The head of Channel 5, Ben Frow, has admitted that his decision to cancel Neighbours was purely “business,” saying that the money would be “better spent” on producing UK programming.
It was announced earlier this year that the venerable and long-running Australian soap opera would cease abruptly in July.
Fans reacted quickly to the decision, which Frow has since called a “business” one, by starting a petition to keep the show on the air. The move was widely criticised.
Despite their best efforts, Neighbours will come to an end in a matter of weeks since Fremantle, the production company, was unable to find a new broadcast partner after Channel 5 withdrew.
Frow acknowledged that it was a possibility when asked if continuing to produce the show for a UK audience was an option, but he went on to explain that he chose to spend the money on “UK shows,” which he argues is a better use of the funds.
He told Radio Times, “Or I could spend the money on other things, which is what I opted to do.” “I can spend the Neighbours money better on UK shows,” you say.
Neighbours, a show that had been a mainstay of UK daytime television for 37 years, was controversially dropped by Channel 5 in favour of “original UK drama,” which the broadcaster believes has a “strong appeal” for viewers.
However, the response to Neighbours’ shocking cancellation, as well as soaring viewing figures, indicate that viewers would much rather get their daily fix of Ramsay Street drama.
The news of the long-running serial drama’s impending demise is saddening because it comes at a time when it is flourishing and experiencing one of its strongest periods ever.
The final episode of Neighbours will air on July 29 at 9 p.m. Expect to see a number of Erinsborough legends return for both the final episode and the weeks running up to it.
In the final episode of the show, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, who previously portrayed sweethearts Charlene and Scott Robinson, will return in their legendary roles. This week, the pair released first-look photos as a teaser of their return.
In her Instagram caption, Kylie referred to her and Jason’s well-known song Especially For You and said, “Now we’re back together.”
The singer of the classic song Can’t Get You Out of My Head shared pictures of herself and co-star Jason walking down Ramsay Street while wearing Charlene’s trademark overalls.
Our hearts’ beatings should stop.
Early episodes of Neighbours revolved around Scott and Charlene, whose wedding episode garnered 20 million viewers in the UK alone.
Channel 5 broadcasts Neighbours weekdays at 1:45 and 6 o’clock.