Neighbours - unmissable drama

It's bittersweet to think back to just how big the show was at the end of the 80s. I can remember Madge arriving at BBC Television Centre in a black cab to announce that it would be repeated at 17:35 each day (and squealing about it), the Panini sticker book with the elusive Paul Robinson in a sailor hat sticker that nobody could ever seem to get, the one kid in our class who didn't watch and was pretty much shunned by the masses for about two years, the girl who moved to Australia and wrote a letter to the class telling us what was going to happen in it as the source of info in the years before online leaks. True cult TV.
 
It's bittersweet to think back to just how big the show was at the end of the 80s. I can remember Madge arriving at BBC Television Centre in a black cab to announce that it would be repeated at 17:35 each day (and squealing about it), the Panini sticker book with the elusive Paul Robinson in a sailor hat sticker that nobody could ever seem to get, the one kid in our class who didn't watch and was pretty much shunned by the masses for about two years, the girl who moved to Australia and wrote a letter to the class telling us what was going to happen in it as the source of info in the years before online leaks. True cult TV.
Oh this is taking me back - I knew so many people who had/claimed to have family in Australia and were going round telling everyone what was going to happen 18 months down the line. You were never sure whether the spoilers were true or just created as a wind-up, and in the pre-internet days there was no way to verify it.
 
Fremantle (producers of Neighbours) and Ten (the Australian broadcaster) killed the show. Ten shouldn't have moved it to its digital channel - ratings in Australia plummeted and never recovered after that. Fremantle should have ensured a long commitment to Neighbours from a UK broadcaster rather than taking a short term cash grab from C5.

Home and Away is still going because it's 100% owned by its Australian network, Seven, which has kept the show in the same slot for decades rather than messing it around like Ten did. They made smart choices when distributing the show internationally (the life-of-series deal with C5 etc) to ensure it's financially lucrative in the long term.

I have no clue what Home and Away is like nowadays but the 2006-08 era was iconic.
 
Home & Away lost me when they had the killer shark story, but used really mismatching stock footage, with a fucking nurse shark attacking the surfer and the world's crappest cardboard fin.

Sons & Daughters was ace though.
 
It's horrible now, it got transformed into a police drama about a decade ago. I miss the days of cults, stalkers, and telepathic twin sisters who turn out to not be biologically related.
The way I was like 'is this a Sally reference?' but then I remembered that that was actually a childhood imaginary friend that turned out to be a real brother who she was separated from. Iconic storyline - shame the brother was dull.
 
The way I was like 'is this a Sally reference?' but then I remembered that that was actually a childhood imaginary friend that turned out to be a real brother who she was separated from. Iconic storyline - shame the brother was dull.

It predated Sally's dreary brother. They introduced Kirsty's real twin and the acting was especially horrendous.

 
Channel 5's first deal was for ten years though, hardly short term.
It is when you consider that Home and Away has a lifetime deal? Rather than cash grabs at renewal time, Seven prioritised ensuring that it has a longterm commitment from a UK broadcaster. Fremantle wanted the cash grab, got a 10-year contract for a great fee, but lost in the long run.
 
In fairness to Fremantle, there was no way any network in the world would ever agree to that lifetime deal that Channel 5 inexplicably negotiated for H&A in 1999/2000. Certainly not in 2007, as TV viewing habits were already beginning to change.

The only reason it ended up at 5 in the first place despite ITV offering twice what 5 could pay, was because of 5’s lifetime commitment. It was a desperate contractual move on their part for existing popular content with a built-in audience, and pretty much killed Home & Away’s cultural relevance in the UK, but paid off in the long term for the production. That kind of deal would never have been on the table.

It’s been clear from recent interviews that Ben Frow has clearly been over that contract with a fine tooth comb looking for a get out clause.
 
In fairness to Fremantle, there was no way any network in the world would ever agree to that lifetime deal that Channel 5 inexplicably negotiated for H&A in 1999/2000. Certainly not in 2007, as TV viewing habits were already beginning to change.

There's also no way they would have agreed to a lifetime deal at the level of funding that Neighbours needed from the UK.

Imagine 5 had agreed to a similar deal with Neighbours. Without the UK funding the majority of the show, I think Ten would have axed the show rather than move it to Eleven/Peach. Home and Away's survival is dependent on it's primary broadcaster keeping it going, and in effect it was the same for Neighbours.

I actually think Ten are more to blame, both for the incessant interference in the show which ran it into the ground, and then not even attempting to show it on the main network once it was in a stronger shape after 2012.
 
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