Amazon Freevee to revive Neighbours

Amazon Freevee is to revive Australian soap Neighbours, just three months after the show was brought to an end after almost 9,000 episodes by Paramount duo Network 10 in Oz and Channel 5 in the UK.

The revived series, which is again being produced by Fremantle, will start filming in Australia next year and will continue the storylines form the recently axed show. Actors Stefan Dennis, Alan Fletcher, Ryan Moloney, and Jackie Woodburne will return to reprise their leading roles.

It will premiere exclusively for free on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US, as well as on Amazon Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Network 10 has retained first-run rights.

Streaming rights to thousands of episodes from the previous seasons have also been acquired by Amazon Freevee, which has developed recent form in saving cancelled shows.

Lauren Anderson

News of Neighbours’ potential demise first emerged at the start of the year, with the revival marking something of a surprising return for the long-running Australian soap, which ended after 37 years in July after Channel 5 dropped the series. Producer Fremantle had sought another UK co-commissioner, but had not been succesful.

That prompted a social media flurry ahead of what was then thought to be its final ever episodes, with Amazon today noting that the last three episodes – 8,901, 8,902 and 8,903 – were “watched by millions of adoring fans.”

The series, which is set and filmed in Melbourne, Australia, follows the lives of the residents of the fictional Ramsay Street and has helped to launch the careers of stars including Guy Pearce, Margot Robbie, Kyle Minogue and Jason Donovan.

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, said the deal 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.”

Jason Herbison, Neighbours’ executive producer since 2013, will maintain his position on the revived show, with Andrew Thompson returning as producer.

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