Gallery: Neighbours new sets

By David Knox on February 23, 2010 / Filed Under News 48

EXCLUSIVE: And here is your first look at new Neighbours exteriors  which will bring additional location sets to Erinsborough.

FremantleMedia is adding the finishing touches to a series of new sets that will be introduced mid-2010, built on the famous ‘Lassiters’ exterior at Nunawading.

TV Tonight visited the building site which will comprise permanent new sets including a Police Station, University Campus locations, Cafe and upgraded Erinsborough News and Lassiters Hotel.

Significantly, they are not just facade shells, but include working interiors which will allow OB camera crews to shoot indoors and give scenes more visual authenticity.

The new Erinsborough Police Station, manned by ‘Metropolitan Police’ is the largest of the new exteriors, with several interior rooms and office spaces.

Other areas will become University Campus common spaces. A rooftop cafe has been added.

The nearby lake was drained over Christmas to enable the construction of a pathway.

A Used Car lot has been added near the local garage.

And there is another permanent fixture yet to be unveiled.

Neighbours has also revamped its interior Hospital set, with a new-look Reception area.

48 Comments »

  1. Kevin March 8, 2010 at 1:14 pm -

    Neighbours is still producing solid ratings for Five here in the UK, just before Christmas it was reaching highs of 1.8m and since then has maintained ratings of around 1.5 in the evenings. Sadly it’s still way down on what it used to get on the BBC but all things considering it is still quite popular.

    EastEnders, just celebrated its 25th anniversary and it was a huge success, around 17 million viewers tuned in for the live episode! Since then EastEnders has maintained regular ratings of 10 million viewers, placing it as Britain’s most watched show. Neighbours could learn a thing or two, new sets just wont cut it when the storylines and writing are so incredibly weak.

  2. Dan February 24, 2010 at 10:07 pm -

    The Austin Hospital has been used for the establishing shots since 2006 (after Carmella’s loopy cousin burnt down the maternity ward), but whenever the characters are in a scene outside the hospital it’s just shot around the Nunawading studio – usually outside the entrance to the reception area.

  3. MCP February 24, 2010 at 5:38 pm -

    I too thought it was the Austin….

  4. Shazza February 24, 2010 at 2:20 pm -

    They should have spent the money on quality scripts and actors.

  5. Andy February 24, 2010 at 1:49 pm -

    Lucy Robinson is probably one of the only character to be played by 3 different actors!
    The weirdest one was Duncan in H&A who went into the Christmas break as a five-year old non-speaking role and came back the next year as a 10 year old main character.
    Then there was Caroline Gillmer who wore a red wig to play Sheryl Stark in Neighbours, so when she got sick, Collette Mann just showed up and popped the wig on!

  6. David Knox February 24, 2010 at 11:58 am -

    Good thoughts…. pretty sure it was Box Hill hospital?

  7. Adam Winsor(Feral Beral) February 24, 2010 at 11:50 am -

    I love Neighbours and I think I will always have a place in my heart for it but somethings wrong, you can’t lose so many viewers after a summer break and survive as it currently is. To me i see nothing wrong with the show, I am really enjoying the storylines, some of the best in years and I am slowly warming to the newer younger cast members, it has gone through alot of changes in the past few years but i think its flowing nicely. I have noticed there is an empty house in Ramsay Street that they never mention, perhaps a new family or a kooky old lady with a 100 cats could suddenly appear, something funny and more comedic might add a touch of what the show needs. I’ve heard so many people comment on why they hate the show, what about some of the great things its done for our entertainment industry, i really would like to see Neighbours around for another 25 years at least, its a show with alot of warmth and heart, i also think alot of people who watch, rely on it and treat it like a dear old friend who you’ve shared so much with. Yes i may sound like an emotional soapie freak, i guess I am but i long for the days of just pure soap opera’s not Australian “drama’s” , i think there is room for a few more soaps at least, we do them so well in Australia. I think if anything was to change to much with Neighbours, there would be a public outcry, not just here but in the UK aswell, if it ever was axed, i’d hope another Network would again pick it up!! Lets just wait and see if the ratings improve, if you care about the show, tell your freinds to watch again, its at a time when the storylines are so juicy and it would be easy to tap into.The new sets look great btw and are they still shooting exteriors for the hospital at the Austin anymore??

  8. Emily February 24, 2010 at 10:36 am -

    It is not the first time that a cast member has been re-cast on Neighbours. Remember Lucy Robinson? She was re-cast and people accepted the change pretty well.
    The new sets will breathe new life into Neighbours.

  9. Bazza February 24, 2010 at 9:48 am -

    @bindi

    You need to get out more, every second cop shop on the Gold Coast and even in Brisbane looks a bit like that now. Google street-view is your friend.

  10. Rick February 24, 2010 at 9:27 am -

    It will take much more than new sets to save this dead and buried show which has constantly had low ratings and a lack of popularity for many years now.

    @tasmanian devil the show was huge in the UK but what century are we talking about? It was huge back in the 80’s/early 90’s but has been in shambles since.

  11. Andy February 24, 2010 at 8:25 am -

    Also visible in the Nearmap photos, a piece of Erinsborough history. In the field behind the set they still have the old bridge that used to cross the big pond that was where the courtyard is now, back in the days when I used to watch.

  12. James February 24, 2010 at 5:36 am -

    Brekkie, you are spot on – UK ratings have been on the slide for years. The show dropped the ball. With even a degree of care, it could still be rating like EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale (and Five would’ve paid a lot more).

    John, recasting is nothing new – but you can only do it so often. Summer is a waste – she’s not a key character, and presumably is only back to give Steph something to do. Declan makes more sense, because without him, Rebecca is without a family. By using the device twice in a short time, it becomes comical.

    They need to take a page out of Home and Away’s book. They jumped the shark in a big way in 2009, yet are addressing it appropriately. But perhaps Neighbours has simply had too many chances.

  13. Marc February 24, 2010 at 2:46 am -

    They need to sack Susan Bower, She has ruined the programme. Im in the UK and used to love watching neighbours at tea time, but its got so cringeworthy, it needs to stop.

    And those titles at the start are just way too cheesy for anyone to take it seriously.
    They need to make the songtitle more modern, and stop the cheese in the clips.

    Need good storylines.

    Ill take the job, i can make it as successful as Eastenders is in the UK within one year.

  14. Brekkie February 24, 2010 at 1:02 am -

    The show is far from huge in the UK now. Ratings were falling even before the BBC lost the rights, and since moving to Five it’s lost around half it’s audience.

  15. Ed February 24, 2010 at 12:14 am -

    Maybe Ten will end up offloading it to their third channel in 2011? (if they can get it running then)

    Considering the current audiences are quite low, most of them are probably quite dedicated fans, so would switch across.

  16. tomothy February 23, 2010 at 11:05 pm -

    Nearmap shows that they have ripped out the entire middle garden and ponds and replaced it with paving!! It looks dreadful. I really liked the garden area. It didnt look to good in 2005 when all the plans were small, but now it looks really nice. Very dissapointing, I hope they replanted all the stuff elsewhere.

  17. David Knox February 23, 2010 at 10:46 pm -

    Andy, last report was an extension of a year, but there was no word of exit one way or the other. I am hearing there is confidence to stay now.

  18. League Freak February 23, 2010 at 10:41 pm -

    The writers for this show are terrible. Its like Happy Days writing but without the jokes!

  19. Andy February 23, 2010 at 10:22 pm -

    David,
    Wasn’t the news lately that they only just managed to get another 1 year lease on the Global TV lot, and that it is being sold off after that? Why put so much into infrastructure there when they should be looking at new locations? Or has the sale idea gone out the window? On nearmap.com you can see houses right over the Lassiters back wall, so they are obviously developing on the site now. You can also see the set going up over Christmas. None of the new stuff is there in the Nov 13 photo, but it all appears in the Jan 7 photo. It looks so small!

  20. Jamie February 23, 2010 at 10:06 pm -

    nice and modern sets !… all they need to do know is fire the EP of Neighbours and fix the horrid storylines.

  21. John Jackson February 23, 2010 at 10:05 pm -

    @damo.. ok.. you don’t have to have it then, but I’m interested in Neighbours (and so are many others) and I have been interested for the last 18 years.

    Although it is a bit strange with the recasting of Summer and really strange how Declan is going to look and sound different soon when James Sorensen leaves and Erin Mullally supposedly takes over the role. I know there has been times when actors have temporarily taken over for others, when the usual actor is sick, but I can’t recall a time when an actor chooses to leave for whatever reason and so they just get someone else in to take over for them to continue playing the character.

  22. damo February 23, 2010 at 8:50 pm -

    @tasmainian devil. the poms can have it. look at the ratings and not just this year. the storylines are terrible and so are the actors

  23. John February 23, 2010 at 7:38 pm -

    Yeah hardly dead and buried.

    They built this with their UK pay increase.

  24. CC February 23, 2010 at 7:30 pm -

    N hasbeen any good since Izzy left.

  25. Ja'mie February 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm -

    A polished turd, is still a turd.

  26. KFed February 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm -

    They’re persisting with the Erinsborough News? Paul taking over the newspaper was lame and unrealistic. He should continue running mysterious companies and being dodgy.
    Considering the history the show has, it always surprises me that they don’t mine their history a lot more. I would love to see Gail, Lucy or Henry back in the street more. You know Melissa Bell would say yes.

  27. tasmanian devil February 23, 2010 at 4:41 pm -

    Dead and buried? Well that’s utter hogwash, the show is huge in the UK and would probably cause a lot of uproar there if Ten were to axe it. It may be struggling in Australia but Australia’s not the only country in the world.

    The storylines are ridiculous though. I stopped watching the show a while ago, you could even say that its popularity in the UK is a bit crazy, but in any case the popularity does exist.

  28. Gloomy February 23, 2010 at 4:34 pm -

    If only they spent this much time working on interesting characters & storylines.

  29. Russell February 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm -

    i Do not like them i have been of Neighbours for ages now and i wont be back its dead need to be axed and a new drama in.

  30. effdee February 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm -

    More Police stories!!!! No way I’ll go back to watching it now!
    If I wanted police stories I’d watch one of the far too many cop shows already on air…

  31. Goonies February 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm -

    New police set? ugh.

    I guess this means we are about to get a whole bunch of idiotic crime stories coming our way. How many cast memebers can we get on charges this year? They have 2 already.

  32. Dan February 23, 2010 at 3:06 pm -

    Thanks so much for this David!!! The new sets look great! I can’t wait to see them on air. It’ll be nice for the characters to have so may new places to interact.

  33. Bruce Banner February 23, 2010 at 2:30 pm -

    Looking great… good to see they are investing some time to further enhance a great little show :)

  34. Stephen H February 23, 2010 at 2:14 pm -

    I agree with you 100% V the sets are not the problem it is the terrible storylines.

  35. Justin February 23, 2010 at 11:40 am -

    Looks interesting thanks for the exclusive David!

  36. elaine February 23, 2010 at 11:04 am -

    Put pictures up of home and away new sets

  37. Kuttsywood February 23, 2010 at 10:53 am -

    I wonder if Fremantle are looking to buy the ex-ATV-10 site?

  38. V February 23, 2010 at 10:46 am -

    Why don’t they use that money to get some decent writers. The story lines are what’s letting the show down not their sets.

  39. James February 23, 2010 at 10:44 am -

    These sets are amazing. In production terms, Neighbours is head and shoulders above Home and Away – so why are people turning off in droves?

    Once upon a time, Neighbours was about real people and real situations. Of course, there were classic soap twists… but most of all, it was a recognisable world. Now it’s just silly.

    According to Neighbours.com, the absurdity keeps coming. Sam Clark is set to cross-promote his music career as part of a storyline. Hot on the heels of Summer being re-cast, Declan is also getting a new face. Little by little, the show is chipping away every last inch of credibility it ever had.

    What next – Karl is a contestant on Masterchef? After the bonkers SYTYCD storyline, anything is possible. The show isn’t dying – it’s being killed by bad decisions.

  40. sillygostly February 23, 2010 at 10:41 am -

    The police station looks like a 50s diner. o.O

  41. damo February 23, 2010 at 10:25 am -

    a new set won’t save this show that’s dead and burried

  42. wamdue February 23, 2010 at 10:13 am -

    @pietro this is the strongest sign ive seen that FremantleMedia is committed to making the show work without TEN. No way they spend all this money and let the show die when (if) TEN axes it, chances are Five* (part of the same company as FremantleMedia) will step up, and take the show on itself.

    *Five being the channel it airs on in the UK, who signed a long term contract for the show.

  43. pietro February 23, 2010 at 9:24 am -

    Rather elaborate for what, to me, seems to be a dying soap.

  44. tomothy February 23, 2010 at 8:54 am -

    So the old vet is now the Erinsborough News, and they used the real location for interior rather than a set. I have always hated the hospital, and how a patients room is an office, then a storeroom, then a new baby room, then a patients room again depending on the episode.
    I guess the will be adding new characters to the show soon, like a police officer, uni staff, car salesman, etc.

    I bet they are hoping the lease on the site gets extended

    Wondering what the permanent fixture yet to be unveiled could be? I remember you saying a while ago that the centre of the complex will be updated, so possibly a new garden of sorts.

  45. Johnson February 23, 2010 at 8:43 am -

    Interesting looking sets there! I wonder Metropolitan Police is based on the same organisation in London? (The Latin motto on the police logo means “Truth and Equity” in English)

  46. bindi February 23, 2010 at 5:44 am -

    they look nice, very modern, although the police station is a bit much, I’ve never seen a police station that looks like that and if there was one some serious budget allocation questions would arise.

  47. wamdue February 23, 2010 at 5:41 am -

    Erinsborough News, looks alot like the old “Good Hair Day” set, which became a Vets at one point.

    Sounds/looks like it will totally refresh the show, lets hope it gets used well by the exec producer.

    Certainly seems like we will be seeing more of ErinsboughPD in the future.

  48. ryan February 23, 2010 at 5:20 am -

    wow that was quick, lol. I’ glad to see some new sets, its been way too long looking at the same ones. I like the police station idea and the new reception looks pretty good, i’m aso interested to see the campus aswell

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