Popular Australian soap opera, After all, attempts to find a new broadcaster to transmit it in the UK failed, Neighbours appears to be doomed. According to The Sun, executives at production company Fremantle Media have run out of options to keep the show, which has aired in the United Kingdom for nearly 40 years, on the air.
The business is expected to announce on Thursday that the show, which started the careers of a slew of celebrities including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, and Margot Robbie, will be canceled in the summer. Channel 5, which has shown Neighbours in the UK since taking it over from the BBC more than a decade ago, announced last month that it would stop airing it after the summer as it turned its attention to home-grown drama.
The show was dependent on funding from Channel 5 to stay in production, despite its popularity in the United Kingdom, where it had 1.4 million daily viewers, far outnumbering its following in Australia.
A source told The Sun: “Fremantle has not commented on the situation since the news broke about Channel 5. They have been working tirelessly to secure funding from other networks but sadly they’ve been unable to save the soap.
“The announcement will clarify that the soap will end this summer and that they have been overwhelmed by the love and support from the public since the news surfaced,” says the press release.
Following the revelation that the show was in jeopardy last month, several petitions were started, with tens of thousands of people signing them. Current and former cast members of the show expressed their regret at the news.
Now the focus will be on how big of a send-off the show can get. According to rumors, Kylie Minogue, who played Charlene Robinson, and Jason Donovan, who played her husband Scott, have been requested to reprise their roles.
Ian Smith, who played the iconic Harold Bishop, is said to be returning, as is Peter O’Brien, who played Shane Ramsay in the show’s early days, appearing in the inaugural episode in 1985.
The source added: “There is a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to make the final few weeks of Neighbours are truly special. They are still waiting to hear back from a number of former stars but Peter has agreed to return and will start filming in May.”
After winning the Masked Singer, Natalie Imbruglia, who played Beth Brennan in the 1990s, announced she would return.
“It’s going to leave a tremendous void in the landscape of not just Australian television but worldwide and specifically in the UK as well,” Jackie Woodburne, who has played Susan Kennedy since 1994, remarked on Australian television earlier this week.
“It’s the end of an era, it’s the loss of an icon and we will never ever see a show like Neighbours again.”