Never Can Say Goodbye

There’s been a slight twist in the open question of The 7pm Project‘s eventual fate – you seriously didn’t think it’d continue at 7pm with the ratings it’s been getting, did you? It seems that tonight’s footy-related bumping back to 11pm, while not the first time it’s happened, has people wondering if the show will make a permanent move to a later timeslot once Master Chef returns. After all, Master Chef is Ten’s biggest big gun: having a lead-in that people are avoiding like the plague would do a lot more harm than good.

We’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that the 7pm timeslot is pretty much the worst one possible for a show of this kind. Too early to do anything really funny, up against actual news shows on other channels – the list goes on.  But if a shift to a late-night slot is on the cards (and a few official mentions of it as “The Project” suggest the 7pm part is up for grabs), someone might want to mention it to the people putting the show together. Rather than the comedy take on the news that was initially promised, these days The 7pm Project looks a lot more like a half-arsed version of ACA without the Hey Dad..! clips. “Australia’s got a gambling problem” said the promos for Monday night’s show; if the problem really is as serious as the serious music and serious faces make it out to be, what the hell is Dave Hughes doing anywhere near it?

[while on the subject of Hughes, in a recent interview in The Herald Sun Hughes modestly suggested “anyone who doesn’t think I’m funny, I think they just don’t get it”. What’s not to get? Whether it’s him talking about wanting to “kill” people who give him bad reviews or the fact that his idea of a fun afternoon is bidding up the price at a house auction when he has no intention of buying the place – and going on to complain on radio when he accidentally wins the auction, so better luck next time you serious bidders – Hughes is a charming and lovable fellow who’s a consistent source of quality laughs. Ahem]

If The 7pm Project were to go late night, it’d be a great opportunity to really crank it up comedy wise. Supposedly the Martin / Molloy radio show was originally pitched as an el cheapo late-night news comedy show (basically, the radio show with pictures), and Mick Molloy’s original idea for The Nation was something a lot similar. Pickering and the 7pm Posse aren’t Martin / Molloy funny, but outside the family-friendly timeslot and with the freedom that comes from being out of the spotlight there’s little doubt they could do a lot better than they’re doing now on the comedy front.

But as it stands, The 7pm Project is mostly just watered-down current affairs. No-one’s going to want to watch that after dark – hell, no-one wants to watch it now. Pushing the current version of the show (what is it now, mark 5?)  into a late night slot is just a slightly less embarrassing way of saying goodbye. And while no-one’s going to be all that sad to see The 7pm Project go, if Ten is serious about it there’s still a chance to turn this lost opportunity into something actually worth a look. As usual, don’t hold your breath.

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6 Comments

  • Jay Garrick says:

    “Too early to do anything really funny” – this is BS, time slot should never dictate how funny you are, if it does, then you’re simply not good enough. I’ve seen this lame excuse trotted out time and time again.

    The problem isn’t with timeslot it’s with a whole cast of 30-ish boring presenters aiming at the yoof and plebs. It was a poor-man’s ACA from the start, it was never a comedy, it was just the news!

    Also, stop relating everything back to Tony friggen’ Martin, this has nothing to do with him. He was great, as was the Late Show but that was almost 20 years ago, Micallef has also dropped any chance of respectability for jumping into a lame mum-centric ch 10 panel show.

    Give up on the old dogs, in fact, give up on this blog, Australian TV Comedy isn’t good enough, and never has been to warrant even a self-funded blog dedicated to it. There’s only ever been around 3 good comedies on our screens and at this rate that record is never going to change.

  • Jay Garrick says:

    Deleting comments that disagree with you now? This is Australia’s problem, negative criticism is ignored. If you can’t please your audience than what are you trying to achieve?

    Australia’s most opinionated blog…

    As long as you don’t disagree with their opinion.

  • Bean Is A Carrot says:

    No, we’re just a bit slow to approve comments sometimes. We don’t delete any comments unless they’re spam.

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    Which are the three good comedies on our screens?

  • Linda Blagg says:

    Wow, Jay Garrick needs to get back on his meds. I was sort of agreeing with his first post, and then that crazy tantrum in the second one. How quickly he turns on a blog he clearly reads all the time and is obsessed with.

  • Jason M says:

    I always thought form the very start that The 7PM Project had no idea what it wanted to be, and not enough airtime to figure it out in. Sure, over the week they get in 2.5 hours of TV, but in 30min dribbles it makes it hard to elaborate and squeeze the best our of the material (mostly because they insist on charging through every topic we just saw on the news).

    The new format is just plain strange. Is it turning into Real Stories? The only times I have found myself enjoying the show is when someone I like is on “eg. T. Martin) or when one of the non-regulars (who actually knows what they are talking about) goes one of the guests.

    The show is piss weak almost light news. The introduction of these new segments about serious issues is just like “Hungry Beast” to me, I can’t immediately tell if they are being serious or not. In short, to use an internet meme to sum up why I don’t like this show (or Hungry Beast for that matter): Schizophrenic show is schizophrenic.