The “Neighbours” finale on Network 10 topped the ratings Thursday, drawing in 1.2 million overnight viewers nationally.
Of these, 873,000 watched from the five metro markets of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. It was most popular in its home city of Melbourne , with 343,000.
The ratings for the final episode were far higher than the lead-up episodes this week, with Monday’s drawing 156,000, Tuesday’s 139,000 and Wednesday’s 163,000. Indeed the finale was the highest-rating episode of “Neighbours” since July 2009, Network 10 said.
It lifted Channel 10’s timeslot viewing by 169% compared to the same night in 2021 and
Thursday night’s finale went to air across both 10 Peach, the digital multi-channel which has been home to “Neighbours” in recent years, as well as the primary channel, Channel 10.
“Neighbours” was forced to wrap up its 37-year run when Network 10 and the show’s producer Fremantle Australia failed to secure a UK production partner after Channel 5 decided to pull its partnership and funding.
Beverley McGarvey, chief content officer and executive vice president of Paramount ANZ – Network 10’s parent company – had previously expressed hope there could be a future for the show, but this didn’t come to fruition.
McGarvey noted that “Neighbours” was an iconic program and the Australian screen production sector will be worse off when it’s gone.
“It’s a devastating loss for that skills gathering. And people often start out on those big shows,” she said.
“No matter what way you cut it, “Neighbours” is still a loss and one that we’re very very sad about. We really didn’t want it to happen.”
Daniel Monaghan, Paramount ANZ’s senior vice president of content and programming, told Variety Australia that things hadn’t gone to plan.
“When Fremantle told us they weren’t going to be able to get the funding out of the UK – we needed that funding. Everyone needed that UK partner to keep the show. It was incredibly disappointing. It does good numbers on 10 Peach. It’s got an incredibly loyal fan base. It’s been around for almost 40 years. [It’s] a stalwart.
“But unfortunately when they couldn’t find a partner, it just wasn’t a viable proposition for us. And we were really hopeful for a long time… But it hasn’t worked out the way that we would have liked.”
This story originally appeared on Variety Australia