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Amazon Freevee To Bring Back Iconic Australian Soap ‘Neighbours’ with All-New Episodes

Photo: Freemantle

In an absolutely stunning twist, the beloved Australian soap opera Neighbours which was canceled after 37 years and aired its final episode in late July after nearly 9,000 episodes, is coming back!

Amazon Freevee and the show’s producer, Fremantle have revealed that they are set to revitalize the soap opera and it will premiere exclusively, and for free, on the streamer in the UK and U.S.

In addition, this will include streaming rights to thousands of episodes from the previous seasons, which will be available to view prior to the launch of the new season.  Neighbours will also be available via Prime Video; in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, word is that new episodes will begin shooting in Australia next year.  Cast already signed-on include: Stefan Dennis, Alan Fletcher, Ryan Moloney and Jackie Woodburne who return to reprise their leading roles.

In a way, this news is a bit reminiscent of Prospect Park’s online save of All My Children and One Life to Live, when the company originally had hoped to move the soaps immediately and seamlessly following their network TV broadcast ending, to their new online home, only to run into pitfalls to eventually launch a year later.

Back in March, Neighbours ran into funding issues, when its key UK broadcast partner, Channel 5 pulled out and their attempts at finding alternative funding never panned out.

In a statement, Lauren Anderson, head of AVOD original content and programming at Amazon Studios, expressed: “Neighbours has captivated its audience for nearly 40 years, building a dedicated and loyal following for the lives and stories of the characters on Ramsay Street. With the power of streaming, we’re able to offer a catalog of thousands of Neighbours episodes for new audiences to discover this legendary series and current fans to relive their favorite moments. We look forward to immersing the audience in new Ramsay Street experiences when we relaunch the show next year for Amazon Freevee and Prime Video customers.”

Jennifer Mullin, global CEO, Fremantle added: “Neighbours is a unique series with a powerful connection with its fans across the world. We cherish the show and all those who have been part of its incredible story over many decades, so we are thrilled that we have found a new home with Amazon Freevee. Thanks to the innovative Amazon Freevee platform, many classic episodes will be available to fans, and Neighbours will go back into full production in Australia early next year, providing our fans with new episodes. This partnership with Amazon Freevee marks an exciting new chapter, and we look forward to collaborating with them, along with our long-term and valued partner in Australia, Network 10.”

Previously, Neighbours ended its 37-year run with a memorable final episode where many of its most well-known stars returned to make an appearance including:  Margot Robbie, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Guy Pearce.  The episode scored the soaps highest ratings since 2019.

You can watch a teaser for Neighbours in their upcoming new home below, and a social media teaser from the series itself.

What do you think about Neighbours being saved to live another day? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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This is amazing news!!! Neighbours‘ loss was felt, even as an American, and I am so happy that we are going to be getting it here, too! It’s just a shame we got the [then] series finale, because it did feel like the perfect way to conclude a soap opera. But this is fantastic news, and cannot wait for the next generation of stories told!

I do know the cast were not told ahead of time… so I can only imagine how negotiations are going to go right now. Wishing them all nothing but the best of luck!

Congratulations to them. The very best of luck. I hope this works out better than Prospect Park’s All My Children and One Life to Live did for us.

The problem with Prospect Park was the timing. I think DAYS is doing just fine on Peacock. I would love to see more original soaps pop up in the streaming world as well. Perhaps a reboot or two of some older shows GL comes to mind.

I just signed up for the free Freevee..
To watch- Judy Justice –
Judge Judy’s new show, It’s different and good..
So- perhaps other soaps will revive on Freevee..
Looks like a good place for reviving..

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Kimberlin Brown ‘Killed-Off’ as Sheila Carter on The Bold and the Beautiful in Shocking Twist

The Monday, February 26th episode of CBS daytime’s The Bold and the Beautiful brought with it the apparent end to one of the all-time villains of soap opera.

In story, Steffy Forrester (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) was being stalked by Sheila (Kimberlin Brown) in the dark. Eventually, Steffy stabs Sheila in the heart with a knife and she apparently dies.

Speaking with TV Insider, Brown admitted that it is extremely hard to leave a now iconic role she made soap-famous since 1990 on first The Young and the Restless and then The Bold and the Beautiful.

Photo: JPI

Kimberlin expressed: “It’s a tough place for me to be in right now; I’m not going to lie about this. I guess if anyone were going to take Sheila down, I’m happy it’s Steffy. I just wish that no one was taking Sheila down.”  Three time Daytime Emmy-winner, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood expressed: “It’s bittersweet because I absolutely love working with Kimberlin; she is just the consummate professional.”

Courtesy/CBS

However, the stabbing is vindication for Steffy as Wood related, “This is her moment. How long has it taken Steffy to take her down and it’s finally happening, so it’s going to be a big shock.”

As to her B&B death scene and to her future plans, Brown revealed, “Laying there on that floor when the paramedics pronounce the time of death, my eyes were closed and you’re holding your breath so it doesn’t look like you’re breathing. It was just like, ‘Wow, OK, I guess we’ll have to see what might come next for me.’”

Courtesy/CBS

If this holds up and Sheila is “dead” dead, it will open up the story and trouble in the marriage of Finn (Tanner Novlan) and Steffy, because ultimately, Steffy killed her husband’s biological mother.

Photo: JPI

This is leading many to believe this move will bring Steffy back together with Liam (Scott Clifton) while Finn and Hope (Annika Noelle) draw closer. Is that part of the reason for Sheila’s death? Stay tuned.

What do you think about The Bold and the Beautiful killing-off Sheila Carter and Steffy to be the one who put an end to her life? Comment below.

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Daytime Stars We Lost Remembered in 2024 SAG Awards In-Memoriam Tribute

On Saturday night at the 30th annual SAG Awards streaming on Netflix, several stars from the world of soap opera were remembered in a very moving In-Memoriam segment.

Honoring those actors we lost this past year, and set to the song “How do I Say Goodbye” by Dean Lewis, the screen was filled with so many heartbreaking losses.

Those who were remembered in the tribute included: Bill Hayes (Doug, Days of our Lives), Ellen Holly (Carla, One Life to Live), Nicolas Coster (Lionel, Santa Barbara et al), Tyler Christopher (Nikolas, GH, Stefan DAYS), Billy Miller (Billy, Y&R and Drew, GH), Sharon Farrell (Flo, Y&R), Arlene Sorkin (Calliope, DAYS), Kamar de los Reyes (Antonio, OLTL), Jeffrey Carlson (Zoe/Zarf, AMC) and Mark Goddard (Ted, OLTL).

Photo: ABC

Other notable stars who passed away and were included in the tribute were: Chita Rivera, Andre Braugher, Suzanne Somers, and Matthew Perry.

Before the video package was played, actress Naomi Watts took to the stage and shared, “We have lost so many extraordinary actors in the past year, but because they touched the world with their talent, we all share their loss. To those of us who worked with them, alongside them, we feel their loss and their absence deeply.”

Photo: Netflix

She added, “Of course their memory will live on in our recollections of the precious time we shared together — and through their work, their performances captured in countless frames of images, ever ready to dance across the screen and come to life again, if only for a while.”

What did you think of the In-Memoriam Tribute at the 2024 SAG Awards and seeing a lot of familiar faces being included who represent the soaps? Comment. below.

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David Gail, Former ‘Port Charles’ Star, Cause of Death Determined; Mother Speaks Out on Dangers of Pharmaceutical Addiction and Fentanyl Epidemic

David Gail, who played Dr. Joe Scanlon on Port Charles (1999-2000), and who also appeared on Beverly Hills 90210, cause of death has been revealed. The actor passed away on January 16th at the age of 58.

According to the toxicology report, Gail died of anoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, which is a brain injury caused by a a lack of blood flow, following resuscitation from cardio pulmonary arrest due to the drug intoxication. The report also revealed that drug intoxication with amphetamines, cocaine, ethanol and fentanyl, were also involved.

Gail’s mother, Mary Painter, spoke to Deadline on the findings and opened up to what led to David’s ultimate passing. Gail was found unresponsive by emergency personnel who attempted to save his life. Eventually, he was put on life support where he remained for several days till his death.

Photo: ABC

In her statement, Painter shared, “It breaks my heart to learn that my son died this way. David became reliant on medicine many years ago, after multiple surgeries on his hands and wrists. He lived in enough pain to prevent him from working for almost a decade, with relief only achieved through full disability, physical therapy and pain medicine.”

She then added, “He struggled to stop taking pharmaceuticals and did before turning toward a more Eastern pain management including acupuncture and natural medicines. I can only assume that his former opioid dependence played a part in self-medicating from uncontrolled sources.”

David’s mother expressed a very important social message for our time about addiction that she hopes other parents remain aware of: “David’s death shines a light on the countless innocent victims of pharmaceutical addiction and the fentanyl epidemic that has taken so many of our sons and daughters. Please keep David and others battling pain or dependence, in your thoughts and prayers.”

Gail’s other TV credits included parts on: Savannah, Matlock, Murder, She Wrote, Doogie Howser, M.D., and Perfect Opposites.

What do you think about the poignant statement offered up by the late David Gail’s mother, Mary Painter? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

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