I think commercial television needs more investigative stories. I don’t think we are doing enough of them
fight for viewers by moving its flagship current-affairs show, Dateline, to Sundays.
Seven gave Sunday Night the jump on its opposition by launching at the weekend and attracting a respectable 1.6 million viewers nationally.
Munro was last week quoted as saying the show would give us ‘‘no toothbrush surveys and no wash-powder tests’’.
And on the back of live coverage of the bushfire terror in Victoria and a fresh look into the death of Australian backpacker Britt Lapthorne, the premiere episode lived up to Munro’s promise.
The bushfires served Sunday Night with the perfect opportunity to illustrate how the show is attempting to reinvent the TV current-affairs genre and to do what 60 Minutes can’t — be agile enough to blend taped and live interviews with breaking news.
— MIKE MUNRO
Minutes, which would force viewers to instantly choose one show over the other. Instead, Seven has opted for a 6.30pm start — the network’s hopes pinned on viewers being so enamoured by Sunday Night that in time a large chunk of viewers won’t bother switching from Seven to Nine at 7.30pm.
It would be ludicrous to suggest the launch of Sunday Night casts a cloud over the future of 60 Minutes.
Seven, however, has given the show a chance of success in its pairing of Munro and Chris Bath as co-hosts. In episode one, Munro, as always, came across as calm and self-assured. He has an undeniable ability to connect with the average punter. Bath appeared nervous, but will settle into her role.
‘‘Seven News is a great lead-in for us and that’s why 6.30pm is a good timeslot,’’ Bath says.
‘‘I think we might pinch some of 60’ s audience. Well, we are hoping to. With two live shows back to back that night ( Seven News and Sunday Night) it’s going to work really well.’’
Nine’s director of news and current affairs, John Westacott, reminds us of 60 Minutes’ outstanding ratings record (it averaged a very healthy 1.5 million viewers last year) and the fact Sunday Night is the fourth attempt by rival networks to knock his
Rejoining the battle: Mike Munro and Chris Bath are confident Sunday Night can win viewers’ hearts.