Recently 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…