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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Network 10 is still holding out hope that Neighbours could return in the future – despite the long-running soap being given the axe

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Network 10 hasn’t given up on renewing Neighbours, despite an announcement last month that the long-running series would be axed.

According to a report by Variety Australia on Thursday, the network which housed the show for 37 years believes it could still have a future.

Beverley McGarvey, chief content officer and executive vice president of Paramount ANZ – Network 10’s parent company – said she still has ‘faint hope’ the soap can resolve its funding issues.

‘Unfortunately, unless they secure international partners, we will be unable to continue… There have been numerous attempts to restructure things and figure out how it is possible,’ she explained.

‘Now, perhaps I am an optimist, but I am still clutching at the faint hope that they will find another partner and that we will continue to be the Australian partner,’ she added.

McGarvey characterized Neighbours’ cancellation as a ‘devastating loss’ for Australia’s entertainment industry.

‘No matter what way you cut it, Neighbours is still a loss and one that we’re very, very sad about. We really didn’t want it to happen,’ she added.

The series announced that production would be ceasing on the long-running soap in a tweet in March.

‘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 June,’ they wrote.

‘Following the loss of our primary broadcast partner in the United Kingdom, and despite a thorough search for alternative funding, we are left with no choice but to pause the show.

‘To our incredible, devoted fans, we understand this is a huge disappointment, as it is for the entire team. We appreciate all of your messages and encouragement and promise to end the show on a high note. From now on, we will be commemorating Neighbors.’

In a statement to Australian media in March, Network 10 addressed the series’ conclusion, admitting it had been a ‘difficult decision.’

‘Fremantle confirmed today that Neighbours will end production in June after nearly 37 years and nearly 9,000 episodes,’ a network spokesperson said.

‘This difficult decision was made after an unsuccessful search for an alternative UK broadcast partner.’

They added that the series would ‘not air on 10 Peach after September 2022,’ effectively bringing the show’s decades-long run to an end.

For over 35 years, it has been a beloved staple of Australian television drama and cultural exports,’ they said.

‘Ramsay Street, Erinsborough, is a well-known cul-de-sac that has been home to Scott and Charlene, Des and Daphne, Dr Karl and Susan, Dee and Toadie, Aaron and David, and a host of other residents.

‘Network 10 would like to thank the cast, crew, the entire production team, and the city of Fremantle for bringing the perfect blend of soap opera and sunshine to Australian and international audiences.’

Meanwhile, Fremantle, the soap’s production company, stated that they were unable to secure ‘alternative funding’ for the series.

‘It is with regret that we confirm that after nearly 37 years and nearly 9,000 episodes, Neighbours will cease production in June,’ they began in a statement.

‘Following the loss of a key broadcast partner in the United Kingdom, and despite our efforts to secure alternative funding, we are currently forced to pause the show.’

The final episode of Neighbours will air in Australia and the United Kingdom on Monday, August 1.

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