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Network Ten partners with the UK’s Channel 5 for three new drama projects

Channel 10 will partner on three new local productions with Channel 5, the same UK broadcaster that refused to save Neighbours from the axe.

Neighbours was cancelled after Channel 5 decided in March not to renew its contract with production company Fremantle to finance and broadcast the Australian soap.

Now Channel 5 will partner with Network 10 and Fremantle on a trio of projects that will be filmed in Australia but feature British characters, and can be produced for a fraction of what Neighbours costs, reports TV Tonight.

Making friends after losing Neighbours: Channel 10 will partner on three local productions with Channel 5, the same UK broadcaster that refused to save Neighbours from the axe 

Meanwhile, the beloved soap, which debuted in 1985 and launched the careers of superstars Kylie Minogue, Russell Crowe and Margot Robbie, amongst many others, ends production on Friday.

The news comes after Fremantle and Channel 5 had success with the four-part thriller Lie to Me, which screened on Channel 10 in November and starred former EastEnders star Charlie Brooks.

Neighbours’ executive producer Jason Herbison created Lie with Me, which was a hit in the UK.

Daniel Monaghan, Channel 10’s Senior Vice President of Programming and Content, said Channel 5 wants to make three more projects in a similar vein.

The British are coming: Channel 5 will partner with Network 10 and Neighbours' producers Fremantle on a trio of projects that will be filmed in Australia but feature British characters, and can be produced for a fraction of what Neighbours costs, reports TV Tonight. (Picture: Daniel Monaghan Network 10’s Senior Vice President of Programming and Content)

The British are coming: Channel 5 will partner with Network 10 and Neighbours’ producers Fremantle on a trio of projects that will be filmed in Australia but feature British characters, and can be produced for a fraction of what Neighbours costs, reports TV Tonight. (Picture: Daniel Monaghan Network 10’s Senior Vice President of Programming and Content)

Home of the stars: Neighbours, which debuted in 1985 and launched the careers of superstars Kylie Minogue, Russell Crowe and Margot Robbie (left), amongst many others, ends production on Friday. (Also pictured: Jackie Woodburne in a scene from Neighbours in 2009)

Home of the stars: Neighbours, which debuted in 1985 and launched the careers of superstars Kylie Minogue, Russell Crowe and Margot Robbie (left), amongst many others, ends production on Friday. (Also pictured: Jackie Woodburne in a scene from Neighbours in 2009)

‘What they did with Lie with Me, and what their intention is to do is [dramas] set in Australia but with British characters,’ he explained. 

‘The lead in Lie with Me was a British actress from EastEnders [Brooks]. So that meant something to them because it was more of a hybrid.’

Beverley McGarvey, the Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer for Paramount ANZ, owners of Channel 10, said that Channel 5 wants to finance more British-made content, like the hit series All Creatures Great and Small. 

British hit: The news comes after Fremantle and Channel 5 had success with the four-part thriller Lie to Me which screened on Channel 10 in November and starred former East Enders star Charlie Brooks (pictured)

British hit: The news comes after Fremantle and Channel 5 had success with the four-part thriller Lie to Me which screened on Channel 10 in November and starred former East Enders star Charlie Brooks (pictured)

‘The investment they would make in a couple of series is nothing like the investment they would need to make in 260 episodes of Neighbours,’ Ms McGarvey said.

Amongst the stars who began their career on Neighbours are Craig McLachlan, 56, who earned three Logie Awards while appearing in the series between 1987 and 1999; pop star Delta Goodrem, 37; and famed Hollywood actor Guy Pearce, 54.

Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, both 54, join a long list of former Neighbours stars lured back for the final episode, which also includes Ian Smith and Daniel MacPherson, alongside Mark Little and Paul Keane. 

What fans can expect: Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison created Lie with Me, which was a hit in the UK. Channel 10's Senior Vice President of Programming and Content, Daniel Monaghan, said Channel 5 wants to make three more projects in a similar style

What fans can expect: Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison created Lie with Me, which was a hit in the UK. Channel 10’s Senior Vice President of Programming and Content, Daniel Monaghan, said Channel 5 wants to make three more projects in a similar style

Kylie and Jason filmed their scenes for the much anticipated final episode in half a day on April 28.

The pair famously appeared as husband and wife Charlene and Scott Robinson on the long-running series.

According to sources close to the production, Kylie and Jason appeared in scenes with characters including Harold Bishop (Ian Smith), Jane Harris (Annie Jones) and Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis).

The end: Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue (pictured)  filmed their scenes for the much-anticipated final episode of Neighbours in half a day on April 28

The end: Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue (pictured)  filmed their scenes for the much-anticipated final episode of Neighbours in half a day on April 28

Producers revealed the scenes with Kylie and Jason were filmed in top secret. 

‘I told a couple of producers, a costume person, I did not tell any of the writers and I quietly wrote the scenes myself,’ said Neighbours’ executive producer Jason Herbison.

‘I gave them the scenes and on the day the crew did not know until they [Minogue and Donovan] arrived and out came Scott and Charlene,’ he said. 

Famous: Jason Donovan is pictured sharing a scene with a young Russell Crowe in Neighbours

Famous: Jason Donovan is pictured sharing a scene with a young Russell Crowe in Neighbours

‘It was very special.’ 

Neighbours announced that production would be ceasing on the long-running soap in a tweet back in March.

‘We are so sorry to say that after nearly 37 years and almost 9,000 episodes broadcast we have to confirm that Neighbours will cease production in June,’ the show wrote.

Too expensive: Channel 5's investment in a couple of series is nothing like the investment they would need to make to produce 260 episodes of Neighbours say Channel 10 senior management Pictured: the cast of Neighbours in the 1980s

Too expensive: Channel 5’s investment in a couple of series is nothing like the investment they would need to make to produce 260 episodes of Neighbours say Channel 10 senior management Pictured: the cast of Neighbours in the 1980s

Network 10 addressed the end of the series in a statement to Australian media in March, admitting it had been a ‘difficult decision’.

‘Today, Fremantle confirmed that Neighbours will cease production in June, after nearly 37 years and almost 9,000 episodes,’ a network spokesperson announced.

‘This difficult decision came after the search for an alternative UK broadcast partner proved unsuccessful.’

Beloved: According to sources Kylie and Jason appeared in scenes with characters including Harold Bishop, Jane (Annie Jones), and Paul (Stefan Dennis). Kylie is pictured in 2022

Beloved: According to sources Kylie and Jason appeared in scenes with characters including Harold Bishop, Jane (Annie Jones), and Paul (Stefan Dennis). Kylie is pictured in 2022

The last ever episode will air on August 1 – and in Australia, it will appear on 10 Peach, where the show moved to back in 2011.

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