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 organized a massive effort to save it. Ex-neighbors 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
We are so sorry to say that after nearly 37 years and almost 9000 episodes broadcast we have to confirm that Neighbours will cease production in the summer. pic.twitter.com/k3QV5J66qM
— Neighbours (@NeighboursTV) March 3, 2022
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 after nearly 37 years and almost 9000 episodes broadcast, we are confirming that Neighbours will cease production in June,” Fremantle said in a statement released this morning.
“Following the loss of a key broadcast partner in the UK, and despite a search for alternative funding, we currently have no option but to rest the show.
“Everyone at Neighbours has been overwhelmed by the love and support from the audience since the news came out. The show has brought a sunny slice of Australia into the homes of millions of viewers around the world launching the careers of dozens of household names along the way. But as this chapter of Ramsay Street comes to a close, we promise to do everything we can to give the show the send-off it deserves.”
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.
“A much-loved stalwart of our program schedule for over 35 years, [Neighbours] has been a staple of Australian television drama, and Australian cultural exports.”
“Ramsay Street, Erinsborough, is a cul-de-sac recognised all over the world and has been home to Scott and Charlene, Des and Daphne, Dr Karl and Susan, Dee and Toadie, Aaron and David and many, many more neighbours.
“Network 10 thanks the cast, crew, all the production team and Fremantle for bringing the perfect blend of soap and sunshine to audiences in Australia and around the world.
“We thank the Australian fans and audiences for their continued support of the series. Their encouragement particularly in the past few weeks has been incredible. It shows that our audience still want Australian scripted drama. We have listened to them and there are exciting new local projects in the pipeline, which is great for our audience and for the local industry.
Members of the cast have already begun 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 attempts to #SaveNeighbours have been unsuccessful, and #fremantle has confirmed the show will end production in June this year. This is a sad day indeed.
“I want to express my deepest gratitude to the millions of fans all around the world who have supported our iconic drama for 37 wonderful years. And huge thanks to our broadcast partners @channel10au and @channel5_tv who have been incredible supporters of the show for so long. Please stick with the show right to the end because the final episodes will be an incredible celebration with returning characters and extraordinary storylines.
“On a personal level @neighbours has been my creative home for almost 28 years. It has provided me with enormous artistic satisfaction and deep, everlasting friendships that I will treasure forever. Most especially my artistic partnership with the spectacular #jackiewoodburne who has truly made the journey the greatest joy imaginable.
The show has also connected me to thousands of people who have supported my work on and offscreen through my music and stage appearances. I am filled with #gratitude #staytuned #celebrateneighbours #farewellneighbours #pleasestickwithus
”With the show’s final episode just over five months away, producers are planning a spectacular ending.
“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 rumored 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 rumors that producers were wanting to recast Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan as Scott and Charlene. But I have to say, with the present case, we will do it proudly. I’m confident we will.”