One Of The Most Popular Shows Ever Is Getting A Second Chance

The Australian soap opera Neighbours is being brought back from cancelation, thanks to Amazon Prime Video and Freevee.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

It was a shock to millions across the globe when the beloved Australian soap opera, Neighbours, was canceled after 37 years on the air. The show was a pivotal starting point for many famous Aussie actors, including Margot Robbie and Liam Hemsworth, and aired more than 9,000 episodes over 38 seasons before its cancelation. However, after only a few months of being off the air, Neighbours is getting a second chance, according to Variety.

After UK’s Channel 5 announced that they would no longer be running the series, more than a million viewers tuned in to watch Neighbours’ final episode and say goodbye to a series that many had been watching for their entire lives. Channel 5 had been hosting the show on their airwaves since 2008 and said that even though they loved having the Australian drama on their schedule, they were rebranding to focus more on UK-produced television. Ultimately, however, it appeared that Neighbours was getting canceled due to budget cuts.

More than 80,000 people signed petitions on last February in an attempt to save their well-loved show from the axe. Luckily, the significant popularity of the show proved to be enough to resurrect it, and the series has now found a new home on Amazon’s advertising-based streaming service, Freevee. The show will begin filming in Australia in early 2023 and is expected to release later in the year.

margot robbie
Margot Robbie in an episode of Neighbours

Freevee will be the exclusive distributor of the new series for fans residing in the US and UK. For viewers in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, the new show will be available on Amazon’s subscription-based platform, Amazon Prime. Both Prime and Freevee will have access to thousands of episodes from the series’ previous seasons. In Australia, Network 10 will continue to run the show first, as it has done for the past 36 years.

Amazon’s Neighbours will pick up where the show left off and continue following the lives and relationships of those who live on Ramsay Street in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough. The show’s leading actors, Stefan Dennis, Alan Fletcher, Ryan Moloney, and Jackie Woodburne, will all return to reprise their roles.

Amazon is excited to create new immersive episodes for the series’ fans, according to Lauren Anderson, head of Amazon’s video-on-demand department. With the entire catalog of Neighbours’ prior episodes, Amazon also hopes to enable new viewers to fall in love with the show and its characters. Jennifer Mullen, the global CEO for Neighbours producer Fremantle, said that working with Amazon opens an “exciting new chapter” for the series.

Many famous Australian actors got their start in the long-running television drama, including Margot Robbie, Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce, and Jason Donovan. All of them made appearances in what would have been the series’ final episode. With the series’ renewal, it’s a possibility that more well-known faces may appear in the drama, possibly helping to entice new audiences as the series gains new life.

Long-time executive producer Jason Herbison will be returning to the show along with producer Andrew Thompson.