Q&A to move to Thursdays in 2021?

Could Q&A move timeslots next year?

Guardian Australia is speculating the show may move to Thursday and in an earlier timeslot.

“…. more than three hours of news is proving a tough ask for many viewers and Q+A is frequently dipping below 300,000 in metro viewers, from a high of 700,000 in its heyday under Tony Jones, the founding host. There is a big drop-off of viewers after Media Watch,” Guardian noted.

If an 8:30 Thursdays is on the cards, this might pit the show against Gogglebox, although they are largely two different audiences. And it could help address the dog’s breakfast that is ABC Thursdays (there I said it).

The idea has actually been mooted for some time, including with the Q&A camp.

Last year outgoing host Tony Jones told TV Tonight, “The pressure on Free to Air Television has become greater and greater to attract new audiences. I do think we’re on a little bit too late in the evening and often not on at the time we’re scheduled to be on.

“Our friendly colleagues on Four Corners, 7:30, Australian Story or Media Watch sometimes go just a little bit longer than usual. Cumulatively when you put it all together, we end up being on 10 minutes later than we should have been, on a regular basis. It’s very hard for people to sustain their interest through to very late in the evening.

“My strong suggestion to the management will be to do what we’ve asked for, for some time: put the program on much earlier on a different night, most likely.

“I hope they will go down that path.”

ABC has been contacted for comment.


  1. I use to watch Q&A all the time but it’s boring now. Just too politically correct. No more funny tweets, all too serious. Same stuff all the time, Climate change, equal rights etc etc. Bring back the shoe thrower and Steve Price. Hamish was good on The Project as he gelled well with Tommy and Lisa but as a solo act is left wanting.

  2. People turned off last year when that episode with the woman saying that men should be killed was on. The ABC apologised several times for that program which was called (I think) Dangerous Ideas and a whole range of savage, anti male nonsense apart from that was broadcast. It was too much for even the show’s left wing, Green viewers. Nobody will go back to watching it after that and the ABC should simply axe it altogether rather than moving it to another day.

  3. Q&A has become too much like The Drum – a discussion show, rather than the debate forum that it used to be. And for a good debate, there needs to be a good moderator. Tony Jones was excellent, and it was a more “must-see” format. Tbh, I quite like The Drum.

  4. It needs to return to pre 2013 when it was a great debate show and exchange of ideas, once Abbott got in, it went from being an umpire to an active player on the field, much like most of today’s “news media” anything slightly left of a green view of the world and you get called all sorts of names.

    Today’s Q&A is nothing more than an echo chamber – if you’re a conservative you’re only there to be setup with gotchas or generally mocked for not following group think

    Switched off years ago and not likely to go back

    • Qanda is just dull, it isn’t a debate of ideas, it is just a rehash of the things over and over again. And let’s face it, the host has been rather disappointing.

  5. The one thing I haven’t liked about Q&A this year is simply that about half way through the show Hamish will stand up and do some random “Lets get to know this random audience person” and its like, I’m not here to hear this random persons story, I’m here to hear questions be asked and for the politicians to try their best to not answer it.

  6. Hamish Mc is good TV talent and has plenty of credibility. But Q & A was better before Hamish joined the show as it was more debate with opposing sides pushing their view. In 2020 it is more a discussion show with most on the panel of the same view. Which is fine if you agree with that view. If you don’t…you probably won’t watch.

  7. I watched Q and A for years and have been in its audience several times. The last two years I haven’t watched much as in my opinion it’s really become to biased.
    If I was to make a suggestion it needs some balance and a new host, not just a new night.

  8. The show may have hit a high with Tony JOnes but not in the latter years. The show under Tony was very pro labor and left wing. Most of the people in the audience were the same. I have listened to Hamish on the ABC radio and he was very good. On another night and earlier may help. Also it is very hard to sustain high ratings when the show is over ten years old.

  9. Hamish is a pretty meh host…that doesn’t help.
    I think also we are sick of Covid topics being discussed…they need to look at other topics

  10. It was always going to be difficult to fill the shoes of the distinguished numerous Walkley award winning Tony Jones (news journalist). A journalist that seemingly didn’t take sides and moderated with fairness for the most part with a few minor exceptions that seemed to be issues close to his heart that were understandable frailties, though still not excusable for bias. It’s the casting that counts and a member of the left-wing biased The Project as host of Q+A isn’t going to fill confidence in non-bias.

    • Hamish (news journalist) is a Walkley winner too.
      Prior to his Project days he was out in the field in warzones for Al Jazeera & Ten.

      Just because someone was a member of The Project doesn’t mean they are automatically left-wing biased. Would you say Steve Price is left wing?

      I don’t know if he is the right host or not, (the left wing bias of Q+A has turned me off for good years ago) – but HM definitely has an impressive resume.

      • I mention news journalist to not be mistaken with Tony Jones (sports journalist). Steve Price’s appearance on The Project can be considered tokenism. I doubt that there could be named another non-left-wing panellist or member on The Project. It’s akin to how Alan Colmes was the only, or one of the very few liberal presenters on Fox News.

        • There are. Peter Van Onselen isn’t left-wing-bias and I believe Lisa Wilkinson holds her cards close.

          Yes, overall the show is brought down by the obvious lean from Waleed but to paint everyone that is on the show or graduates from the show as biased is wrong.

          • I find PVO to be very left-wing biased even though he has been on Sky. Almost certainly left-wing. The false predictions of Bill Shorten’s election win would be the most glaring example. I believe Lisa Wilkinson skews to the left too. It may not be that everyone on the show is biased, but Waleed seems to influence the narrative of the show. The Project did not seem to be as political before Waleed joined the show.

  11. Probably a good idea to put Q&A on a Thursday night probably at 8:30, but would they have anything decent as a lead in? Maybe have Catalyst go back to the old half hour format and put it on Thursdays at 8

  12. There’s numerous encores of it (as well as AS/4C/MW) during the week, as well as iview of course. It’s an easy decision to save it/them for later in the week when there’s less on, and to split up the serious / news content with lighter stuff.

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