Gallery: Farewell to Sunday Night

When Sunday Night first went to air on Seven in February 2009 it was with a small studio audience who also got to chat with reporters about their stories afterwards on multichannel 7HD.

“It’s live from our Sunday Night studio as a continuing, unscripted event,” original co-producer Adam Boland told TV Tonight at the time. “Essentially what will happen is the hosts will stay on set, along with any reporters from that particular show as well as any key talent.

“So for example on the first episode we’re doing our investigation into the death of Britt Lapthorne. Her parents will be on set with Ross Coulthart, the investigator, and taking questions from our studio audience as well as anyone from home via a phone number and website.”

The All In Call, as it was known, barely lasted a few weeks amid rumours then-CEO David Leckie was giving the flagship show 10 weeks to prove itself.

But Sunday Night, co-created by Mark Llewellyn, would go on to much bigger success, challenging 60 Minutes both in ratings and stories.

Initially hosted by Chris Bath & Mike Munro, then subsequently by Melissa Doyle, it ran for 11 years.

At its best it was doing true crime investigations, bringing international stories from lost tribes to celebrity interviews and surrounding its team with names like Molly Meldrum, Mike Willesee, Derryn Hinch and even Kerri-Anne Kennerley.

At its worst there were puff pieces for Seven’s own Pete Evans, too many weeks off air in the Seven schedule (including up to 3 months during ratings), breaches of the Code with ACMA and an unwelcome role in the friendship fallout of Molly & Elton.

But current affairs is hard yakka and 11 years is not to be dismissed lightly. Special acknowledgement to the crews who have trekked the globe in warzones and inhospitable terrain to capture stories for our Sunday edification.

Tonight Melissa Doyle is joined by Mike Munro, Matt Doran, Denham Hitchcock, Steve Pennells, Alex Cullen, Angela Cox, Rahni Sadler, Ross Coulthart and PJ Madam who reflect on their favourite stories. Highlights will also screen over summer.

Here are some of the moments that capture the show’s history….

 

8pm Sunday on Seven.

7 Comments:

  1. Sunday Night went downhill once Chris Bath jumped ship. Mel Doyle whispering is hard to watch and the stories reached A Current Affair sensationalism heights.

  2. What a shame this show is ending, imho it was a game changer in terms of production values & raised the bar leaving its rival to catch up. I suppose it did become a bit sensationalist but then as said, so did 60 Minutes yet its still going so not sure what the problem was. Having said that i have an interest in true crime but perhaps not enough others did hence lower ratings since they tended to focus on those stories in the last few yrs. They did some really great music focused stories too over the years which were the standout for me, thanks Sunday Night!

  3. I’ll be watching too. It was a great show when at its best, and although it had some low points, do too had 60 Minutes. Thanks for giving Sunday Night a respectful farewell post David.

  4. I will happily be watching…I don’t regularly watch Sunday Night, though I feel I should at least give it a great farewell for all the years it has run and been a fixture of Seven. No other Sunday night show could ever be a true replacement for this show: it sometimes was a bit reckless, but it brought in true crime investigations and world news like never before.

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