> Lisa Opie
Friday 18th May saw the announcement that, as of Spring 2008, Neighbours would be leaving the BBC and moving to Five. Since then, our messageboards have been buzzing with speculation and many questions have arisen. This week, we were given the opportunity to put some of those questions to Five's Managing Director of Content, Lisa Opie. As we suspected, it's still very early days in the whole process, but Lisa has kindly answered some of the most common queries for us...
Do you anticipate any kind of gap between the conclusion of Neighbours' broadcasts on the BBC, and their debut on Five?
We certainly hope not - we will start screening Neighbours as soon as we are contractually able, but we can't comment on the BBC's plans to schedule their remaining episodes.
Neighbours has been shown at 1:40pm and 5:35pm for almost twenty years now. Do you have any idea whether these timeslots will continue on Five?
Sorry but we can't tell you yet how we will be scheduling Neighbours because we don't get the programme until 2008. That said we know that a lot of Neighbours fans like to watch it in those slots so we will certainly take that into account.
Are you anticipating having any input into the content of storylines, as the BBC has been given in recent years?
We want the series to continue to flourish, we are looking forward to getting close to the production process and
contributing ideas. But we will let the team continue to do the job that they do so well.
Will you be showing Neighbours on
your digital channel Five Life, in the form of either 'day ahead' episodes or an omnibus?
We will be playing Neighbours on Five Life but we haven't decided on the order or the slot. As soon as we can we will let you know what our plans are.
Do you intend to edit the episodes, either for content or to shorten the closing credits?
We have no specific plans for this. However the show will contain a central ad break - as it does when shown on Network Ten in Australia.
What are your plans, if any, to promote Neighbours, both in the weeks leading up to its arrival on Five, and once you're showing it, during important storylines?
We are really excited to have been able to acquire the programme and Neighbours will be much cherished by Five. At this stage we can't comment on specifics about promotion - but it is likely that when the show launches on Five it will be supported with a high-profile on- and off-air marketing campaign.
Added on 23rd May 2007. Click here to read Lisa's reponses to questions sent in by Perfect Blend readers.