite our efforts to find alternative funding.”
“Since the news broke, everyone at Neighbours has been touched by the outpouring of love and support from the audience. The show has transported a sunny piece of Australia into the homes of millions of people across the world, launching the careers of dozens of well-known celebrities in the process. But, as this chapter of Ramsay Street draws to a conclusion, we pledge to do everything we can to give the programme the proper send-off.”
Network 10, the Australian broadcaster, has issued a statement confirming that the show would no longer appear on the channel beginning in September, and thanking Australian fans for their support of the series.
“[Neighbours] has been a cornerstone of Australian television drama and Australian cultural exports for over 35 years, and it has been a much-loved stalwart of our programme schedule.”
“Ramsay Street, Erinsborough, is a world-famous cul-de-sac that has housed Scott and Charlene, Des and Daphne, Dr Karl and Susan, Dee and Toadie, Aaron and David, and a slew of other residents.”
“Network 10 expresses its gratitude to the cast, crew, production team, and the city of Fremantle for providing the right blend of soap and sunshine to audiences in Australia and throughout the world.”
“We appreciate the series’ followers and audiences in Australia for their continuous support.” Their support has been wonderful, especially in the last two weeks. It demonstrates that Australian scripted drama is still popular with our audience. We’ve listened to them, and there are some interesting new local projects in the works, which will benefit both our viewers and the local economy.
“We’re optimistic that the actors, crew, and writers will bring their own warmth, flair, and humour to the Neighbours set as they film the final episodes in the coming months.”
Members of the cast have already began to express their displeasure with the news. Alan Fletcher, who has played Karl Kennedy on the show since 1994, paid tribute to the show on Instagram.
“It’s official: all efforts to #SaveNeighbours have failed, and #fremantle has announced the show’s cancellation in June this year.” This is a very sad day.
“I’d want to convey my heartfelt gratitude to the millions of fans who have supported our classic drama for the past 37 years.” Also, a huge thank you to our broadcast partners @channel10au and @channel5 tv for your long-term support of the show. Please stay with the programme all the way to the end because the final episodes will be a fantastic celebration with returning characters and wonderful narrative lines.
“For almost 28 years, @neighbours has been my creative home.” It has given me immense artistic fulfilment as well as strong, lasting connections that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Especially my artistic collaboration with the incredible #jackiewoodburne, who has made the voyage the most enjoyable experience imaginable.
Through my music and performance appearances, the show has also introduced me to thousands of people who have supported my efforts on and offscreen. #staytuned #celebrateneighbours #farewellneighbours #pleasestickwithus” I am filled with #gratitude #staytuned #celebrateneighbours #farewellneighbours #pleasestickwithus”
Producers are planning a stunning finale for the show’s final episode, which will air in just over five months.
“We are very proud of the show, you all, and everything that you’ve accomplished,” executive producer Jason Herbison said in February. But, for the time being, this chapter is coming to a close, and we’d like to work together to give Neighbours the send-off it deserves.”
Ian Smith will return to reprise his legendary role as Harold Bishop, one of the show’s most well-known and well-loved characters. It’s also rumoured that Peter O’Brien will reprise his role as Shane Ramsay, and that producers are in talks with actors who played a variety of other classic characters in order to get them back for the final episodes.
In an interview with 10’s The Project, Jackie Woodburne, who plays Susan Kennedy, expressed her support for the current cast members.
“That would be amazing,” Jackie replied when questioned about rumours that producers were wanting to recast Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan as Scott and Charlene. But I have to say, with the present cast, we will do it proud. I’m confident we will.”
The final episode of Neighbours is expected to air in August in the United Kingdom, and in September or October in Australia.