Iconic Australian Soap Neighbours will be ending this year, after a monumental 37 years on air.
It was announced back in February that Channel 5 (in the UK) will no longer be airing the soap beyond the summer, meaning it had to search for new funding options.
Unfortunately, it was unable to find any.
A spokesperson for Neighbours’ production company Fremantle said it was“with sadness that after nearly 37 years and almost 9000 episodes broadcast, we are confirming that Neighbours will cease production in the summer”.
“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,” they said.
“Everyone at Neighbours has been overwhelmed by the love and support from the audience since the news came out.
“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.”
But is there another way to save Neighbours?
According to reports, Neighbours’ daily viewing figures in the UK hit around one million views per day for each of the five episodes that were broadcast over the course of the week.
As a result, it’s easily one of the most viewed TV shows on Channel 5. This makes their decision to stop funding it all the more curious.
But with such consistent viewership, surely it would be lucrative for a streaming service like Netflix to pick it up.
And fans of the show are speculating because Netflix is known for saving fan favourite shows that are facing closure.
In comparison to most (if not all) of their original shows, Neighbours needs a relatively small budget for it to be made.
Moreover, the one million or so viewers per episode are all just in the UK.
Once on Netflix and with a little promotion, that could climb fairly high when given to an international audience.
One of the key pillars of Netflix is that it allows viewers to binge watch entire seasons of a show in one go.
Viewers that are up to date on episodes would be limited to one new episode a day, every week of the year – but that’s still something no other Netflix show offers.
Furthermore, with a back catalogue of 9,000 episodes stretching back to 1985, it gives fans, both new and old, the potential for the ultimate binge watching experience.
Furthermore, Neighbours has done a stellar job of bringing in characters that represent portions of society that don’t get the spotlight they deserve.
Back in 2014, Nate Kinski was introduced as the first Indigenous Australian character to appear on the soap.
Then in 2019, Georgia Stone joined the cast as the first transgender character.
Will Netflix Save it?
Netflix hasn’t yet said if it is interested in saving Neighbours or not.
But it has a history of saving fan favourite shows and giving them a new lease on life.
Look at Lucifer for example. It was cancelled ruthlessly by Fox after its third season. But then like a guardian angel, Netflix swooped in and saved it – allowing the show to run for another three seasons and get the send off it deserved.
What’s more is that Neighbours isn’t just a regular show either. Its audience demographic is wide and has been the starting point for up and coming actors. Over the years, it has introduced the world to the likes of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Holly Valance and even Margot Robbie.
If Netflix don’t see the potential here, then other streaming services like Amazon Prime or Hulu just might swoop in instead.
As it stands, the final air date is set to be sometime in August.