Out of the Blue: articles

BBC replaces 'Neighbours' with new Aussie series

Sydney's beachside suburb of Manly will be the setting for a new murder mystery television series to begin production in the new year.

But Australians hoping to catch the show, called Out of the Blue, may have to wait a while.

The show has been commissioned for the BBC to fill the gap left when the British broadcaster lost Neighbours in a bidding war, and there are no current plans for it to screen in Australia.

The show focuses on a group of 30-something friends who return to their home town for a high school reunion.

The celebrations are brought to an abrupt end when one of the group is murdered and the remainder become embroiled in a murder investigation.

"Whom amongst them is a killer? The question is going to baffle police and when the answer is revealed, life in Manly will never be the same again," the show promises.

Southern Star Entertainment, whose production credits include The Secret Life of Us and Love My Way, will produce the half-hour series.

Production on the series will begin in January to be screened on BBC One sometime next year, with an initial order for 130 episodes.

"This is an ambitious project that we think will break new ground, at the same time as providing daytime audiences with a compelling and intriguing watch," said Jane Tranter, controller of BBC Fiction.

"The experience and expertise of Southern Star Entertainment in this area combined with the strength of the series proposal made this an exciting project and we look forward to working on it with them."

Southern Star Entertainment said the series was one of the most significant productions the company had undertaken in recent years and would be "full of life, contemporary and very broad in its appeal".

December 4, 2007