When the show lost a critical broadcast partner in the United Kingdom last year, “Neighbours” was unceremoniously canceled after 37 years on television. Several months later, the Australian soap opera has officially resumed production in Melbourne, with all-new episodes set to premiere later this fall on Amazon Freevee.
In celebration of its return, several cast member announcements have been made in recent days and weeks, including word that “The O.C.” star Mischa Barton will be joining the show’s cast as a guest star, playing the role of Reece, an American new to Erinsborough who’s not quite who she appears to be.
“With Neighbours launching on Amazon Freevee in North America, we are beyond excited to have an actor of Mischa’s caliber join us for the beginning of this exciting new chapter,” said the show’s executive producer Jason Herbison. “Mischa’s character is dynamic and unpredictable, and will have an instant presence on Ramsay Street. Our loyal viewers are going to love her, locally and abroad.”
Sharing her enthusiasm for returning to her soap roots, Barton says, “I’m excited to be part of this iconic show’s next chapter, and I am really looking forward to being back in Australia — a place I know and love! I think the character of Reece is going to be a great role for me to explore and play with.”
Additional cast announcements include the returns of Lucinda Cowden as Melanie Pearson, Georgie Stone as Mackenzie Hargreaves, Rebekah Elmaloglou as Terese Willis, Annie Jones as Jane Harris; Tim Kano as Leo Tanaka and guest stars Ian Smith as Harold Bishop, April Rose Pengilly as Chloe Brennan and Melissa Bell as Lucy Robinson. Previously announced returnees include Stefan Dennis as Paul Robinson, Alan Fletcher as Karl Kennedy, Ryan Moloney as Jarrod “Toadfish” Rebecchi and Jackie Woodburne as Susan Kennedy.
Running for over three decades, “Neighbours” remains the longest-running Australian soap opera, recently celebrating its 38th anniversary last month.
Upon its return, “Neighbours” will be available to stream on Amazon Freevee in the United Kingdom and the United States and Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and South Africa – Network 10 will retain first-run broadcast rights in Australia with ad-free episodes releasing seven days later on Prime Video in Australia. Previous seasons of “Neighbours” and many iconic episodes are available to stream on Amazon Freevee.
The show helped launch the acting careers of Margot Robbie, Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe, among others.