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Network Ten teams up with UK’s Channel 5 on three new drama projects

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Channel 10 will team up on three new local productions with Channel 5, the same British broadcaster that refused to save Neighbors from the axe.

Neighbors was canceled 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 is teaming up with Network 10 and Fremantle on a trio of projects that will be filmed in Australia, but with British characters, and can be produced for a fraction of what Neighbours costs, the report said. TV tonight

Making friends after the loss of Neighbours: Channel 10 will collaborate on three local productions with Channel 5, the same British broadcaster that refused to save Neighbors from the ax

Meanwhile, production of the beloved soap that debuted in 1985 and launched the careers of superstars Kylie Minogue, Russell Crowe and Margot Robbie, among others, is ending production.

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

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

Daniel Monaghan, Channel 10’s Senior Vice President of Programming and Content, said Channel 5 plans to create three more projects in the same vein.

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

The Brits are coming: Channel 5 will team up with Network 10 and Neighbors producers Fremantle on a trio of projects that will be filmed in Australia, but featuring British characters, and can be produced for a fraction of what Neighbors costs, TV Tonight reports. (Photo: 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 (pictured), ends production on Friday.  (Also pictured: Jackie Woodburne in a 2009 scene from Neighbors)

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

‘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 role 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 of Paramount ANZ, owners of Channel 10, said Channel 5 is looking to fund more UK content such as the hit series All Creatures Great and Small.

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

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

“The investment they would make in a few series is nothing like the investment they would have to make in 260 episodes of Neighbours,” Ms McGarvey said.

Among the stars who began their careers at Neighbors are Craig McLachlan, 56, who earned three Logie Awards 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 Neighbors stars who have been lured back for the latest episode, which also includes Ian Smith and Daniel MacPherson, next to Mark Little and Paul Keane.

What fans can expect: Neighbors 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 create three more projects in a similar style

What fans can expect: Neighbors 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 create three more projects in a similar style

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

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

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

The ending: Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue (pictured) filmed their scenes for the highly anticipated final episode of Neighbors in half a day on April 28

The ending: Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue (pictured) filmed their scenes for the highly anticipated final episode of Neighbors in half a day on April 28

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

“I told a few producers, a costume person, I didn’t tell any of the writers and I quietly wrote the scenes myself,” said Neighbors executive producer Jason Herbison.

“I gave them the scenes and the day the crew didn’t know until they [Minogue and Donovan] arrived and that’s where Scott and Charlene came out,” 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.”

Neighbors announced in a tweet in March that production of the long-running soap would be halted.

“We’re sorry to say that after nearly 37 years and nearly 9,000 broadcasts, we have to confirm that Neighbors will stop production in June,” the show wrote.

Overpriced: Channel 5's investment in a few series is nothing like the investment they would have to make to produce 260 episodes of Neighbours, Channel 10 senior management say Pictured: The cast of Neighbors in the 1980s

Overpriced: Channel 5’s investment in a few series is nothing like the investment they would have to make to produce 260 episodes of Neighbours, Channel 10 senior management say Pictured: The cast of Neighbors in the 1980s

Network 10 addressed the end of the series in a statement to Australian media in March, admitting it had been a “tough decision”.

“Today, Fremantle confirmed that Neighbors will stop production in June, after nearly 37 years and nearly 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 like 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 like 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 air on 10 Peach, where the show moved in 2011.

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