Everybody loves a good comeback … UK agencies bet on Neighbours’ return

Betting agencies give the show a 12.5 per cent chance of being cancelled in 2024.

Betting agencies give the show a 12.5 per cent chance of being cancelled in 2024. Photo: TND

When streaming giant Amazon picked up the rights late last year to resume production of the longest-running soap Neighbours, fans around the world rejoiced to see what would happen next on Ramsay Street.

This week, the family favourite returned to the Ten Network, not in prime time, but in the earlier time slot of 4.30pm (and 6.30pm on 10Peach).

Original cast member Alan Fletcher (Dr Karl Kennedy) said he was “literally buzzing with excitement for the launch of the new Neighbours“.

“There is so much for fans to look forward to. New cast joining established cast, amazing drama with incredible twists and turns. Audiences will be delivered a modern, diverse and exciting new series to enjoy!”

Hold your horses! Not quite so fast, doctor!

Want to bet?

UK-based Online Betting Guide (OLBG), open to users in the US, Ireland and Australia, has dropped a bombshell.

It did the maths, and revealed the odds for the show to be cancelled in 2024 is 7 to 1 (a 12.5 per cent chance).

Odds that it will fold this year are longer at 20 to 1 (a 4.8 per cent chance).

The show, which was a famous breeding ground for actors, crews, directors and scriptwriters, was cancelled last year after more than 9000 episodes.

The final episode last July, with an audience of two million, saw stars return to Ramsay Street, including Kyle Minogue and Jason Donovan.

A punter’s dream list

In the highly publicised lead up to the show’s reboot, after its 37-year-run was cut by Britain’s Channel 5 in favour of local content, there has been much hype about who’s returning, and who the new stars are.

An estimated 450 cast and crew returned to Melbourne’s Nunawading studios and to a street location in Vermont when production began in April.

Set two years after the finale, we know that Hollywood A-lister Guy Pearce is back, and that star of The O.C. Mischa Barton has been snapped up to play a mysterious American woman. There’s a same-sex couple, a wedding, new neighbours.

“British fans will jump straight back on board, but it will be interesting to see if any Americans and Canadians do,” observes Mediaweek, saying the North American audience “is the one international market that has always eluded Neighbours“.

The first episode on Monday night captivated fans with Toadie (Ryan Moloney) tying the knot with Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglou).

Suggestions for more storylines – which Mediaweek says it “chews through” –  and the associated odds have been done by OLBG for punters for the 41st series.

Natalie Bassingthwaighte

She plays Izzy Hoyland and was a regular character from 2003 to 2006 and made guest appearances in 2007, 2018 and 2022.

She is the younger sister of Max who strikes a relationship with Kennedy (who she had a baby with) and often caused trouble between him and Susan.

OLBG says there’s a 28.6 per cent chance, with odds at 5 to 2, that she will return permanently.

Madeleine West

West played Dee Bliss in 387 episodes from 2000 to 2003, 2017, 2019 and 2020.

Her storyline is complicated as she also played Andrea Somers.

Bliss disappeared following a car crash into the ocean after marrying Toadie.

For what it’s worth, OLBG says the odds of West returning as a Dee Bliss triplet are 10 to 1.

Chris Sebastian

Winner of season nine of The Voice Australia (2020), Sebastian sings the newest rendition of the Neighbours theme song made famous by Gold Logie winner Barry Crocker.

A fresh sound for a new era.

Want to bet he’ll have a UK No.1 hit on his hands? Odds are set at 33 to 1, a 2.9 per cent probability.

Guy Pearce

There’s a 2.4 per cent chance Pearce will give up his Hollywood career for the soap, with odds at 40 to 1.

‘Nice polish’

Original cast member Stefan Dennis, who plays six-time married businessman Paul Robinson, tells Reuters the show is still Neighbours and it will continue to be Neighbours, “it’s just Neighbours with a nice polish”.

There is a “bit more thrown at it … but it basically is still the same formula, which is great”.

Elmaloglou said reprising her role of Terese Willis was an easy ‘yes’.

“I screamed around the house for about five minutes [saying], ‘Oh my God, oh my God, I can’t believe it’,” she said, describing her reaction after getting the call about returning.

Actor Tim Kano, who plays Leo Tanaka, said: “(I am) definitely excited, but I think we are all kind of nervous and intrigued to see how (fans are) going to feel about the new plot twists and how it relaunches itself.

“A lot of the plot lines are a lot different”.

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