The Australian network director has publicly supported Summer Bay soap Home and Away as his Down Under drama Neighbors was scrapped
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The Australian network behind Home and Away has broken its silence on the future of the “expensive” show after announcing other Australian soap neighbors are being axed.
This comes after Fremantle Media was reportedly unable to find another channel to pick up the long-running show, which launched the careers of Kylie Minogue, Margot Robbie and Jason Donovan, among others.
The show’s bosses are expected to announce that after an “extensive search for alternative funding” they have been unable to secure another channel to air the Australian soap.
Meanwhile, Down Under drama Home and Away has been publicly endorsed by its Australian network.
Brook Hall, Channel 7’s director of content planning, has expressed the network’s continued commitment to the Summer Bay soap opera, while acknowledging that the Summer Bay soap pays a hefty bill.
He told TV Tonight: “I know it’s not sexy to say but Home and Away is our main drama that we do most of the year.
“It’s expensive, high-quality drama. It runs in prime time on our main channel. It’s not something we use on the multi to get drama points. It’s our most expensive release of content. And that is lost.
“There is no other network that would charge such a high price for a show. It’s our biggest production of the year.”
He continued, “I’m very proud of Home and Away and it’s arguably our most important show and biggest spend. We don’t have to do it. We believe in it.
“We’re not doing this because it’s a drama quota. We’re doing it because it’s an incredibly successful show.”
Home and Away airs on Channel 5 in the UK and unlike Neighbors, the channel has a Life of Series deal, meaning it will air the show for as long as Australia produces episodes.
Soap fans started a petition in a desperate bid to see Neighbors picked up by another channel after Channel 5 decided to pull the plug on the show after almost four decades on our screens.
A Channel 5 spokesman said in a statement: “After this summer, Neighbors will no longer air on Channel 5. It’s been a hugely popular part of our schedule for well over a decade and we’d like to thank the cast, Fremantle and the entire production team for their fantastic work on this iconic series.
“Of course we also want to thank the fans for their loyal support of Neighbors over the years.”
They added: “We are aware that this decision will be disappointing, but our current focus is to increase our investment in original British dramas that are very appealing to our viewers.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/australian-network-breaks-silence-expensive-26381590 Australia network breaks silence on future of 'expensive' home and away games as Neighbors axed