I think com­mer­cial tele­vi­sion needs more in­ves­tiga­tive sto­ries. I don’t think we are do­ing enough of them

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide -

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.


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.

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