It’s certainly not the news anyone was expecting on a fine Sunday.
Neighbours now faces an uncertain future with news breaking from the UK today that Channel 5 will stop broadcasting the show later this year.
In a statement released to Digital Spy: “Neighbours will no longer air on Channel 5 beyond this summer. It’s been a much-loved part of our schedule for more than a decade, and we’d like to thank the case, Fremantle and all of the production for their fantastic work on this iconic series.
“We recognise that there will be disappointment about this decision, however our current focus in on increasing our investment in original UK drama, which has strong appeal for our viewers.”
With the UK broadcast deal funding, a substantial portion of the production, Fremantle Media executive producer Jason Herbison said on Sunday afternoon that production would stop for an indefinite period because a new broadcast partner to back the show had not been found yet.
“Our audience remains steady and Channel Ten would love the show to continue if we could find another broadcast partner to replace [Channel 5]. These discussions are ongoing, however, there is no new broadcaster at the moment and production must end, effectively resting the show,” Mr Herbison said, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
“We are so proud of the show, you all and everything that you’ve achieved. But for now, this chapter is closing and we want to work together to give Neighbours the amazing send-off it deserves.”
A Network Ten spokesperson said: “As outlined in the email to the Neighbours cast and crew, it is our intention to continue our association with Neighbours if another broadcast partner comes forward. Network Ten has an ongoing commitment to the show, the cast and crew and is hopeful that Fremantle will find a new production partner. We will provide updates as they become available.”
In its 37th year, cast and crew will be meeting tomorrow instead of filming. Filming will continue until June 10.
Here’s hoping that a new UK partner will come on board and the show continues production.
Neighbours airs 6:30pm Monday to Thursday on 10Peach.