‘Coming Home’: Seven charges Neighbors in new deal
Neighbors was thrown a lifeline, returning to Channel Seven, 37 years after its first network premiere.
In a stunning new offering, Seven has swooped down on the iconic soap opera to begin a new chapter in the Ramsay Street series.
It was Seven who first launched the series in 1985 before 10 took over the series in 1996, but it would return to 7Plus in a bold streaming investment in local drama.
“Everyone needs good Neighborssaid CEO James Warburton, “and the much-loved drama has no better friend than 7Plus.
“We are proud to bring the show home to the network where it all began.
“Fans will continue to see the loves and lives of Toadie, Dr Karl & Susan, Paul Robinson and everyone in Erinsborough in the months to come. Together with Far from home Seven is now home to a 70-year legacy of iconic Australian dramas.
Seven’s bold move comes after Channel 5 signaled the show would stop airing, and 10 said it could not continue without a UK partner.
James Warburton has struck a deal with Fremantle to fully fund the series by absorbing the costs as part of Far from homebut it will bring surprising new changes to the soapie universe.
Angus Ross, Content Director of Seven at Entertainment, said Erinsborough will join the fictional “Yabbie Creek” as a new surf town in Summer Bay, opening up the two to crossover stories.
“This will be soap heaven for theater fans,” he teased.
“I can’t say too much, but you can expect to see Harold Bishop (Ian Smith) side by side on screen with Alf Stewart (Ray Meagher) for the very first time, Irene (Lynne McGranger) working at Lassiters and Toadie (Ryan Moloney) in the Summer Bay surf shop.
“There’s no end to the possibilities of TV storylines, romances and weddings.
“I can also reveal old Far from home star Dannii Minogue will make him Neighbors debut as Robinson’s long-lost relative, carrying on the tradition of soapie royalty.
A key part of Seven’s business plan is to offer UK fans a special 7Plus “Perfect Blend” streaming subscription. To circumvent the geo-blocking, fans will have to recite the words of Especially for you and have a River Boys “Blood & Sand” tattoo on their chest.
7Plus is about to launch the new Neighbors era on August 1 – exactly 4 months after April 1.
“It’s going to be bigger than Bouncer’s dream!” Ross added.