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_NEIGHBOURS_ is an Australian television soap opera . It was first broadcast on the Seven Network on 18 March 1985. It was created by TV executive Reg Watson , who proposed the idea of making a show that focused on realistic stories and portrayed adults and teenagers who talk openly and solve their problems together. Seven decided to commission the show following the success of Watson's _Sons and Daughters _, which aired on the network. Although successful in Melbourne
Melbourne
, _Neighbours_ underperformed in the Sydney
Sydney
market and struggled for months before Seven cancelled it. The show was immediately bought by rival network Ten . After taking over production of the show, the new network had to build replica sets because Seven destroyed the originals to prevent its rival from obtaining them. Ten began screening _Neighbours_ on 20 January 1986, taking off where the previous series left off and commencing with episode 171. _Neighbours_ has since become the longest running drama series in Australian television and in 2005, it was inducted collectively into the Logie Hall of Fame . On 11 January 2011, _Neighbours_ moved to Ten's digital channel, Eleven .

The show's storylines concern the domestic and professional lives of the people who live and work in Erinsborough , a fictional suburb of Melbourne, Victoria . The series primarily centres on the residents of Ramsay Street , a short cul-de-sac , and its neighbouring area, the Lassiters complex, which includes a bar, hotel, cafe, police station, lawyers' office and park. _Neighbours_ began with three families created by Watson – the Ramsays , the Robinsons and the Clarkes. Watson said that he wanted to show three families who are friends living in a small street. The Robinsons and the Ramsays had a long history and were involved in an ongoing rivalry. Pin Oak Court, in Vermont South , is the real cul-de-sac that has doubled for Ramsay Street since 1985. All of the houses featured are real and the residents allow the production to shoot external scenes in their yards. The interior scenes are filmed at the Global Television studios in Forest Hill .

Through its entire run in Australia, _Neighbours_ has been screened as a twenty-two-minute episode each week night in an early-evening slot. In Australia
Australia
it is currently broadcast each weeknight at 6:30 pm on Eleven. The show is produced by FremantleMedia and has been sold to over sixty countries around the world, making it one of Australia's most successful media exports. _Neighbours_ was first screened in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
in October 1986 on BBC1 where it achieved huge popularity among British audiences in the late 1980s and 1990s. In 2008, it moved to the UK's Channel 5 .

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Setting

* 3 Broadcasting

* 3.1 International

* 3.1.1 United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* 3.1.2 Elsewhere

* 4 Popularity and viewership

* 4.1 1985–1990s * 4.2 2000s * 4.3 2010s

* 5 Storylines

* 6 Characters

* 6.1 Celebrity guest appearances

* 7 Theme tune * 8 Titles * 9 Awards and nominations * 10 Home media and spin-offs * 11 See also * 12 Notes * 13 References * 14 External links

HISTORY

_Neighbours_ was created in the early-to-mid-1980s by Australian TV executive Reg Watson . Watson decided to create a soap opera after working on _Crossroads _ and seeing how successful it and _Coronation Street _ were in Britain. He had already created such successful Australian made soap operas as _ The Young Doctors _, _Prisoner _ and _Sons and Daughters _. Watson proposed the idea of making a show that would focus on more realistic stories and portray teens and adults who talk openly to each other and solve their problems together. Watson, who worked for the Grundy production company, decided to make his show appeal to both Australia
Australia
and Britain. In 2005, Darren Devlyn and Caroline Frost from the _ Herald Sun _ reported that Watson then took his idea to the Nine Network in 1982, but it was rejected. Former Network Nine chief executive Ian Johnson commented that it was one of the "biggest missed opportunities" in his twenty-four years at the network. He added "I remember it being discussed, but I'm not exactly sure what went against it. It may have had something to do with the fact we'd picked up _Sale of the Century _ with Tony Barber in 1980 and it was doing huge business, so we didn't have a pressing need for a five-night-a-week show." Watson then took his idea to the Seven Network , who commissioned the show, following the success of his other Seven Network soap opera, _Sons and Daughters_. Several titles for the show were discussed, including _People Like Us_, _One Way Street_, _No Through Road_ and _Living Together_ until the network programmers voted on _Neighbours_. The first episode was broadcast on 18 March 1985 and reviews for the show were favourable. However, the Melbourne-produced programme underperformed in the Sydney
Sydney
market and after a meeting of the general managers, Seven decided to drop the show in October 1985. Seven's Melbourne
Melbourne
programme boss, Gary Fenton said Sydney
Sydney
chief Ted Thomas told the other general managers that Seven could not afford three dramas and argued that the Sydney-based _ A Country Practice
A Country Practice
_ and _Sons and Daughters_ be retained.

_Neighbours_ was immediately bought by Seven's rival Network Ten . The new network had to build replica sets when it took over production after Seven destroyed the original sets to prevent the rival network obtaining them. Ten began screening the series with episode 171 on 20 January 1986. In 1986, the series was bought by the BBC
BBC
as part of their new daytime schedule in the United Kingdom. _Neighbours_ made its debut on BBC1 on 27 October 1986 starting with the pilot episode. It soon gained a loyal audience and the show became particularly popular with younger viewers, and before long was watched by up to 16 million viewers. In 1988 _Neighbours_ became the only television show to have its entire cast flown over to the UK to make an appearance at the Royal Variety Performance in front of the Queen . _Neighbours_ has since become the longest running drama series in Australian television and the seventh longest running serial drama still on the air in the world. In 2005, _Neighbours_ celebrated its 20th anniversary and over twenty former cast members returned for a special episode, which saw them sitting down to watch a documentary about Ramsay Street. At the Logie Award ceremony that year, the show was inducted into the Logie Hall of Fame .

2007 saw the show undergo a revamp, which included a switch to recording in HDTV , the introduction of a new family, the departure of several existing characters and a new version of the show's familiar theme song and opening titles. In addition, episode titles were abandoned, having been in use for the previous three years. Daniel Bennett, the new head of drama at Network Ten, announced that the crux of the Ramsay Street story would go "back to basics" and follow a less sensational path than of late with the emphasis on family relations and suburban reality. Executive producer Ric Pellizzeri said new writers, actors and sets would bring the soap back to its glory days. He added "We moved too far into event-driven stories rather than the character-driven stories that made _Neighbours_ what it is". The relaunch failed to attract more viewers in Australia. Pellizzeri left the series at the end of 2007 and former _Neighbours_ scriptwriter, Susan Bower , became the new executive producer. In 2008, _Neighbours_ was branded "too white" by black and Asian viewers in Britain and in Australia
Australia
there was talk of a "White Australia
Australia
policy " when it came to casting actors for soaps. In response to the criticism, Bower made a decision to add more ethnically diverse extras, small walk on roles and speaking parts, as well as introducing the character of Sunny Lee (played by Hany Lee) an exchange student from South Korea.

On 18 March 2010, _Neighbours_ celebrated its 25th anniversary. In April, Channel 5 in the UK launched a search to find a female actress to play the part of Poppy Rogers . The search was similar to the _Dolly _ magazine competition in Australia. August saw _Neighbours_ air its 6000th episode. Digital Spy revealed that the week-long 6000th episode celebrations would see the wedding of regular characters, Donna Freedman ( Margot Robbie ) and Ringo Brown ( Sam Clark ). It was later announced that an attempt on the life of long term regular, Paul Robinson ( Stefan Dennis ) would be the focus of the actual 6000th episode. Bower said "Last week I saw episode 6,000. This marks Australian television history. The 6,000th episode falls on a Friday so the whole week is a special one. As Stefan Dennis – Paul Robinson – was in the first episode 25 years ago, it was decided that his character play a most important role in this very special event".

In late 2010, TV Tonight reported that _Neighbours_ would reduce crew operations in 2011 so production could be upgraded. The changes meant that the location manager and catering team were no longer required, studio shoots would be reduced from three cameras to two, and location shots will be mainly confined to the Ramsay Street and Lassiter's complex sets, with occasional filming in one-off places. Of the changes, FremantleMedia said "_Neighbours_ is undergoing a work flow upgrade to accommodate advances in technology and production techniques to ensure we are at the forefront of professionalism and efficiency." They added that the show's production model had been in place since 1985 and that it was time to evolve it. On 14 March 2011, _ The Australian
The Australian
_ reported that _Neighbours_ has become the first television show available to watch on a free iPhone application. Viewers are able to watch whole episodes within three hours of them airing on Eleven. Nick Spooner, the head of Ten digital media said "This is part of what we call our 'three-screen approach' – broadcast, online and mobile – and it is intended to build viewer engagement with a show and our brand. This is a way for us to stay in touch with our audience and to keep them coming back." To celebrate the wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton , _Neighbours_ filmed a specially commissioned scene for the UK episode airing on the same day as the wedding. The episode, which had already aired in Australia, marked the first time an Australian show recorded extra scenes for a UK broadcaster.

On 25 October 2011, it was announced Bower would be leaving _Neighbours_ in December 2011 to move into a new international role with FremantleMedia. Of her departure, Bower told Colin Vickery of the _Herald Sun_, "I love _Neighbours_, it is a wonderful show and because of this I felt it was important that fresh eyes and brains take over to keep this Australian icon contemporary. Having said that, I'm really excited about the new role and thank FremantleMedia for this wonderful opportunity." Former _ City Homicide _ producer, Richard Jasek , took over Bower's role, while Alan Hardy took over the role of producer. On 4 December 2013, it was confirmed that Jasek would be leaving _Neighbours_ and Jason Herbison had been promoted to series producer. FremantleMedia's head of drama Jo Porter became executive producer, while Laurence Wilson became the associate producer. The show celebrated its 7000th episode on 24 October 2014. In March 2015, _Neighbours_ celebrated its 30th anniversary and twelve former cast members returned for the anniversary episodes that revolved around an Erinsborough Festival. Network Ten and Channel 5 aired a documentary special titled _ Neighbours
Neighbours
30th: The Stars Reunite_, which featured interviews with current and former cast members, including Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue
, Jason Donovan and Guy Pearce , reflecting on their time on the show. Natalie Lynch succeeded Wilson as producer in early 2016.

SETTING

Main articles: Erinsborough and Ramsay Street _ Pin Oak Court, Vermont South , the filming location used to represent the fictional Ramsay Street in Neighbours_

_Neighbours'_ main focus is the fictional Ramsay Street , a residential cul-de-sac in the fictional Melbourne
Melbourne
suburb of Erinsborough . The street was named after the grandfather of original character Max Ramsay (Francis Bell ). Other locations include Erinsborough High School , a garage , hospital , and the Lassiter's complex, which contains the Lassiter\'s Hotel , Waterhole bar, Harold\'s Store cafe, the lawyers office Rebecchi Law , and the police station. Ahead of the 25th anniversary the Erinsborough village set underwent a makeover. The cafe and bar remained the same, but the centre of the complex was upgraded. Lassiter's Hotel was given a new logo and gained a second floor with outdoor seating area. The hospital and police station received new facades, a used car lot was created near the garage and a new university set was created.

Pin Oak Court, in Vermont South , is the real cul-de-sac that doubles for Ramsay Street. All of the houses featured in the show are real and the residents allow _Neighbours_ to shoot external scenes in their front and back yards and on occasions, in their garages. _Neighbours_ has been filmed in Pin Oak Court since the series began in 1985 and it has since become popular with tourists. Tours to the cul-de-sac run throughout the year. The interior scenes are filmed at the Global Television studios in Forest Hill , the adjoining suburb in which Pin Oak Court is located.

Through much of the show's run, it was not stated in which Australian city Erinsborough was located. The rivalry between Sydney
Sydney
and Melbourne
Melbourne
meant that scripts did not mention that Erinsborough was a suburb of the latter city, until 1994. Since the 2000s, it has been explicitly stated that Erinsborough is a suburb of Melbourne. Since 2016, the show has begun filming more scenes in and around the city.

Other Australian locations mentioned and sometimes seen in the series include the fictitious suburbs of West Waratah , Eden Hills , and Anson\'s Corner . Real-life Australian towns in the state of Victoria such as Colac , Frankston and Shepparton are sometimes referred to. Oakey in Queensland
Queensland
is also mentioned and sometimes seen. On 27 August 2010, _Neighbours_ filmed scenes in Sydney's Darling Harbour and on board a cruise ship. The episodes marked only the third time that the show has filmed scenes outside of Victoria. In October 2011, _Neighbours_ filmed scenes in Port Douglas , Queensland
Queensland
and around the Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef
region. Two storylines were filmed in Geelong
Geelong
and the Gold Coast in 2016.

Filming locations outside of Australia
Australia
have included Kenya
Kenya
, the United States and the UK, which has seen _Neighbours_ episodes filmed there on four occasions. In February 1990, Lyme Park in Cheshire doubled as the Ledgerwood estate set in Yorkshire. Derek Nimmo guest-starred as the fictitious Lord Ledgerwood in two of the episodes. In November 1992, the characters Rick Alessi ( Dan Falzon ) and Debbie Martin ( Marnie Reece-Wilmore ) visited London to attend a Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
concert. The second London-based storyline was broadcast in late March 2007, when Susan ( Jackie Woodburne ) and Karl Kennedy (Alan Fletcher ) were seen taking a ride on the London Eye and being married on a boat on the River Thames
River Thames
. A new storyline shot in the UK aired in March 2017.

BROADCASTING

Through its entire run in Australia, _Neighbours_ has been screened as a 21-minute episode each weeknight in an early-evening slot. _Neighbours_ is on air for approximately forty-four weeks per year. It is broadcast from early January to early December and goes off air for around four to five weeks during the Christmas and New Year period. The show currently airs at 6:30 pm on Eleven . The last five aired episodes shown are available to watch on the _Neighbours_ official Australian website, as a part of Network Ten's Catch Up TV service. Eleven also broadcast the last five aired episodes shown in an omnibus edition each Saturday.

When the show began in 1985, the first season was broadcast on the Seven Network , at 5:30 pm in Sydney, at 6:00 pm in Melbourne
Melbourne
and Adelaide
Adelaide
and at 7:00 pm in Brisbane
Brisbane
. The show's transmission in other areas was varied and many regional channels declined to purchase the series. When the show debuted on Network Ten in 1986 it screened at 7:00 pm. In 1992 the show moved to 6:30 pm to avoid direct competition from rival soap opera _ Home and Away
Home and Away
_ on the Seven Network. Repeat episodes of _Neighbours_ episodes from the 1988–1991 period were broadcast between 2000 and June 2003 on Network Ten. These episodes were seen at 3:30 pm, before moving to 11:30 am. During 2008 Ten HD broadcast the previous week's episodes in an omnibus edition each Sunday. These omnibus editions did not return in 2009 as Ten HD was replaced by One HD from March 2009.

In August 2010, _The Daily Telegraph _ reported that _Neighbours_ would be moving to Ten's new digital channel, to make way for a new current affairs show. They said "It's part of a re-branding of Ten's free-to-air channel, targeting the older demographic. The 'younger' shows, like _Neighbours_, will go on to one of Ten's digital channels". It was later confirmed that the show would be moving to digital channel, Eleven. Network Ten's programmer, David Mott said "We believe _Neighbours_ is perfectly suited to Eleven's audience strategy and will find a successful and enduring home on Eleven". _Neighbours_ moved to Eleven on 11 January 2011, the channel's launch day. Throughout 2013, Eleven had broadcast repeat episodes of _Neighbours_ from the 2007 period, titled _Old School Neighbours_, during weekday mornings. In 2015, Network Ten had broadcast an encore of the previous day's episode at 7:00 am weekdays.

INTERNATIONAL

_Neighbours_ has been sold to over 60 countries around the world and is one of Australia's most successful media exports.

United Kingdom

_Neighbours_ has proved to be more popular in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
than in Australia. It was screened on BBC
BBC
One from 1986 until 2008. The series started airing on 27 October 1986, as part of BBC1's revamped daytime schedules. _Neighbours_ went out twice a day, with a morning broadcast and then a showing at lunchtime. Michael Grade , the channel's then controller, was advised by his daughter to move the series to 5:35 pm, as she and her friends kept missing it due to them being at school, which took place from January 1988. The show then started attracting larger audiences, peaking in 1990 at over 21 million. Towards the late 2000s, _Neighbours_ was normally attracting an average of 3 million viewers for its lunchtime showing and 2.6 million viewers for its early-evening repeat. It was frequently the highest-rating daytime programme in the UK, outside of news bulletins.

In 2008, the UK broadcast moved to rival channel Channel 5 following the BBC's decision not to keep the show after being asked to pay £300m over eight years by FremantleMedia (three times the show's usual fee). Both Channel 5 and FremantleMedia were owned at that time by the German RTL Group . The first episode to be shown on Channel 5 in February 2008 was watched by 2.2 million viewers (an audience share of 14.2%), a drop of 300,000 from the BBC's average. However, the move boosted Channel 5's usual share for the 5.30 pm slot by three and a half times. On 4 February 2009, _Neighbours'_ 5:30 pm showing was seen by 1.94 million viewers and by 2012, the teatime showing had averaged 1 million viewers. UK viewers are able to catch up with episodes with Channel 5's video catch up service, Demand 5 , similar to the catch up service in Australia. Channel 5 also have a deal with YouTube, allowing viewers to watch episodes for free on the video sharing site after they have been transmitted. From 4 January 2016, Channel 5 began broadcasting episodes on the same day as Australia. Channel 5's commissioning editor Greg Barnett explained that closing the transmission gap would reduce spoilers and the amount of viewers watching the show illegally online. From mid-2016, the show also began airing every week-night on Nickelodeon as part of their Nick at Nite programming block, broadcasting the same episode that was earlier seen on Channel 5. In March 2017, it was reported that negotiations to continue Neighbours
Neighbours
on Channel 5 had become "very fraught", and it was possible that Neighbours
Neighbours
could be axed in Britain.

Elsewhere

In New Zealand, _Neighbours_ is broadcast on TV2 at 6:30 pm weekdays. In October 2010, it began airing episodes at the same pace as Australia. The show was initially broadcast by TVNZ in 1988, but by 1996 it was removed from the schedule. TV4 (now C4) picked the show up and began broadcasting it from 1997. They dropped it in 2000 and it returned to TV2 in 2002. Repeats of the previous day's episode of _Neighbours_ were formerly shown at 2:30 pm weekdays and are now shown at 11.00 am weekdays. The show moved to 5:25 pm weeknights on TV One in late 2007. After a couple of months, the show moved to 3:50 pm weekdays. The show eventually moved back to TV2. The TV2 website offers viewers the chance to watch episodes online with its OnDemand service.

In Ireland, _Neighbours_ is broadcast on RTÉ Television at 2.00 pm on RTÉ One and repeated on RTÉ Two at 5.30 pm each weekday. FremantleMedia secured a long term deal with RTÉ in 2007 for them to transmit the show for the first time in Ireland.

In Kenya, _Neighbours_ is broadcast on the KTN network Monday to Friday at 12:30 pm with an omnibus on Sunday mornings. In Barbados, _Neighbours_ is broadcast on the CBC8 channel at 1:00 pm Monday to Friday.

In Canada, CFMT-TV in Toronto broadcast _Neighbours_ on weeknights at 11:00 pm, starting in September 1990. From 20 May 1991, CFMT moved the show to 4:00 pm. After announcing its cancellation, CFMT decided to keep _Neighbours_ on its schedule throughout September 1994, following numerous letters and telephone calls. From April 2017, _Neighbours_ began airing on OutTV . Episodes are broadcast on weekdays at 2:30 pm ET and 5:30 pm ET, with an omnibus on Saturdays. Episodes air on the same day as the Australian broadcast, and they are also available for streaming.

In the United States, _Neighbours_ premiered on KCOP-TV in Los Angeles on 3 June 1991 at 5:30 pm weekdays. KCOP planned on cancelling the show by the end of the month due to low ratings, but brought it back due to viewer demand at a 9:30 am daily time slot from 1 July to 30 August 1991. New York City station WWOR-TV showed _Neighbours_ weekdays 5:30 pm from 17 June to 17 September 1991. In April 2004, the show began broadcasting nationally on the television channel Oxygen . A spokeswomen from the channel said "Now our viewers can join in on the good, the bad and the endlessly entertaining lives of our Aussie neighbours." The episodes started from the Scully family's arrival in 1999 and were aired for a six-week trial basis. The show was broadcast in the afternoon with two episodes being shown back to back at 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm. After a couple of weeks, the show was moved to a late-night time slot and it eventually left the air. On 7 July 2014, Todd Spangler from _Variety _ reported that FremantleMedia International had signed a deal with U.S. subscription service Hulu
Hulu
giving it exclusive rights to the most recent season of _Neighbours_. The soap began airing from 14 July, with new episodes airing daily from Monday through to Friday, on Hulu
Hulu
and Hulu
Hulu
Plus services. The episodes were four weeks behind the Australian broadcast. All past and current episodes of _Neighbours_ were removed from Hulu
Hulu
on 19 September 2015, stating they had lost the rights.

POPULARITY AND VIEWERSHIP

1985–1990S

_Neighbours_ initially aired on Seven Network where it struggled to attract high ratings leading to its cancellation by the network four months after it premiered. The series was then picked up by Network Ten. After the usual break in broadcast over the summer non ratings period the series made its debut on Ten in 1986. Ten revamped the show, adding several new, younger cast members including Jason Donovan as Scott Robinson and Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue
as Charlene Mitchell . When the show began on Ten it initially attracted low ratings, so the Network worked hard to publicise the series. Ten's publicity drive was designed to promote the show in a _star_-focused campaign recalling that of the Hollywood star system where stars were packaged to feed into a fan culture. This paid off and by the end of 1987 ratings had improved for the show. The episode featuring Scott and Charlene\'s wedding achieved the highest ever ratings for _Neighbours_ and it became one of the highest rating soap episodes ever in Australia. The same episode attracted 19.6 million viewers when it was aired in the United Kingdom. By the early 1990s, Australian audiences had decreased although viewing figures had recovered slightly by the end of the decade. In 1994, Network Ten told _ TV Week _ that they would be introducing a "younger, livelier look with six regular characters under the age of 18" in a bid to generate interest. It was then that they introduced the characters of Stonefish Rebecchi played by Anthony Engelman and Serendipity Gottlieb played by Raelee Hill .

In 1996, Kimberley Davies , who played Annalise Hartman , quit the series. Then Caroline Gillmer fell ill and her character Cheryl Stark was temporarily recast with former _Prisoner _ actress Colette Mann . This made producers nervous that viewing figures might decrease, so they implemented a series of plots to keep viewers interested. These included a cameo from Clive James and an explosion, which destroyed the doctor's surgery in the Lassiter's complex.

2000S

In the 2000s, rival soap opera _ Home and Away
Home and Away
_ emerged as more popular than _Neighbours_ in Australia. As of 2004, _Neighbours_ was regularly attracting just under a million viewers per episode. In 2007, _Home and Away_ was averaging 1.4 million viewers in Australia to _Neighbours'_ 700,000. During the revamp of 2007, the episode broadcast on 23 July 2007 saw the introduction of a new family, updated sets, new theme music and graphics. Ratings for that episode averaged 1.05 million viewers in the 6:30 pm. slot. It was the first time the programme's viewing figures had topped 1 million in 2007. By the end of 2007 it was reported that producers had hoped the _Neighbours_ revamp would push the ratings up to between 900,000 to 1 million an episode. It had, however, resulted in a more modest boost, with ratings hovering at about 800,000 a night. The same viewing period had shown an increase in ratings for _Home and Away_, which was now averaging 1.4 million viewers every night.

In February 2008, new executive producer, Susan Bower, announced that she would be implementing further changes to the programme. Bower promised to retain the return to traditional _Neighbours_ values, but with an injection of drama that remains recognisable and relevant. Ratings rose to almost 900,000 in mid-2008, but generally ratings begin to fall towards the end of each year, usually averaging around 700,000. On 17 July 2009, during the aftermath of the Parker family's car accident and the dramatic death of Bridget Parker (Eloise Mignon ), _Neighbours_ achieved higher ratings than _Home And Away_. _Neighbours_ achieved 998,000 viewers and placed 6th for the night, _Home And Away_ placed 7th.

2010S

In January 2010, _Neighbours_ returned to Australian screens to an audience of 563,000. On 20 January, the ratings fell to a low of 426,000, making it one of the programme's lowest ever ratings in Australia. A July 2010 report showed figures had dropped 20%, from having 1.2 million viewers in 1991 to a low of 618,000 in 2010. A Network Ten spokesperson commented "Most of the show's budget is covered by its UK deal with Channel 5 and the 50-odd other countries it is seen in, so it's not a financial problem for Ten despite the low ratings. And Ten needs the show to score the Australian content and drama points required for it to hold on to a broadcasting licence". On 29 October 2010, _Neighbours'_ ratings dropped to a low figure of 386,000 viewers. Viewing numbers for Network Ten that night were down across all programmes. The show's highest figure of the week was 590,000 on 25 October 2010.

Since moving to digital multichannel Eleven, _Neighbours_ has traditionally rated between 250,000 and 350,000 viewers. The show attracted 254,000 viewers for its first episode broadcast on 11 January 2011. This was half the number of viewers that watched it on Network Ten; the _Herald Sun_ reported that it was a good result as "bosses were only expecting 133,000." _Neighbours_ became Eleven's most-watched show and the third highest rating show on digital multichannels that night. Programming chief, David Mott stated "Last night's strong result for _Neighbours_ already suggests the audience will follow the folks from Ramsay Street to their brand new neighbourhood on Eleven." On 24 January 2011, _Neighbours_ achieved 330,000 viewers and three days later 355,000 viewers tuned in, becoming the show's highest rating yet on Eleven at the time. The show had more viewers than the _ Ten Evening News _ in the 16–39 and 18–49 demographic. On 13 June 2011, _Neighbours_ was watched by 455,000 viewers, making it the highest rating show on digital multichannels that night and breaking its previous ratings record on the channel. On 27 May 2013, episode 6651 of _Neighbours_ was watched by an audience of 405,000 viewers, which was the highest rating the series had achieved in nearly two years. _Neighbours_ began going through a ratings decline in 2016, with episodes now averaging below 200,000 viewers. Executive producer Jason Herbison told TV Tonight, "We know that our show is performing really solidly in the UK. We're not sure why it's not here but we're taking a real look at it." He further added, "We're all trying to figure out what we need to do in order to keep our audience."

STORYLINES

See also: Category: Neighbours
Neighbours
storylines and Category:Neighbours episodes

_Neighbours_ storylines frequently focus on family problems, intergenerational clashes, school problems, romances and domestic issues. Despite the restrictive 6:30 pm time slot, _Neighbours_ has also covered many serious problems such as teenage pregnancy , marital breakdown, imprisonment, career problems, financial problems, pregnancy, abortion, eating disorders, alcoholism, adultery, drug use and drug trafficking, robbery, stalking, kidnapping, accidental death, hit-and-runs, murder, shootings, stabbings, and incest . In the 2000s and 2010s, the show dealt with controversial issues such as homosexuality, gambling, prostitution, surrogacy , and exotic dancing. Health issues were also focused on, including multiple sclerosis , bipolar disorder , epilepsy , amnesia , congenital diaphragmatic hernia , and alzheimer\'s disease . In September 2014, the show featured a natural disaster storyline, in which a tornado descended on Erinsborough and Ramsay Street.

CHARACTERS

See also: List of Neighbours characters , List of past Neighbours characters , and Recurring characters of Neighbours Kylie Minogue starred as Charlene Mitchell from 1986 to 1988

In 1985, _Neighbours_ started out with three families created by Watson – the Ramsays , the Robinsons and the Clarkes. Watson said that he wanted to show three families living in a small street, who are friends. Max Ramsay (Francis Bell ), his wife Maria (Dasha Blahova ) and their sons Shane (Peter O\'Brien ) and Danny (David Clencie) lived at No.24 Ramsay Street. Single father, Jim Robinson ( Alan Dale ) lived next door with his children, Paul ( Stefan Dennis ), Julie (Vikki Blanche), Scott ( Darius Perkins ) and Lucy (Kylie Flinker). His mother-in-law, Helen Daniels ( Anne Haddy ) also lived with him. Bachelor Des Clarke ( Paul Keane ) invited Daphne Lawrence (Elaine Smith ) to live at No. 28 with him and they were later married. The Robinsons and the Ramsays had a long history in the street and they were often involved in an ongoing rivalry. When Network Ten picked up the show and revamped it, they brought in new and younger actors including Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue
as Charlene Mitchell and Jason Donovan, who replaced Darius Perkins as Scott Robinson. Many families, including the Alessi, Bishop, Hancock, Hoyland, Rebecchi, Scullys, Timmins' and Willises have moved in and out of the street over the years.

When storylines for certain characters become tired, the scriptwriters simply move one family out and replace it with a new one. Ramsay Street is now a mixture of older characters like Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis), Toadfish Rebecchi ( Ryan Moloney ), Stephanie Scully ( Carla Bonner ), and Karl (Alan Fletcher ) and Susan Kennedy ( Jackie Woodburne ), as well as newer characters such as the Canning and Brennan families. Watson originally wanted to show young people communicating with older people, which means that the cast is a mix of young actors in their teens or early 20s and older, more experienced hands. The last remaining original character, Helen Daniels, departed the show in 1997 due to the ill-health of Anne Haddy. In 2004, original cast member Stefan Dennis returned to _Neighbours_ full-time as Paul Robinson. Paul is currently the only remaining original character in the series. In February 2009, it was announced that producers would be introducing a new generation of the Ramsay family to the show, over a decade after the family had last appeared. Kate ( Ashleigh Brewer ), Harry (Will Moore) and Sophie Ramsay (Kaiya Jones ) made their first appearances in May 2009. Later that year, actor James Mason was cast in the role of Chris Pappas , who became the first prominent, ongoing gay male character in the show's history. He was the second ongoing gay character overall, following recurring character Lana Crawford 's ( Bridget Neval ) introduction in 2004.

CELEBRITY GUEST APPEARANCES

Main article: List of celebrity guest appearances on Neighbours

Throughout its run, _Neighbours_ has featured several guest appearances from celebrities playing themselves or characters. Early cameos included former Skyhooks musician Red Symons , Warwick Capper , Molly Meldrum , Chris Lowe of Pet Shop Boys , and Clive James . During the 2000s and 2010s, the series featured appearances from The Wiggles , Shane Warne , former Spice Girls
Spice Girls
singer Emma Bunton , _ Little Britain _'s Matt Lucas and David Walliams , The Veronicas , André Rieu , wrestler Dave Batista , Lily Allen and Paula Abdul .

THEME TUNE

Main article: Neighbours theme song

The theme tune to _Neighbours_ was composed by Tony Hatch whose then wife, Jackie Trent , wrote the lyrics. Since 1985, there have been eight versions of the theme tune. Barry Crocker performed the song until 1992. The song has been voted the world's most recognised television theme song and the lyrics were quoted by John Smith , then British Shadow Chancellor , in a House of Commons debate on Government economic policy. From 2007, the theme tune to _Neighbours_ was sung by Sandra de Jong. In February 2013, Network Ten and FremantleMedia announced that they were searching across Australia
Australia
and the United Kingdom for a singer to record a new version of the theme tune. The competition resulted in a tie and the new theme was sung as a duet by Daniel Boys and Stephanie Angelini. That version of the theme tune began airing from 15 April 2013. A new retro-inspired theme tune sung by Garth Ploog debuted on 5 January 2015 as part of the show's 30th anniversary celebrations.

TITLES

Since _Neighbours_ began in 1985, it has used its opening titles sequence to introduce the major characters which currently feature in the show. The sequences often feature the characters in family or domestic groups. Each episode's titles sequence was preceded by a recap of events from recent episodes featuring the characters who were to appear in the new episode.

In 2002, _Neighbours_ debuted an all new style of titles with a remixed version of the theme tune. The titles showed characters together in groups according to gender, a change from the previous ones which were taken outside. 2007 saw _Neighbours_ debut an updated theme, a new logo and new "optimistic, contemporary" titles. A photo booth montage was played and characters were seen rowing boats, walking along piers and eating outside. The sequence also contained shots of upcoming scenes. In August 2009, _Neighbours_ introduced a new titles format. The first episode of each week begins with a trailer previewing the week's events. The usual recap of storylines switched to after the opening titles of each episode for the first time since 1998. The end of episode teasers returned and are now made in-house by the _Neighbours_ production team.

In September 2009, Susan Bower announced that _Neighbours_ would introduce new opening titles for the 25th anniversary and they would feature a bit of "bling". The titles were created by Visual Playground, who shot a series of scenes featuring the cast in settings familiar to viewers. The titles made their debut on 18 March 2010. A new set of opening titles made their debut on 15 April 2013, along with a new version of the theme tune. Visual Playground once again created and produced the titles. The titles depict the Ramsay Street residents gathering outside their houses for a street party. A writer for Visual Playground explained that they "invented a bokeh graphic device that uses the play of light in a formation to locate the houses in the cul-de-sac. Six overlapping circles represent the six houses of Ramsay St and the off street cast members. All the circles together reinforce the sense of community that makes up _Neighbours_." A new retro-inspired logo, theme tune and opening titles debuted on 5 January 2015 as part of the show's 30th anniversary celebrations. The new logo is a reimagined contemporary version of the original _Neighbours_ logo from 1985. The titles show characters in a variety of familiar settings around Erinsborough and ends with a look at Ramsay Street from above.

On 9 January 2017, a new set of opening titles debuted. The titles now feature the cast members posing in front of green screen , instead of on the sets. Viewers also noticed that actors Ryan Moloney , Colette Mann and Zoe Cramond had their names misspelled. The spelling errors were corrected by the production team and the edited titles debuted the following day. The opening title sequence was updated in April 2017, following the arrival of the new Rebecchi family. The style of the titles was not changed, but most of the cast shots were re-filmed.

AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Neighbours

_Neighbours_ has received a wide variety of awards and nominations throughout its run. The show has received 83 Logie Award nominations, of which it has won 31. It has also been nominated for "Most Popular Daytime Programme" at the UK's National Television Awards in five of the six years from 2000 to 2006. In 1997, the show won an award for Best Episode in A Television Drama Serial at the Australian Film Institute Awards . Two _Neighbours_ actors have been nominated for Rose D\'Or awards, once in 2004 for Ryan Moloney and again in 2005 for Jackie Woodburne . _Neighbours_ has also won four Australian Writers\' Guild awards.

HOME MEDIA AND SPIN-OFFS

Main article: Neighbours spin-offs

Since the show's inception, several spin-offs have been produced, including books, music, DVDs and internet webisodes. In 1991, an officially licensed video game of _Neighbours_ was created by Ian Copeland and developed by Zeppelin Games under their Impulze label for the ZX Spectrum , Commodore 64
Commodore 64
, Atari ST , and Amiga
Amiga
; it was re-released by Zeppelin in 1992 on budget price. In the game, the player took on the role of Scott Robinson and had to skateboard around four whole courses.

Episodes of _Neighbours_ have been released on several DVDs. _Neighbours: Defining Moments_ was the first DVD box set released in 2002. It is a compilation of fifteen classic episodes and a photo gallery. The _Neighbours: The Iconic Episodes Volume 1_ DVD box set was released in 2008 and contains twenty-three episodes, the 1000th episode party celebration special and a photo gallery. _Neighbours: The Iconic Episodes Volume Two_ contains twenty-four episodes over three discs. One disc is dedicated to the character of Charlene. In 2012, early episodes of _Neighbours_ were released on three DVD box sets in Germany. From April 2012, Shock Entertainment began releasing DVD box sets of _Neighbours_ episodes in broadcast order from the beginning. As of October 2014, five box sets have been released.

_Neighbours_ has released several internet webisode series via their YouTube channel. The first series was titled _Steph in Prison_ and coincided with Stephanie Scully 's ( Carla Bonner ) return to _Neighbours_ in April 2013. The following year, _Brennan on the Run_ focusing on Mark Brennan 's (Scott McGregor ) time in witness protection was released. _ Neighbours
Neighbours
vs Zombies_ was launched in October 2014 and featured the returns of many former characters who had previously died in the show.

SEE ALSO

* Television in Australia
Australia
portal

* Television in Australia
Australia
* List of longest-running Australian television series

NOTES

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