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Amazon AVoD service Freevee rescues long-running Aussie daily soap Neighbours

Neighbours made its debut in the UK in 1986

Amazon’s free streaming service Freevee is rescuing long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours following its cancellation earlier this year.

The AVoD service has done a deal with the show’s producer and distributor, Fremantle, to bring new episodes to an international audience in 2023. The show will once again air domestically on Australia’s Network 10 in its first window.

The long-running Melbourne-set show came to an end this summer after almost 37 years after it was dropped by Paramount-owned UK terrestrial Channel 5 and Network 10 failed to find a new UK home for the show.

Neighbours had aired in the UK since 1986, switching to Channel 5 from original broadcaster BBC One in 2008. The series launched the careers of Kylie Mingogue, Jason Donovan, Holly Vallance, Delta Goodrem, Natalie Imbruglia and others.

The continuation of the long-running daily drama series – about the lives, loves and challenges of the residents of Ramsay Street in the fictional borough of Erinsborough – will see series regulars Stefan Dennis, Alan Fletcher, Ryan Moloney and Jackie Woodburne reprise their roles.

The new series will premiere exclusively for free on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US and will include streaming rights to thousands of episodes from the previous seasons, available before the new series’ premiere.

The show will also stream on Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Production is set to start in early 2023 with a world premiere slated for the second half of the year.

“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 at 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 favourite moments.”

Neighbours is produced by Fremantle. Jason Herbison, Neighbours’ executive producer since 2013, will retain his position, with Andrew Thompson returning as producer.

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