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'Neighbours' ratings a cause for concern

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'Neighbours' ratings a cause for concern
Network Ten drama executive Dan Bennett has admitted that low ratings for Neighbours in Australia have become a cause for concern.

An increase in sensationalised storylines have failed to capture the attention of Oz fans, with the show pulling in fewer than 700,000 viewers each night in recent weeks. Bennett has confessed that executives are keen for the show to go back to its roots, focusing on families rather than bombs and shootings.

"Certainly, the figures we're getting now aren't a great basis for our night-time schedule,'' Bennett told The Sunday Telegraph. "Storylines are going to be refocused on what has quintessentially been at the heart of Neighbours: relationships and family dynamics.

"There can be the occasional bomb blast - no soap is complete without it - but at the end of the day, Neighbours began as a show about friends and families living on a street and all the problems people face every day. And that's what we'll be heading back to."

Executive producer Ric Pellizzeri played down talk of a crisis, insisting: "Coronation Street's been going 40 years, and we're looking at Neighbours as a show that will run for 40 years and even longer.''

Alan Fletcher, who plays Karl Kennedy, recently revealed that the soap was undergoing a "major transformation". Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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