New ‘Neighbours’ episodes on their way as Fremantle teams up with Amazon

'Neighbours' cast members Ryan Moloney, Jackie Woodburne and Alan Fletcher.

The residents of Ramsay Street are set for a dramatic return to screens next year after production company Fremantle secured Amazon as an international partner.

Production will begin early next year on new episodes of the long-running soap, with Network 10 to retain first-run broadcast rights in Australia, while Prime Video in Australia and New Zealand will house the series seven days following the free-to-air premiere.

It will also be available on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US, and exclusively on Prime Video in Canada.

Fremantle executive producer Jason Herbison and Paramount ANZ head of drama and executive production Rick Maier will retain their positions on the program, with Andrew Thompson returning as producer.

The announcement comes four months after the Neighbours finale episode, which seemingly closed the curtain on the drama in its 37th season and featured cameos from well-known alumni, such as Guy Pearce, Kylie Minogue, Margot Robbie, and Jason Donovan.

The news earlier this year that British broadcaster Channel 5 would no longer fund the series beyond June left many wondering about the hole that would be left in the industry on both sides of the camera, with the Forest Hill studios where the program is filmed having been a steadfast training ground for behind-the-scenes creatives and writers in all aspects of television production.

Fremantle Australia CEO Greg Woods said the company couldn’t wait to craft the next chapter of the serial.

“The love for Neighbours is undeniable and we have been determined to explore every possible avenue to bring it back for loyal fans across the world,” he said.

“We are beyond thrilled to have secured this landmark deal with Amazon Freevee, along with Network 10 in Australia, long-term and passionate supporters of the show. We will be going back into the writing room immediately and production for this wonderful series will begin next year.

Neighbours has been so important for the Victorian production community, and along with our partners, will provide new opportunities on both sides of the camera.”

Paramount ANZ chief content officer and executive vice president, Beverley McGarvey, said they never gave up hope the series would continue.

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Neighbours back home to Network 10, and while we loved the finale earlier this year and appreciated the incredible support from the cast, crew, and fans, we continued to hold a small glimmer of hope that one day it would be possible to resume the series.

“We are grateful for the tenacity and determination displayed by Fremantle in securing a new production partner so our association could continue.

“A much-loved stalwart of our program schedule for over 35 years, we can’t wait to bring back the perfect blend of soap and sunshine to Australian audiences which will also add a fantastic boost to the Victorian and wider production community.”

Amazon Studios head of AVOD original content and programming Lauren Anderson said the company looked forward to “immersing the audience in new Ramsay Street experiences”.

“With the power of streaming, we’re able to offer a catalogue of thousands of Neighbours episodes for new audiences to discover this legendary series and current fans to relive their favorite moments,” she said.

New episodes of Neighbours are set to premiere in the second half of next year.