The Australian soap opera, Neighbours, which launched the careers of several celebrities and was a big cultural presence on British television in the 1980s and 1990s, is coming to an end.
Network 10 and Fremantle Australia, the show's producers, confirmed the news on Thursday, saying that the final episode of the legendary soap will be produced in June after it was canceled after 37 years on the air. They tweeted:
“After nearly 37 years and almost 9,000 episodes broadcast we have to confirm that Neighbours will cease production this summer.”
Why is Neighbours canceled after 9000 episodes?
The future of the show, which is set on Ramsay Street in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough, became extremely uncertain earlier this year.
Channel 5, which had been funding it after its popularity in Australia lessened, announced that it would stop airing the show to focus on U.K. dramas. The search for a new channel looks to have been futile.
The show's official page took to Twitter to bid goodbye, saying,
“Following the loss of our key broadcast partner in the U.K. and despite an extensive search for alternative funding, we simply have no option but to rest the show."
The Australian soap has been on the air since 1985, but it is being canceled three years before its 40th anniversary.
Neighbours, in the United Kingdom continued to draw 1.2 million viewers per day, so the show naturally ended on a thankful note to their loyal fans.
"To our amazing, loyal fans, we know this is a huge disappointment, as it is to all of us on the team. We thank you for all your messages and support and promise to end the show on an incredible high.”
How do Neighbours intend to end now?
Fans-favorite Ian Smith, 83, is set to return for one final time as former Ramsay Street resident Harold Bishop, with the show's producers aiming for a suitably emotional finale.
Peter O'Brien, 61, will reprise his role as Shane Ramsay 37 years after initially portraying the character in 1985.
Natalie Imbruglia, 47, who played Beth Brennan before going on to become a pop success with her hit single Torn, has confirmed that she will return to the show for the last time.