Three million British viewers tuned in to the final episode of the Australian soap opera neighbours, greeting a television stalwart after 37 years. The double-episode special drew this peak viewership as the show came to an end, according to overnight figures, with an average viewership of 2.5 million.
The hour-long finale aired Friday night in the UK on Channel 5. Fans took to social media with praise for the latest show, which recruited star alumni Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan. Margot Robbie made a cameo appearance from Los Angeles, while singers Natalie Imbruglia and Holly Valance filmed a scene from London, where they both live.
The biggest praise from fans went to Guy Pearce, who reprized his role as Mike Young throughout the hour-long episode and wholeheartedly committed to his story arc, which saw him reunite with his high school sweetheart, Jane, played by Annie Jones.
Channel 5 said Friday night’s viewing figures were the highest since it began broadcasting the show in 2008. Ben Frow, head of Paramount (owner of Channel 5), told the guardian:
“I suspect there was not a dry eye from viewers like neighbours bowed on a high last night.
“We wanted to give it a proper and respectful ending and I hope that our night dedicated to neighbours achieved that.
“Last night really is the end of an era. The response from viewers overnight has been very moving, even if they wished the ending didn’t have to come.”