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Fiver acquires rights to 'Out of the Blue'

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Fiver acquires rights to 'Out of the Blue'
UK broadcaster Five has acquired the transmission rights to Aussie soap Out of the Blue for its free-to-air channel Fiver.

The move will see the 130 half-hour episodes aired on Five's sister channel in the early part of next year, despite its disappointing performance on BBC One.

A channel spokeswoman this morning told DS: "I can confirm that Fiver has acquired the rights to Out of the Blue from Southern Star Entertainment. It will start airing on Fiver from early 2009."

The Sydney-based show was originally commissioned by the BBC, which ordered 130 half-hour episodes for an initial run of six months.

In April last year, Out of the Blue made a decent debut on BBC One, attracting 1.2m viewers on its first outing.

However, after a severe drop in ratings, the BBC moved the programme to BBC Two on May 8. The move resulted in a further decline in ratings.

The BBC's head of fiction Jane Tranter announced the decision to axe the show at the end of its run after only two months, claiming that the programme "just didn't grab hold" of the required viewer base.

The BBC commissioned the show in the hope that it would fill the void left by the loss of iconic Australian soap Neighbours, which was poached by Five.

Out of the Blue is still airing weekdays at 1pm on BBC Two to an average audience of 142,000 (2.1%), down around 42% on the slot average. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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