Australia’s longest-running TV program, and staple weeknight soapy, Neighbours has been axed after 37 long years.
The announcement was made by Neighbours‘ producers following the show being dropped from UK broadcaster Chanel 5’s airing schedules.
This decision by Chanel 5, as a key broadcasting partner, has left Neighbours producers with an untenable funding gap.
Writing on the programme’s official Twitter account, producers said that they were “so sorry” but had “no option but to rest the show“.
“We are so sorry to say that after nearly 37 years and almost 9,000 episodes broadcast we have to confirm that Neighbours will cease production in the summer,” they said.
“Following the loss of our key broadcast partner in the UK and despite an extensive search for alternative funding, we simply have no option but to rest the show.”
In a more heartfelt and sentimental address, producers wrote: “To our amazing, loyal fans, we know this is a huge disappointment, as it is to all of us on the team. We thank you for all your messages and support and promise to end the show on an incredible high.”
That seems quite the task they’ve set for themselves, soapy’s are notoriously difficult to end satisfactorily, let alone one with a 37-year incumbency in the hearts of Australians and Brits.
We are so sorry to say that after nearly 37 years and almost 9000 episodes broadcast we have to confirm that Neighbours will cease production in the summer. pic.twitter.com/k3QV5J66qM
— Neighbours (@NeighboursTV) March 3, 2022
Emotions will be mixed surrounding this news with a range from gladness to devastation. I myself fall, perhaps symptomatically of my Gen Z status, into a category of ambivalence. The soap drama certainly seems to have lost some of its cultural relevance, and place within the Australian TV canon, over the recent decade.
During its golden age, however, Neighbours is known to have kickstarted many careers of now-famed Australians: think Kylie Minogue, Margo Robbie, Russell Crowe, Liam Hemsworth, plus loads more.
Perhaps it is the loss of this platform, proven for its ability to rocket Aussies into superstardom, that is the most disappointing.
One can only hope that the space created through Neighbours‘ disappearance will be filled with something original and not another hack-job re-boot.