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Neighbours 2008 - A Change Is Coming!! NEW REVAMP!

Guest greg098

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It's a bit like trying to turn the QE2 around, executive producer Susan Bower says of spearheading an overhaul of Neighbours. Bower took the helm of the once top-rating series last Christmas and faces the challenge of winning back viewers' trust and interest in the show. The show's ratings have in recent years been in decline, with it struggling in a 6:30pm ratings war with Today Tonight and A Current Affair. Adding to the soap's woes, a 2007 revamp - before Bower took over - proved a disappointment and ultimately cost the show more viewers. Aside from a shift to high definition, new credits and better sets, many viewers felt short-changed by the over-hyped overhaul. "We over-promised and lost a lot of loyal viewers," Bower says. "I am hoping to bring those viewers back and some new ones too. I don't want to alarm people and give them stripes when they're used to polka dots. I have a two-year plan, but it's not suddenly going to become Underbelly. It's always going to be a show about neighbours who live in a street. I am determined to get people talking about Neighbours again. Neighbours can be cool again." Bower says every long-running show needs a shake-up to reinvigorate its cast, crew and viewers. "Neighbours is an icon. Not many shows have gone for 23 years," she says. "It's been sold to the UK for another 10 years so it's reassuring to know our future is secure."

Already things are on the up. The first episodes driven by Bower aired last week and Neighbours attracted some of its highest ratings for the year. She is quick to downplay the impact of her influence, saying many of the casting changes were in place before she began. She says it's early days in the context for her plans for the show. But already Neighbours looks a slicker production. Direction and camera work is more imaginative, the acting is more realistic and storylines more engaging. "I wanted the acting to be more real, so when the girls cry there's some mascara in there," she says. "If someone is depressed they won't be dressed up like Princess Di, they'll be in a tracksuit - sure it's a nice tracksuit - but it's more realistic. I have asked the set decorators to mess the houses up a bit so they look lived-in. I know I am probably micro-managing."

Certainly the saucier storylines, including the introduction of former model Imogen Bailey as a temptress having an affair with her adopted nephew and a teenage girl having a sexual relationship with her teacher, have prompted some viewers to complain that Neighbours has shed its promise to return to "family values" in the chase for ratings. Bower is having none of that. "It's family values in a serial drama way," she says. "These are the sorts of things that a lot of families are dealing with. Students are sleeping with their teachers. People are closing their eyes if they think this doesn't happen in the real world. Yes it's torrid stuff, but it's done in a traditional Neighbours way. But this is a serial and you need to have sensational stories. The drama is heightened." Bower says she's simply happy that people are talking about Neighbours again. "You have to have those water cooler moments," she says.

Who's moving in...

* Morgan Baker: The 10-year-old actor plays Toadie's adopted son Callum.

* Margot Robbie: The young actor plays troublemaking teen Donna.

* Imogen Bailey: The former model is guest-starring as seductress Nicola West.

* Erin McNaught: The former Miss Australia guest-stars as Natalie Blair's scheming cousin Sienna Cammeniti.

* Dean Geyer: The Australian Idol contestant has joined the cast as a musician and barman Ty Harper.

... And who's moving out

* Dan O'Connor: The former Australian Idol contestant played Ned Parker. Now he is going overseas to focus on his music career.

* Jesse Rosenfeld: Played Marco, Natalie Blair's on-screen love interest.

* Sweeney Young: After his short stint as Riley Parker, Young is heading overseas to travel.

* David Hoflin: The former Ocean Girl star leaves Ramsay Street after a year playing Jane Hall's son Oliver Barnes.

Source: http://neighbours.com.au/forums/thread.jsp...05&tstart=0

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yeah, i was reading about this on: http://www.neighbourssource.com/Forum/inde...?showtopic=3360

i would trade the bishops or the scullys for the parkers

One think i'm not happy about everything in neighbours is so depressing. everything ends up in tragedy and heartache. and certain characters who we love and really warm to have had characters transplants one of them being toadie who use to be so funny.

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I think that Libby's return has helped Toadie out a lot with that. She's a reminder of where he came from and how he used to be as a kid. He hasn't been the same since Dee died, and all this stuff with Steph has obviously dragged a lot of that up for him. I'm curious to know how the new kid will affect him.

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I haven't been watching much lately, but it is getting interesting.

This sounds like that Bower has a deffinite direction in where she wants to take the show; especially that she has a "two year plan". I'm glad those characters are going though. None of them had ever appealed to me.

I might start watching it again full-time, although I just hope that they don't promote the change this time... People who wouldn't watch Neighbours would be thinking "what!? another one?" and 99% wouldn't bother to tune in.

It is in a tough timeslot, so that problem is always going to be there. I hope that it works though. There are still some characters in there that I care about.

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I've lost trust in the Neighbours team, I've lost hope in the show of ever becoming as good as it was in 2003 and 2004. I don't think Neighbours will recover, this week Neighbours have plummeted to 1.4m in the 5:30pm slot. The showing at this time on the bbc use to be receive 3.0 million

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The problem is attracting people back though. I have to admit I wouldn't go back no matter how many revamps it has. Unlike h and a i could always take or leave neighbours at will and at the moment i'll be leaving it.

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