Fairfax reports a Project-style show featuring Leigh Sales, Annabel Crabb and Dan Ilic is in development under 7.30‘s executive producer Sally Neighbour.
A live audience, a desk, comedy and chat are said to be under consideration, with the format involving politics, interviews, investigative reporting, feature stories and “quirky/funny/human” stories.
Fairfax reports an eight-point agenda for a “workshop” indicates participants were asked to discuss the question: “What can we take from other models, e.g. The Project, The Feed, The Roast, Good News Week, 10.30 show [Lateline] etc?”
An ABC spokeswoman denied that any meetings had occurred, claiming: “This information is not accurate – no ‘planning workshop’ was held. Any speculation on programming decisions is premature.”
Since the axing of Collectors, ABC has had ongoing programming problems in its 8pm Friday timeslot, meaning a new format could even run for an hour to address two problems.
One producer of a state-based 7:30 edition told Fairfax, “They’ve not played fair with us. They’ve gone very sneakily behind our backs to construct the alternative to us without involving us in any way. I feel comparatively little loyalty to them. I do to the audience, and to the notion of public broadcasting, but not to them.”
ABC recently aired the Friday Night Crack-Up to much success.