Speculation ABC may move 7:30?

If Lateline goes under, would ABC make a move on 7:30?

Fairfax is speculating that ABC may move 7:30 amid suggestions that Lateline is in its “death throes” after ongoing cuts to its budget.

It suggests ABC could move 7:30 to ABC News with a later replay on the primary channel, which is effectively what happens with Lateline in a later playout.

Under that plan it could screen at 9:30, the article suggests.

An unnamed ABC employee suggests, “There has been talk about moving 7.30. It bounces around. Nothing is sacred and nothing is safe. That is the reality.”

However it offers no good oil on what ABC would do at 7:30 in its place. Quite frankly ABC is struggling to fill its 8pm slots on some nights, opting for repeats of QI or The Checkout. And can anybody name their Friday 8pm show? Not me.

I can’t imagine it would want to create new commissioning headaches unless it plans to get into new light entertainment shows.

But there is another option: offering its own version of The Project.

Some weeks ago ABC denied a suggestion by Pauline Hanson that ABC had offered millions to hijack The Project from TEN. No such deal was offered, they insisted, which sounds correct (and the show is not for sale in any case).

But her comments did reflect what many have known for some time. ABC wants more younger viewers and it sees a show like The Project as a natural fit to get them. Were it to offer such a format of its own, it could even opt for a one hour version, effectively solving the 8pm problem in one fell swoop.

The options are multiple, including Lateline going and 7:30 staying put, for that matter.

28 Responses

  1. This is exactly the agenda one would expect from Ms Guthrie. Move all current affairs, documentary and social commentary from prime time so that it can be replaced by anodyne entertainment shows. They’ve already cut back on science shows and trimmed 7.30. Once they’ve dispatched 7.30 to a more marginal timeslot, they’ll set about engineering a similar fate for Four Corners. And when those programs fail to perform as well in marginal slots it’s so much easier to axe them entirely, right?

  2. I think for most people 7.30 is the demarcation time between seriously looking at the day’s events, and then light entertaining TV. ABC’s 8pm shows probably suffer from starting at 8 and if moved to 7.30 they might attract a new audience who are searching for entertainment at 7.30. It is really difficult to remember to switch across to the ABC at 8, after you have invested half an hour into another show which is still running.

  3. I would say keep Lateline, as it was the only FTA late night news service – although not anymore with News 24. I think yes, ditch Lateline, because is there a point of difference between Lateline & 7.30? They both cover the same day’s news? I don’t understand why you would move 7.30 though. It sometimes out rates 9 & 10’s content in total people. Why not keep 7.30 at…7.30 & then have hour shows at 8pm. That would also align the schedule to a 9pm junction, with the commercial channels now airing reality content to all hours (at least 9pm most nights).

    1. They could replace Lateline with The Drum. I find the times for The Drum most inconvenient, 3 times during the daytime, and none at night. I seem to remember it used to be repeated later in the evening in its early days.

    1. I wish The Project would slow down and actually discuss things like The Panel used to do. At the moment they show a prerecorded bit, one of them makes a quick observation then they go to commercial.

  4. They have News at 5pm, The Drum, News at 7pm, 7:30, The Link, Lateline, a 24 hour news channel, a news website and lot of it is available on iView. It’s all just the daily news cycle, mostly about federal politics with no debate, no reconcilliation of facts instead everything is opinion and pretend outrage.

    What time its on and what you call it is pretty much irrelevant. What’s more important is what the ABC does that isn’t this stuff and isn’t a repeat of a BBC quiz or renovation show.

  5. Actually, why don’t they just move 7:30 to their news channel and keep ABC1 for stuff that’s actually entertaining? If I feel like being informed I’ll go to ABCNEWS. Why have a whole bunch of channels that supposedly serve a specific purpose and then just squirt assorted programs all over the place? Maybe they should have a RAGE channel too (kidding).

    1. But this folds into my own head-scratcher that I’ve had for a long while:
      SBS has a dedicated food channel, yet almost all first run food programs run on the main channel. Kind of defeats the purpose, don’t you think?

  6. I’ve noticed The Drum seems to be being aired a lot more on News24 and the main ABC Channel – I think it’s close enough to The Project tbh…
    Leigh Sales has proven she’s worthy of holding 7:30 as her program – if she left, then that would warrant it’s demise (same thing was said about Kerry O’Brien though).

  7. Struggling to fill 8pm slots, yet they ditched the very entertaining “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” back in October last year. All they had to do was load it up and play it and let we Australians that pay for their existence and their fat executive salaries enjoy that 45 minutes of silliness five nights a week.

    1. Errr-Fallon was shown on ABC 2 so was irrelevant to this discussion-and his was/is a very silly show that has been beaten by the far more pointed Colbert in the US this year-all of the late night US shows rely on a lot of repeated eps during the year which would make them unsuitable for that slot on the primary channel.

  8. If it was a choice of getting rid of either, get rid of 7:30. I find Lateline to be far superior. And who watches The Link? Sad to think the ABC had state/territory editions of 7:30 Report a long time ago. Won’t be long before the 7pm News becomes national only sourced ex ABC News 24 leaving state/territory audiences with no local production anymore outside Sydney and Melbourne. All so as to keep the hungry monster that is ABC News 24 rolling along.

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