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Neighbours Needs Your Support

Guest Edward Skylover

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Website Perfect Blend has started a campaign online in which they want to rally viewers to send in their support to the show, as executuves at Network Ten threaten to change Neighbours' timeslot or even move it to a digital channel.

Jennifer Byrne is said to be part of sweeping changes to Channel Ten's evening schedule. A well-placed source says Byrne is to front a new 6.30pm current affairs program as part of Ten's complete restructuring of its nightly news service.

It means Byrne -- a former 60 Minutes journo and current ABC presenter -- will go head to head against Matthew White and Seven's Today Tonight, as well as Nine's A Current Affair with Tracy Grimshaw.

The reshuffle also has the network entering the 6pm news tussle. ``Channel Ten's board last month approved a plan to air a two-and-a-half-hour slab of news and current affairs between 5pm and 7.30pm,'' the source claimed.

``There'll be the usual 5pm news hour, then a half-hour national bulletin, followed by a current affairs show hosted by Jennifer Byrne. Then there'll be The 7PM Project. The changes are expected to take effect in January. ''

Such moves will signal an end to ailing soapy Neighbours at 6.30pm. The source claimed it would move to Ten's new digital channel, as detailed in this column several weeks ago.

``Re-runs of The Simpsons were getting too expensive and news is a cheaper option. It's part of a re-branding of Ten's free-to-air channel, targeting the older demographic. The `younger' shows, like Neighbours, will go on to one of Ten's digital channels,'' the source said.

Ten declined to comment on the rumours when we contacted them -- their silence proving somewhat deafening.

To send in your support, please email your thoughts via the Perect Blend website, here.

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