Neighbors star Alan Fletcher said the Australian soap was “too popular to slip away”, ahead of Amazon’s Freevee revival of the series.
The relaunch of Neighbors on the streaming service was announced in November, after being initially abandoned by Channel 5 after failing to secure new funding.
Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Fletcher, 65, who plays Neighbors’ favorite Karl Kennedy, said: “I had nothing to do with it. I can’t ask for any credit.
“But you know, over five million people watched the last episode in the UK, and it was the highest-rated show here in Australia.
“I think people will just recognize that and realize that this show is too popular to slip away, so we’re very, very pleased that Amazon chose this show.”
To which presenter Richard Madeley joked, “That must have been the fastest comeback since Lazarus.”
Neighbors first aired in 1985 and followed the lives of those living and working in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough.
Despite the initial diminution, the show’s return was revealed late last year thanks to a clip on social media in which Fletcher’s on-screen wife Susan Kennedy – played by Jackie Woodburne – excitedly announces some of the soap’s most recognizable characters, including Karl, Toadie Rebecchi and Paul Robinson , messages.
After a finale that saw many of your favorite characters return to the cul-de-sac of Ramsay Street, which Channel 5 said drew an average of 2.5 million viewers, the revitalized series will premiere for free exclusively on Amazon Freevee in the UK and US, and the site will also be stream thousands of episodes of Neighbors from previous series.
Reflecting on the short period between the end of the show in July and the announcement of the resumption, Fletcher said: “I have to say that in the meantime I toured the UK with my show The Doctor Will See You Now and of course there were so many people expressing deep sadness at the end of Neighbors.
“And you know, I was very sad about that, and knowing that I would be back in March to do the Neighbors farewell tour was pretty jarring.”
However, he said he was relieved to know that the series would return to screens later this year, adding: “We’re back. And many are happy. I think we’re in for a fantastic show. People will love it.”
With the return of many recognizable characters to the screen, Jason Herbison, executive producer of Neighbors since 2013, will maintain his position in the new chapter of Neighbors, with Andrew Thompson also returning as producer.
Production is scheduled to start at the beginning of this year, and the world premiere is scheduled for the second half of the year.
Good Morning Britain airs daily from 6am on ITV1.