Neighbours will be returning to UK screens next year after Amazon’s ad-supported streaming service Freevee picked up the veteran soap.
To the dismay of fans, the series came to an end this summer with a star-studded finale after UK broadcaster Channel 5 dropped out as a production partner. Viewers saw former stars Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce, Jason Donovan and Margot Robbie all return for a bittersweet goodbye to the series which launched their careers.
Following news of the show’s demise, fans launched a host of petitions and campaigns trying to find a new home for it. Now, in an early Christmas present, Amazon Freevee and series producers Fremantle have announced that filming will commence on new episodes next year.
Series stars Stefan Dennis, Alan Fletcher, Ryan Moloney, and Jackie Woodburne are all confirmed to be returning while Jason Herbison, Neighbours’ executive producer since 2013, will maintain his position on the revival, with Andrew Thompson returning as producer.
The new episodes will premiere exclusively on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US, with the service also gaining streaming rights to thousands of episodes from the previous seasons.
The series will also stream on Prime Video in New Zealand and Canada while in Australia it will be available on Prime Video following a broadcast debut on Network 10.
The subscription-fee Freevee is available as a standalone app on selected Smart TVs and streaming devices, including Amazon’s Fire TV range, and is also available within the Prime Video app.
“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.”
Jennifer Mullin, global CEO at Fremantle, added: “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.
“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.”