Neighbours spoilers follow.
Neighbours‘ The future will be secure for at least two years after the surprise revival, Digital spy have learned.
The popular soap returns to screens next year with a new home for UK viewers on free streaming service Amazon Freevee. Network Ten will retain first-run rights for new episodes in Australia.
Ever since the news was announced last week, there has been a lot of speculation in the media and among fans about the form that Neighbours‘ next chapter will take.
Some viewers have wondered if the show will move away from the soap format when it moves to streaming. Others have speculated on the possibility of a limited number of episodes.
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However, a source has now exclusively told Digital spy that hundreds of new episodes will be made when the show returns to production next year.
An insider told us: “The plan is for Neighbours to keep the format as a high-volume daily soap opera so that it will still be the show fans know and love.
“Plans are being made for two new seasons, which will run over 200 episodes each. It’s an incredible result for fans, who thought they had seen the last of the show when the final aired in July.
“The logic behind Freevee is that daily episode drops will prompt fans to check back on the streaming service and engage with other available content.”
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The news means that Neighbours will reach its milestone of 9,000. episode, after ending with episode 8,903 in July.
Seasons of 200 episodes would mean fewer episodes than when the show aired on Channel 5. That works out as enough to air 40 weeks per year, if the soap airs in its established format of five episodes per week.
This could mean the show will take breaks with a midseason finale and season finale, although details on how the episodes will be released won’t be officially announced until closer to the time.
Freevee is already implementing a strategy of daily episode releases with Judge Judy’s new show Judy Justice – another original commission, currently in its second season.
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A spokesperson for Freevee declined to comment on the number of episodes ordered for Neighbourssays Digital spy: “Amazon Freevee and Fremantle are in the early stages of planning the next chapter of the show.”
A spokesperson for Fremantle also declined to comment.
Last week, Neighbours‘ executive producer Jason Herbison told Digital spy that he hoped the show would be back in people’s regular viewing routines when it returns in the second half of 2023.
He said: “We have many more announcements ahead so stay tuned. I can assure you there are many new episodes on the way. We’ve been a big part of people’s lives and we hope to be again.”
Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson), Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kennedy), Alan Fletcher (Karl Kennedy) and Ryan Moloney (Toadie Rebecchi) will all return for the new episodes, which start filming in April.
Neighbours will return in the second half of 2023 with new episodes streaming for free on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US. Network 10 will retain first-run rights in Australia for the new series.
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