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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Neighbours is back! Everything we know about iconic soap’s big return on Amazon Freevee

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Fans of Neighbours on Amazon Freevee are anxiously anticipating their next dose of Ramsay Street drama, so it’s safe to say that excitement is real as the show’s big comeback approaches.

The Australian soap opera has had a somewhat unusual year since it was controversially cancelled by Channel 5, which at the time cited their desire to invest in “original UK drama” as the reason.

In an effort to keep Neighbours on the air, fans quickly expressed their support by starting campaigns and petitions, buying the show’s iconic theme song, which re-entered the UK iTunes charts at number one, and more.

However, as Neighbours came to a glorious and critically acclaimed conclusion, with some of the ‘finale’ seeing some of the show’s biggest ever stars, including Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce, and Margot Robbie, returning to pay their respects, it seemed as though we were set to say goodbye to Erinsborough forever.

But a few months later, we received the news we had all been waiting for: Neighbours will indeed be returning to television after Amazon Freevee proved to be the show’s ideal companion, picking up the serial for a new season before any damage could be done to the interior sets.

Not every hero dons a cape.

Since March has arrived, Neighbours’ eagerly anticipated return is getting closer. Hundreds of classic episodes of Freevee have also recently gone online, in addition to a sold-out UK area tour that began this week (read our review here). As a result, the anticipation for the show’s return is beginning to feel very real.

In light of that, let’s examine all we currently know about Neighbours’ return.

A new season of Neighbours is expected to start production in the coming weeks. April is intended to be the starting month, and new episodes are expected to premiere in the second half of the year.

Although the precise air date of the show is currently unknown, we can probably anticipate that it won’t be too long.

Who is returning? revealed the cast’s return
In a specially produced video clip, Jackie Woodburne, Alan Fletcher, Ryan Moloney, and Stefan Dennis, who play Susan Kennedy, Karl Kennedy, Toadie Rebecchi, and Paul Robinson, respectively, confirm that they have all agreed to participate in the sequel series of Neighbours. This is how audiences first learned of the revival of Neighbours.

Another announcement was made this week: Annie Jones, who played Jane “Plain Jane Superbrain” Harris, is set to return in the series, along with Tim Kano (Leo Tanaka), Georgie Stone, who played Mackenzie Hargreaves, Rebekah Elmaloglou, who played Terese Willis, and Annie Elmaloglou, who played Terese Willis.

If that wasn’t thrilling enough for you, you’ll be happy to learn that actor Ian Smith is planning to return to Ramsay Street in the role of Harold Bishop, who will also make a comeback, albeit in a recurrent capacity.

Along with Melissa Bell, who played Lucy Robinson, April Rose Pengilly, who enthralled and moved fans with her portrayal of Chloe Brennan, will also be making a comeback in a recurring role.

As Neighbours production picks back up in the coming months, more cast announcements will likely be made. However, showrunner Jason Herbison is hopeful to see both familiar faces and some fresh faces in the cast. He also noted that some of the most recent newcomers who were introduced prior to the “finale” have moved on to other projects, making their return unlikely.

The daily soap Neighbours will continue in its current format, and there are a tonne of new episodes planned.
When it was revealed that the streaming provider Amazon Freevee had decided to bring Neighbours back to life, rumours about how the programme will return started to circulate.

Streamers have typically avoided soap operas, despite it being one of the most popular TV forms today. For this reason, Freevee’s decision to save one of the biggest serial dramas in the world was somewhat unusual.

Would the show keep disappearing every day? If so, would it be broadcast constantly? Or might it perhaps take a more Netflix or Prime Video-like strategy, dropping “seasons” all at once?

Those accustomed to their daily dose of Erinsborough need not worry, as it is planned to maintain Neighbours’ formula just as it was before, according to Digital Spy. Also, the programme has been ordered for two seasons, each with at least 200 episodes.

According to a source who spoke with the publication, Neighbours will continue to be produced as a high-volume daily soap opera, remaining true to its fans’ expectations.

Two further seasons with a total of 200 episodes each are in the works. Fans, who though they had seen the last of the show when the season finale aired in July, should be extremely happy with the outcome.

The reasoning behind Freevee is that daily episode releases will keep viewers coming back to the streaming service and interacting with other accessible material.

At this time, it is unclear whether five episodes will air each week.

Given that 200 episodes a year is fewer than the show’s yearly runs on terrestrial TV, where Neighbours had previously broadcast all year round, it’s also important to note that there will be times when Neighbours won’t be on the air. Daily weekday drops are the norm, after all.

With Judy Justice, Freevee uses a daily episode drop technique that has worked well for the service, so it is probable that Neighbours will do the same.

There will be entirely original and unique storylines.

In its “finale,” Neighbours expertly brought everything to a close, with the plotlines of essentially every character coming to a satisfying finish.

While it appears that some stories, including Freya Wozniak’s excellent opening tales and David Tanaka’s time in prison, were cut as a result of the cancellation, boss Jason has confirmed that he is beginning the show from a completely new perspective and has already revealed what would’ve happened in some narratives had the show not been cancelled.

I’ll be approaching it in a new way, he said to Digital Spy.

Whilst I’m aware some have already leaked out, I’m sure there are some old ideas that are still relevant today! There is something to be said for beginning over by wiping the board clean.

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