Sunday Night shafted for 3 months

sundaynight23Recently it was reported that the new season of Dancing with the Stars would premiere at 6:30pm on Sunday July 5 -a timeslot that has been home to Sunday Night.

The move left question marks over the future of the new current affairs show.

Today it is confirmed that Sunday Night will be off air for the next three months.

The move comes at a crucial time for the programme, which had been building a steady following recently. Last week it won its slot with 1.27m viewers. This week, it didn’t air in Adelaide at its usual time, so it managed 1.15m. Some weeks it has bettered 60 Minutes.

Current affairs shows of this scale do not come cheap, nor does a variety juggernaut of the size of Dancing with the Stars. Seven is more than aware of the trouble the variety show had “sharing” its audience with Australian Idol last year, and that Seven News (Sunday) is its biggest audience of the week. If it can retain a big chunk of them with Dancing it will be rapt.

Sunday Night has had to find its feet on air this year, getting the chemistry right between Mike Munro and Chris Bath, finding a tone between Ross Coulthart’s investigative stories and light content from Grant Denyer, and juggling the role of a studio audience. The All in Call on 7HD was also axed after a handful of attempts.

Munro even switched networks to do Sunday Night, now it won’t be on air at all…



  1. Only One Problem if they were to put Dancing With the Stars on a Wednesday Night.You would lose Earl,How I met your Mother and Family Guy

  2. With DWTS and PTTR due to retun at similar times, why not leave SN in place, but follow it in the 7.30 slot with Rafters to try and drive a nail in the 60 minutes coffin on a Sunday night. Then Dancing could go back to the Tuesday slot and re-build its Tuesday night audience.

  3. Next we’ll see 7 wanting to compete with ten’s 6pm simpsons repeats, so they’ll put their 6pm news bulletin on hold for 3 months to air repeats of family guy.

  4. good to see seven staying loyal to a show (Bones) that has rated so well for them since its resurrection a year ago and leaving it on Sundays where it is rating well (1.3 million!). They’d only stuff it up by changing the night or time and lose viewers just like svu has.

    i think Bones is rating more than what homicide rated in the 8:30pm Sunday timeslot! Bones repeats will probably return to follow the new episodes when Castle concludes and City Homicide will return to Mondays when Desperate Housewives concludes in August.

  5. As I’ve said before, the smart decision would be to shift Bones to Wed 8.30pm, its already established as Seven’s crime procedural hour and Criminal Minds only has something like 4 episodes to go anyway. That way they could have kept SN where it was at and just had DWTS lead straight in to Castle, which is exactly how it airs in the US (DWTS 8pm-10pm, Castle 10-11pm).

  6. Is Seven so confident in their news brand that they can afford to do this? My prediction is that Nines news brand will increase in trust and confidence due to the disrespect Seven is giving viewers.

  7. Echoing most preceding comments, I feel that this is an extremely bad decision. Surely Seven’s supposed “flagship” current affairs program takes priority over DWTS? SN has only started to rate solidly over the past few weeks, and now people who are looking for a current affairs fix are going to flock to 60 Minutes. Plus DWTS will have to compete with the final weeks of the similarly family-oriented Merlin and the ratings behemoth MasterChef, not to mention Nine’s 6:30 sap-fest. We already saw Dancing under-perform on Sundays last year.

  8. I’d say that is most likely Craig. They’ll probably just go back to Bones repeats at 9.30 once Castle is finished. I think a 6.30 start will work quite well for Dancing, but as others have noted, it’s not a good move for Sunday Night which is just establishing itself

  9. Castle – net week is ep 6 and there are only 10 eps in the first season

    Surely DWTS will be 6:30, Bones 8:30, Castle 9:30?

    Still a bad decision to cut SundayNight

  10. I hope it has a major re-tool before it returns. I liked the concept – live, with audience, etc – but it never worked. It needn’t have been live and the audience (who were never actually really factored into the show) were dropped soon enough.
    The balance bewteen Ross Coulthart and fluff – some of which hasn’t even been to Today Tonight standards – has been painful. They should get Mike and Nat to do more stories, and have some structured in-studio interviews.
    Also the set appears too big and drafty, with its hosts plonked in the middle on dodgy chairs.

  11. Guy, I guess the problem with Seven having named the show “Sunday Night” is that it kind of limits the nights on which they can schedule it 🙂

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