Neighbours to End Here Next Month

TVNZ 1 will screen the final episodes of Neighbours in primetime on September 2.

Neighbours: The Final Farewell will air from 7.30.

The 37-year-old soap went off-air last week in Australia and the UK but TVNZ 1’s 4.30 broadcasts lag these territories by a month or so.

Said The Guardian of the double-episode send-off: “Past Ramsay Street stars reunite with present cast to end the show the way it began: not with a massive explosion, but with a heartfelt celebration of community.”

Many of the soap’s stars who went on to movie and music careers returned for the swansong, which averaged a record-breaking 2.3 million viewers in the UK.

It was Neighbours’ highest Channel 5 viewership since it went to air on the network in 2008.

Similarly, the Sydney Morning Herald reports “Neighbours drew its biggest audience in 13 years and was the most-watched programme in Australia’s five mainland capital cities on Thursday night as 873,000 people tuned in to bid Ramsay Street farewell.”

Still, this fell far short of its heyday. As the BBC observed:

The show’s demise after almost 9,000 episodes comes amid dwindling ratings. In Australia, Neighbours has struggled to attract 100,000 daily viewers on a subsidiary channel of Network Ten. Even in the UK, where in the late 1980s, 20 million people regularly tuned in – more than a third of the population – viewing figures are now closer to one million.

A rating decline here after several time slot changes saw TVNZ sideline it from primetime on TVNZ 2 to late afternoon on TVNZ 1.

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