The company behind the release of Prisoner: Cell Block H is to release the first 56 episodes of the cul-de-sac soap Neighbours next month. While period Saga The Sullivans has also had the DVD treatment.

The company behind the release of Prisoner: Cell Block H is to release the first 56 episodes of the cul-de-sac soap Neighbours next month. While period Saga The Sullivans has also had the DVD treatment.

Previously in Australia and the UK Shock Entertainment has released ‘Best Of’ DVDs with selected episodes from Neighbours 27-year history picked for inclusion on two ‘Iconic Episodes’ releases and a ‘Charlene Years’ special. The company has now announced that they will be releasing Neighbours episodes in broadcast order from the beginning.

“Take a trip down memory lane for fans of one of Australia’s most successful TV dramas. Neighbours, the long-running Australian television soap opera first broadcast on the Seven Network on 18 March 1985. Through its entire run in Australia, Neighbours has been screened as a twenty-two minute episode each weeknight in an early evening slot. The show has been sold to over fifty countries around the world, making it one of Australia’s most successful TV series! Watch the very first 56 episodes of Neighbours and relive these memorable moments on DVD!” Shock say.

Produced by Grundy Television the show originally aired on the Seven Network however Neighbours proved to be far from successful for the network and the show was dropped. Reg took the programme to rival Network 10, which had been home to his other hit Prisoner: Cell Block H and the rest is, as they say, history.

In 1986 Neighbours debuted in the UK on BBC One, where it remained for some 20 years before switching to Channel 5. With dwindling ratings the show has also switched networks in Australia too. At the start of 2011 the soap moved from Network 10 to new digital channel, Eleven.

Neighbours was devised by Australian Reg Watson who began his soap career in the UK first working on radio saga The Archers for the BBC before in 1964 launching motel based saga Crossroads for ATV. It was the UK’s first daily half hour serial.

In December last year it was revealed Fremantle Media Germany was to release the early years on DVD in Europe (excluding the UK).

Meanwhile the epic story of a typical Melbourne family torn by the terror and uncertainty of World War II comes to DVD in The Sullivans with the first 100 episodes already released on DVD in Australia and the first 50 now on sale in the UK.

“The serial is one of the most successful overseas daytime series to ever air in UK and the most highly-awarded and widely-seen cornerstones of Austrailian television. It tells the story of the quiet courage of ordinary people living through extraordinary times.” Said MediumRare Entertainment who released the original DVD ‘best of’.

The first DVD released was The Sullivans ‘On The Brink Of Warand it revisited the crucial episodes of the Australian drama, set in the lavishly recreated Melbourne of 1939. Its profound messages of strength and hope for domestic security, against cataclysmic world events, find startling new relevance in the 21st Century. The Sullivans was produced by Crawford Productions and ran from 1976 until 1983.

The Sullivans is the story of a typical family and follows the lives of the family members and friends through the last year of the 1930s into the 40s with painstaking attention to historical detail from critically-acclaimed writers and starring some of the country’s most revered and enduring stars such as Mel Gibson, Sam Neill, Kylie Minogue and Sigrid Thornton. The new DVD, again with episodes in broadcast order, has been released as The Sullivans ‘Volume One’.

The Sullivans was released earlier this month and Neighbours is released April 4th 2012

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