Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 16:52 UK

BBC scrap Out of the Blue soap

Characters from Out of the Blue
Out of the Blue follows a group of friends in their 30s

Out of the Blue, the BBC successor to Neighbours, will not be re-commissioned after its current run.

BBC director of fiction Jane Tranter said it "just didn't grab hold" of the audience figures needed to survive.

Since its move from BBC One to BBC Two in May, the soap has averaged 125,000 viewers, with lows of just over 80,000.

The Australian drama, set in the Sydney resort of Manly, centres around a group of friends who return to their home town for a high school reunion.

Out of the Blue was commissioned after Five outbid the BBC for the rights to Neighbours.

The soap debuted on BBC One in April in a 2.10pm weekday slot with just under 1.2m viewers.

However, its audience rapidly halved, at one point dipping to 527,000.

The remaining 99 episodes are expected to air although scheduling will be disrupted by the summer's sporting events.

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