Channel 5 pulls the plug on ‘Neighbours’ after failing to reach an agreement with Fremantle


Australia’s longest running drama Neighbours faces an uncertain future after British broadcaster Channel 5 confirmed it would not air the program beyond June.

Following reports in the UK media on Sunday that producer Fremantle had failed to reach a new financial agreement with Channel 5, the latter released a statement verifying the news.

Neighbours will no longer air on Channel 5 beyond this summer,’ the spokesperson said.

“It’s been a much-loved part of our schedule for more than a decade, and we’d like to thank the cast, Fremantle and all of the production team for their fantastic work on this iconic series.”

Neighbours was first introduced to UK audiences via BBC One in 1985, before moving to Channel 5 in 2008. Channel 5 has since been the primary financial backer of the show.

The soap, which is now in its 37th season, has been responsible for launching the careers of people such as Jason Donovan, Kylie Minogue, Margot Robbie, and Liam Hemsworth.

It is also well known as a training ground for emerging talent behind-the-scenes. Fremantle and Film Victoria recently offered writer and director placements on the show for early-to-mid career Victorian practitioners.

In an email sent to staff on Sunday morning, Fremantle producer Jason Herbison said production on the show would cease until a new broadcaster was found.

“As you know the future of the show has been uncertain for some time,” he said in the email.

“Our audience remains steady and Channel 10 would love the show to continue if we could find another broadcast partner to replace C5.

“These discussions are ongoing however there is no new broadcaster at the moment and production must end, effectively resting the show.”

Local broadcaster Network 10 pledged its support for the show amid the ongoing discussions.

“As outlined in the email to Neighbours cast and crew, it is our intention to continue our association with Neighbours if another broadcast partner comes forward,” the broadcaster said in a statement.

“Network 10 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 further updates as they become available.”