Network TEN has axed 6:30 with George Negus, to take effect from the end of next week.
It will be replaced with an extended version of The 7PM Project, to be re-titled as The Project.
Negus will remain with TEN in news and current affairs and return to a regular panel role on The Project.
The axing follows disappointing ratings for the show in the competitive 6:30pm timeslot, after it was moved from its original home of 6pm mid year. Last night it rated 340,000 viewers.
David Mott, Chief Programming Officer, said, “The move to expand The Project from a half hour format to the hour reflects our belief that this type of contemporary, informative, fast-paced, funny, yet relevant news offering is what best connects with our audience.”
“We’re incredibly proud of George and our 6.30 team, both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes. 6.30 has been a high quality, credible, and thought provoking news program for the network. The decision to discontinue 6.30 was a commercial one and in no way reflects on the quality of George, the program or the team. We are grateful to George for establishing and steering this bold experiment over the last 10 months.”
George Negus says, “Working on 6.30 has been incredibly fulfilling. From reporters to production crew, we have worked together to bring viewers a high quality, soil-breaking program and some of the year’s biggest stories and interviews. We are immensely proud of all we have achieved. The truth is that unfortunately a program like 6.30 was ahead of its time, but who knows about the future?
“Though sadly 6.30 has come to an end, I’m looking forward to getting back with my mates at The Project. They’ve also broken new ground with their irreverent approach to what’s going on around us, it’s my kind of tongue-in-cheek program.”
At TEN’s 2012 Programming Launch the network had promised George Negus and the 6:30 team would return, but did not specifically name the show itself, fuelling rumours that Negus might take a different role on the show.
Negus left Dateline at SBS at the end of last year to take up the role as part of TEN’s news revamp.
The Project switches from Monday October 31st.
Charlie Pickering said, “TEN has given us more time and we’re not going to say no. Carrie, Hughesy and myself have always got something to say and whether or not the world needs to hear it we’re just glad to have the extra half hour to say it.”