Britain’s Channel 5 has signed a new deal for Neighbours increasing from 240 episodes per year to 258, in a move that will see it screen all year round from 2018.
The deal with FremantleMedia will also include an unknown number of specials on the iconic Aussie soap.
The news follows rumours that Channel 5’s parent company Viacom failed to recognise the social history of the series with British viewers, and was stalling over contract negotiations. That triggered headlines and a petition topping 22,000 signatures.
“Just as our characters span generations, so do the people that watch Neighbours,” series executive producer Jason Herbison said. “We value our global audiences and are delighted to stay on this journey together. Come the end of 2018 we will also make history by becoming the first Australian drama series to screen all year round.”
Neighbours screens twice-daily on Channel 5 at 1.45pm and 5.30pm.
TEN is yet to confirm plans to screen year-round in Australia but is expected to follow suit.