Apparently, when you’re off social media, the really important news in the world can take a while to hit you. And I was about 24 hours late to this one! Fortunately, I have an attentive husband who realised the full gravity of the news and informed me as soon as he spotted it (which was this morning!)
I’ll set the scene, as I understand it.
There is currently a struggle to agree a deal between Freemantle, who make the show, and Viacom the owners of Channel 5. Now this sort of news is nothing new to hardcore fans of Neighbours. When it left BBC in 2008 there were a lot of discussions over the cost required to keep the show running. And it is a well known fact that without the UK market (even moreso now that it runs on a lesser known digital channel in Australia) Neighbours could not continue to be made.
In my eyes though, Neighbours is pretty safe. The show is one of Channel 5s best and most consistent in ratings TV shows. You could argue that Channel 5 needs it, pulling in approximately 2million viewers per day for the channel. On the flipside to that Freemantle kind of need it on Channel 5 – I can’t see any other channel paying the kind of money that Channel 5 do for it and it’d be risky to the future of the show to take it to a lesser-known digital channel, I feel. So if they need one another then it’s just about agreeing a deal. If it was to lose Channel 5, I think it would spell the end of the show. BBC have been there and done that with it, ITV already have strong tea-time TV shows, and I’m not sure if I could see it fitting in with Channel 4 (but never say never).
Let’s not forget that this week is ‘London Week’ on Neighbours, with our beloved Toadie having landed in London in desperate search of his ‘daughter’ Willow. Perhaps news like this is just what Channel 5 and the show need to see a ratings booster – getting everybody stirred up and talking about the show and likely to tune in. Although, I’ve got to say, that’s pretty cruel if that is the case – some of us are having serious anxiety over here!
If you’re just as madly passionate about Neighbours as me and you haven’t yet, there’s a petition currently going around for you to sign (CLICKY HERE) to ‘save’ the show. I’m dubious that a petition can help solve anything, but it might make you feel better!
In the meantime, let’s hope Channel 5 and Freemantle can come to a deal – because with a little understanding they could continue to make the perfect blend.