How Australian Soap Opera Neighbours Is Resuming Production Amid Outbreak
Image: Network 10
Production on long-running soap opera starts later this week.
While all four soap operas based in the United States remain on production hiatus, and CBS’ daytime lineup of B&B and Y&R planning to air classic episodes amid theme weeks as new episodes run out, one soap opera in Australia has announced plans to go back into production. Neighbours, which centers on the domestic and professional lives of the people of Ramsay Street, a short cul-de-sac, and the nearby Lassiters complex in a fictional Australian suburb, is set to return to filming on Thursday April 23. Soaps.com readers wondering how US soaps might tackle the challenge down the road may be interested to learn that the show’s producers, Fremantle Media, have announced that they plan to employ distinctly different filming techniques in order to adhere to the government’s health and safety guidelines.
In a statement, Fremantle explained, “Due to the style of our show and the vast size of our production studios and back lot, we realized we are in a position to resume filming in a way that protects everyone’s health and still delivers the Neighbours viewers know and love.” They went on to explain that everyone would be spread out and production sites would be divided into sections to prevent crew crossover and so as to easily trace the movements of employees should there be an incident. As for what viewers will see onscreen, the crew will use creative editing and new camera positions to ensure minimal impact on the finished product. Special measures have been put into place for older employees and no pressure has been exerted on the cast and crew to return if they’re not comfortable. Fremantle added, “The response has been overwhelmingly positive with everyone keen to work and produce the show we all love so much.”
Long-running Neighbours, which has aired since 1985 and helped launch the careers of such stars as Margot Robbie (The Suicide Squad) and Russell Crowe (Gladiator) would have run out of original episodes by June had they continued to suspend production.