Neighbors has aired since 1985, making it the longest running series on Australian television. But now, 37 years later, it’s over – not because the soap was not a success after 8,000 episodes, but because the Australian television broadcasting network lost a significant sponsor.
The decision by British Channel 5 to stop broadcasting “Neighbors” in Great Britain is behind this decision. Channel 5 has shown the series considerable success over the past 14 years and most recently reached about 1.2 million viewers. Channel 5 justified the decision by focusing more on local products. After the withdrawal of the well-known British broadcast a few weeks ago, those in charge in Australia sought to find a new international television partner to cover production costs – which apparently did not succeed.
“After losing our main broadcasting partner in the UK, we had no choice but to cancel the show, despite an intense search for alternative funding,” Network 10 said. “We know this is a great disappointment to our wonderful, loyal fans and everyone on the team.” The decision was bitter for the RTL Group, after all its subsidiaries Fremantle were responsible for production.
“Neighbors” was once shown in Germany under the title “Nachbarn”. In 1989, the then-young Sut1 began airing soap operas, but that was almost four years later. “Neighbors” also gained international cult status because the series promotes a better career: Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Russell Crowe and Natalie Improglia were once world-famous by “Neighbors”.