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Hulu Acquires Exclusive U.S. Rights to Australian Soap ‘Neighbours’

Hulu cut a deal with FremantleMedia International giving it exclusive U.S. rights to the current season of long-running Australian soap opera “Neighbours.”

The Aussie sudser will debut on Hulu next Monday, July 14, and new episodes will appear daily Monday through Friday exclusively on the free, ad-supported Hulu and Hulu Plus subscription service. The five weekly episodes will air four weeks after the Australian broadcast.

The U.S. premiere week of “Neighbours” will feature a story arc that includes a guest appearance by actress-singer Paula Abdul in the July 18 episode. According to Hulu, the initial episodes launching on the service mark the beginning of several new story arcs, to introduce American audiences to the sturm-and-drang of life on Ramsay Street in the fictional Australian suburb of Erinsborough.

“Neighbours provides a delicious daily dose of Australian sunshine to soap-opera fans, and thanks to Hulu, we’re coming to the U.S. at a perfect entry point for first-time viewers,” Jeff Siegel, FremantleMedia’s VP of digital distribution and home entertainment, said in a statement.

The show is produced by FremantleMedia Australia and distributed globally by FremantleMedia International. “Neighbours” was first broadcast in Australia in 1985, with more than 6,900 episodes since produced, making it the longest-running daytime drama from Down Under.

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