Stefan Dennis fears for the future of the soap genre

Actor Stefan Dennis, who last week ended nearly 4 decades playing TV villain Paul Robinson on Neighbors wrote an article for The Age.

He writes in it with great affection for the role and the series, describing it as “one of the greatest privileges of my life”.

But he also writes pragmatically about the business economics that led to the show’s demise, following Channel 5’s decision to invest in local drama rather than supporting the annual show. Neighbors budget.

“The boom has shifted to streaming and catch-up viewing, and so sponsorship revenue is being directed to these avenues rather than traditional free-to-air TV,” he writes.

“Even though I would have liked Neighbors to create another trend and be the first recognized commercial soap opera to move to a streaming channel, unfortunately there were no takers. My concern is that if a soap opera doesn’t make this transition soon, we’ll start to see the demise of these beloved programs around the world.

Indeed, streaming platforms are not known for producing long-form content, but usually binge dramas of 10 episodes.

Dennis adds, “On a final note, it’s very sad that such an iconic piece of TV history is lost around the world due to being abandoned in his home country, not understanding what ‘it really does offer some very watchable entertainment on its own.”

You can read more here.

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