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Why did The Verdict fail?

"Everyone in the media wanted to jump on it and kill it straight away," Nine news boss reflects.

Despite passion for a 24 / 7 news cycle, not many commercial networks are taking the plunge with late night news or innovative programming.

Are they mindful of Nine’s brief foray with The Verdict in 2015? The show hosted by Karl Stefanovic only lasted 8 episodes, but Nine news & current affairs boss Darren Wick recently told TV Tonight there were lessons learned.

“I don’t think it was a fail, because I think we learned a lot from it. By the end of it the show had a really good rhythm,” he said.

“Everyone in the media wanted to jump on it and kill it straight away. It didn’t quite know what it was to begin with and it took a little bit of time to evolve.

“It was in a challenging timeslot, on a Thursday at the end of the year, post-footy season. It was an audience who were usually accustomed to tuning down at that time of the week.

“Some of the content was a little bit heavy in the earlier shows but we found the balance, the right rhythm. It would have been good to have a second season to see what we could do with it.”

But ‘Wickie’ said Nine has no plans for late night news.

“It’s hard. With mobile phones, tablets and desktops, that 24 hour news is (already) there. So it’s a challenge whether the old late-night news model still sits there,” he explained.

“Late night news is probably a financial decision for us, and Seven would be in the same boat.”

11 Responses

  1. My memory of this show was that it was hard to follow what was being said as everyone was shouting over the top of everyone else. No one was given a chance to speak and it turned into a panel of people yelling at each other.
    Maybe ‘Wickie’ should YouTube some old clips of Graham Kennedy’s Coast to Coast for a late night news format that would totally still work today. Maybe don’t have Karl Sefanovic hosting it though LOL

      1. Yes! They’d be wonderful. Shaun Micallef, Julia Morris, Stephen Curry, Tom Gleeson, Kitty Flannagan, Will Anderson or even Agro haha come to mind. Anyone with a touch of the entendre’s about them would be hilarious.

  2. I’m going to say it…We want to be entertained by television, not informed. We can do both via other means, sure, but a Thursday night t.v needs a program where the viewer can simply switch on and, in a sense, switch off. Give me some variety and make me laugh. Give me a show where I can turn on, I don’t need to know what’s happened in the week before, there’s no prize to be won, it’s just good old fashioned entertainment in a new way. Don’t just rehash what someone else has done. If they are successful, you won’t be. If they weren’t, you don’t want to be.

    1. I agree. I just wish to be entertained, it’s that simple. I’m tired of these talking heads pretending to speak for us when in fact they’re expressing their own stupid opinion. It’s all noise.

  3. The guests were opinionated, but knew nothing, and had no idea how to debate. Stefanovich had no experience hosting a panel debate and had no idea how to stop them trying to shout each other down. The first few episodes were awful, and while it may have improved it was too late. But given that the ABC couldn’t keep Lateline going anymore, it isn’t surprising that an attempt at a new show on commercial TV failed.

  4. What more can be said? Plenty: Darren Wick clearly needs to take the blinders off because when Karl tries to be serious he comes off like a school yard bully. Highly unlikeable. Nine needs to cut their losses and move on. And no this conversation isn’t being recorded by an Uber driver.

  5. Because Stefanovick is not as smart as he thinks he is and the panel was full of people whose opinions you couldn’t care less about. A very poor attempt at a commercial Q & A. I always find when Karl tries to ask “the tough questions” he is a dud.

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