After Channel 5 sent shockwaves through the TV soap world with the news that it would axe funding to Australian soap Neighbours, the popular daytime show looked doomed. And for several months that was the case - the show was confirmed to be axed and an emotional last episode featuring former cast members Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue aired in July.
But just as in the soap world, characters who have been previously ‘killed off’ have a tendency to come back from the dead, Neighbours didn’t stay buried for long. Like Harold Bishop, the soap has been resurrected, and will find a new home on free streaming service Amazon Freevee, which began discussions with production company Fremantle when the soap’s ‘finale’ caused such a fuss.
What is Amazon Freevee?
In April this year, IMDB TV rebranded as Amazon Freevee, a free streaming platform supported by ads and offering thousands of movies and TV shows. The platform first launched in 2019 and has undergone a couple of rebrands since then. It launched in the UK in September last year and is expected to continue to expand into Europe over the next few months.
The site provides a zero-cost option for Amazon users who may be tightening their belts due to a cost of living crisis which is affecting millions in the UK and around the world - Netflix has also acted, and will introduce a cheaper subscription tier which comes with adverts next month. Amazon pledged to increase the number of titles that could be watched by users at no cost, with a target of 70 percent of its free library in 2022.
The service will compete with other free ad supported streaming platforms such as Samsung TV+, Roku, and All 4 in the UK. By contrast, Amazon’s ad-free streaming service, Amazon Prime Video, costs users £5.99 a month. Whereas Amazon Prime Video tends to offer a larger range of new releases and original shows, Freevee includes older TV shows and classic films, as well as a limited number of originals.
Why did IMDb TV change its name?
Amazon has owned the online film and TV database IMDb which currently has more than 80 million users since 1998. The rebrand from IMDb TV to Amazon Freevee was undertaken in an effort to share the identity of the streaming service more closely with the parent company Amazon.
How can I watch Amazon Freevee?
Amazon Freevee is available as a Prime Video channel - you can access this on a web browser or through the Prime Video app. The Prime Video app will be available as default or to download on most smart TVs and smartphones. You do not need an Amazon Prime subscription to access Freevee, but you will need to sign up for a free Amazon account to use the service.
What titles are available to watch on Amazon Freevee?
A major new addition to the Amazon Freevee library will be available to watch on Amazon Freevee in the second half of 2023 - old episodes from previous seasons are also expected to be available on Freevee.
One of the channel’s headline shows will be Bosch: Legacy, a spin-off of the crime series Bosch about an L.A.P.D. homicide detective. The spin-off series which will be released on 6 May will see Harry Bosch team up with his former enemy, Honey Chandler.
Other forthcoming shows include the new home makeover show, Hollywood Houselift, comedy series Sprung, and autobiographical comedy series High School. Older shows included in the roster are Alex Rider, Skins, The A Team, and The West Wing.
Classic films such as The Third Man, La Dolce Vita, Mean Streets, and Cinema Paradiso are also available to stream on the site. Amazon Freevee has nearly 3,000 titles available to stream in the UK, and will be continuing to add to its library over the coming months.
When will Neighbours be on Amazon Freevee?
Production on a new season of Neighbours is expected to begin in early 2023, with episodes landing on Freevee in the second half of next year. Australia’s Network Ten will still have first-run rights of new episodes, as was the case when the show aired in the UK on Channel 5.