Why 7PM won’t be Taken Out anytime soon

7pmpThere continues to be discussion about the slim figures for The 7PM Project, which last night fared at a disappointing 764,000.

On radio, online and in print the word “axe” is being frequently associated with the show. While last night wasn’t the lowest the show has taken (that was Friday at 656,000), it isn’t a great start to the week. Generally speaking, Mondays are a big night when regular shows attract their best following. It also lost viewers from Neighbours, at 868,000.

And while we’re on the subject, it was also beaten by Two and a Half Men & Home and Away in 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54. That’s where it will really hurt.

But calls for it to be axed are misreading the state of play.

TEN knows this is a new show, that has to find its feet. More importantly, it needs this one to work. The alternative of resorting to more US sitcoms or some other repeat programme is a far bigger problem, because it means the network has to go back to the drawing board to commission another replacement somewhere along the line. It already did that after Taken Out.

The show is also still developing its format. Last night it allowed swimmer Liesl Jones to stay longer as a guest (including beyond a commercial break). Kitty Flanagan, who impressed on her first appearance last week, returned. Charlie Pickering was also added to voice-overs.

Today programmer David Mott is quoted in the Daily Telegraph as saying, “We are invested in this program and will allow it to build its audience rather than taking it straight off air before it finds an audience.”

Week 31

Source: news.com.au


  1. God help us all if they go down the old recycled American or British Sitcom Road If the 7pm Project does not succeed.
    Not all of us are into Two and a Half Men or Home and Away and only will put up with that garbage as a last resort.

  2. Personally, i havent bothered watching 7pm. It sounded corny and an obvious flop from the sneak peeks. Ten wont axe it because it keeps gaining 3 or 4 viewers every night, which is alright if you want the show to go for millions of years. 2.5 men is going out. Nine’s putting it on every single time it axes a show just to fill in the gaps! Why doesn’t it just rename itself the 2.5 men network and move to sri lanka, where it cant kill us. Home and away is a dead horse. All they do is re-act the same disaster from 20 seasons ago again while changing their names. Home and away’s ratings will collapse within a few years. If 7pm profect can improve a bit, it just might be able to poach some of nine’s and sevens ratings.

  3. Did anyone recognise British comedian Tim Vine on Neighbours yesterday? I wonder if the episode will be promoted in the UK. I didn’t see any promotion where I live, regional Qld..

  4. I’m sure Ten and Roving Ent’s would have done a deal based on a minimum number of eps – otherwise it wouldn’t really be in either of their interests. Which means that unless the numbers go drastically south, it ain’t going anywhere for a while.

  5. @ ah wobble – she wasn’t reluctant to speak she was peed off because she was told to stop telling everyone that she is a lesbian every 5 seconds.

    I give a huge congratulations to whoever at 10 read the blogs / comments and then actually did something about them!! Especially in regards to RR and removing Carrie from every voiceover possible.

  6. why not put repeats on , of at least Big Brothers Friday Night Live games ?

    These were always very popular , and there has been talk , about re gearing game shows such as this or Its a Knockout –

    Why not , give it a try , and put on Friday night live – but of course – Each day –

    Surely – from something like 14 housemates over 2 or 3 years , there is over a month of programs.

  7. I think they need to have a properly set-out format and previously prepared questions for their guests so no one gets stumped. I personally adore Charlie Pickering and I do hope this show finds it’s feet and gains a bigger audience, but first they have to improve by becoming more professional. At the moment, Kitty Flanagan and Ruby Rose are the best things about this show.

  8. I stopped watching the 7pm train wreck after a couple of episodes but geez I’m enjoying reading this continued gossipy hate-fest! Thanks to all you writers for for giving me some genuine laughs! It almost makes me want to watch again just for the “so-bad-it’s-good” giggles. But not quite.

    My better half caught the tail end of last night’s show ( it ran late as usual to catch MyGen viewers) and said that RubyRose was reluctant to speak because of blog criticism. I wonder if RR reads TV Tonight?

    Why oh why do we hate this show so much? And why oh why are you people still watching it? You’re giving it inflated ratings and prolonging the agony.
    That said, I’m going to miss this particular thread when 7pm is canned!

  9. It seems shows here get one week before calls for the axe to swing arrive. Luckily Seinfeld was made in the states as it took 4 seasons to become ‘popular’! I do agree week one was loose but this week has actually been pretty good.

  10. Graeme Ettinger

    I agree with comments re dumping Ruby Rose, she’s not needed.

    As I’m still at work when the show is on, I watch extracts on line when I get home. Wonder how many people do and how would TEN know the on-line audience.

  11. @franz chong I wouldn’t mind something like that. It’s light and it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure. Maybe The Real Housewives of New York Ch10 could put on instead.

  12. People should give this a fair chance.

    If It Fails Then They have to go find a new show to fill the gap I wouldn’t Mind a Laguna Beach/Gossip Girl/Gilmour Girls type show to be the product shown at 7pm It keeps the Simpsons/Neighbours Crowd who don’t care for 2.5 Men or Home and Away on but I am sure everyone else has other ideas too that could be useful.

    The Worse thing they could do is put Bold And the Beautiful on at 7pm You would lose the OC generation to Seven Overnight

  13. Kind of boring again tonight. Ruby Rose attended an event she had no idea what it was about except that Cate Blanchett was there.

    I was kind of hoping that Ruby Rose could bring something interesting either music/movie related to the table, but so far everything has just fallen flat.

    Where did James go?

  14. Why is Ruby Rose (sorry MTV’s Ruby Rose) even on the show. She adds nothing to the it. Also I think Hughesy has to go. This type of show doesn’t suit him. There’s too many times where he is supposed to make a comment on something and he’ll just end up saying nothing. Seems to me like they are just waiting for someone to put them out of their misery.

  15. David…you can’t win! Just like Networks who get criticized for taking shows off too quickly and at the same time get criticized for leaving what some people believe to be crap shows in the schedule.
    You haven’t justified the ratings of 7pm Project, you’ve gone out of your way to point out that the ratings are not good, but that Ten should be commended for (hopefully) sticking with the show and trying to improve it. A valid comment especially considering how Nine have treated a lot of their shows lately.
    There must be something going on with this show because it certainly gets a lot of comments every time something is written about it.

  16. I totally understand your dilemma and I wouldn’t even bother making comment if I didn’t respect and enjoy your usual objectivity in the first place. Perhaps it would be fairer to say I think you take a lighter stick to 10 than you do with other broadcasters.

    • Ed…funny… one day I am criticised for a headline that “TEN lost the week” and the next I have a love affair with them. Call em as I see em. If u check the 7PM review I gave there are plenty who found my review very fair.

  17. Yeah sure they will give it time… Just like Nine gave This Afternoon a good run….

    Kiss of death!

    The analysis is based purely on opinion and funny this blog supports the 7PM Project becuase it’s not on Nine and therfore you cannot bash Nine.

  18. They needs two extra (new) panel members … ones who can steer the show, for a start. It should be a lot more like The Panel and a lot less like a mess.
    And some sustained discussion is needed: Carrie says news story, boys say joke, repeat is getting boring fast.
    My other biggest problem is that they are showing that they feel they are tanking, there is a strange uptight feeling watching the show, they aren’t at all relaxed and I find it nerve-wracking to watch.

  19. I keep hoping it’ll get better, I really do, but every night the same mistakes are there. Tonight Charlie Pickering asked a yes or no question and when he got a short answer was absolutely stumped and had to be bailed out by Hughsey. The interview he did with Dr. Phil was terrible – absolutely no rapport and it was evident he wasn’t listening to any of the responses. The show needs to get professional, and fast.

  20. Jeremy Moses

    I for one am glad that TEN are taking more risks. They challenged the norms of a typically un-risky primetime with “Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation” and “Masterchef” (even though it was stretched way too far) and now with “7pm Project”. It’s good to see, rather than mediocre soaps and sitcom reruns. I’m enjoying the risks.

    Personally I feel it’s time for our country to be challenged a bit, breaking away from the yobbo, dumbed-down garbage that has brought down our society for many years. Lets embrace the opportunity to become a smarter people.

    “The 7pm Project” by no means will accomplish this, but it’s a step in the right direction.

  21. Hughsy. Carrie. James. I cannot think of three more irritating voices in the same studio.

    I think this show will last till the end of the year, purely because the backup plan (Friends, Will & Grace) would see Ten’s schedule collapse even more. But I don’t think Ten would be so idiotic to keep this at 7pm next year, when Loser / Masterchef rate so well…or maybe they are that idiotic…

  22. Well said Tad. Plus, the ratings for OOTB were steadily increasing at 10.30pm which I think came as a surprise to many people, however the minute it was relegated to once a week it shed viewers instantly, as you’d expect. Soaps need that immediacy and buzz to survive so it’s no surprise to see it doing badly on Sundays.

    That said, I’d like to see The 7PM Project get a chance because I don’t believe any new show/new format should be pulled off the air within days when a lot of time and effort has gone into it. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

  23. Do people seriously think that Hamish and Andy or Shaun Micallef were not approached to be involved in this show? They obviously have other commitments.

  24. toriwannabe

    Some people have suggested using Hamish and Andy. Although I love watching those guys, I think they could benefit from some under-exposure. There is a danger, I think, with Hamish in particular, appearing on multiple shows on a semi-regular basis (Spicks n Specks, Thank God You’re Here, Good News Week, Rove, etc.) of ‘too much of a good thing’.

  25. @ Elizabeth and Andrew. Ten had OOTB as an option for 7pm but didn’t give it a go. I think we all know why OOTB is airing at 5:30 on Sunday. Its rating there are horrendous but that’s what you’d expect when you show a half hour soap once a week.

    I’m not saying that OOTB would have done well at 7pm, but Ten wasted the opportunity to try some other genres in the timeslot over summer. Ten has not done everything they can with this timeslot.

  26. Hate hate hate the show!! Dave Hughes needs to go! Fornat needs to be revisited and changed drastically. Someone said Hamish and Andy…excellent choice, i would watch if these boys were on…they are far more appealing and more succesful then all of them put together. Bad move by Rove not to use them from the start!

  27. Elizabeth, it was The Bold and the Beautiful that Ten played at 6pm over summer, not Out of the Blue which played around 10.30pm Mon-Thurs over summer.

  28. I like this show! It makes news more interesting. Also, it’s great to see they’re using the latest in communication (ie skype), aiming at ‘Gen Y’. Keep it up Charlie and Co! Especially Kitty Flanagan!!! Love her!

    I’d rather this than 2 & 1/2 Men. I feel like my IQ has been lowered while watching that.


    Zhane I know this might sound rather outdated but resorting to old episodes of shows like Seinfeld,The Nanny,Simpsons,Mad about You and Others of that sort is what Channel 10 did in between the Time Echo Point Failed in the Nineties and Big Brother of 2001.

    I hope it doesn’t come to that.

    Yesterday was the first time ever in Years I Boycotted watching that Charlie Sheen 2.5 men crap for home grown Home and Away and this was while I was exercising at the fitness centre like I do on a Monday Night was rather happy about that.More Aussie Shows

  30. Instead Dave Hughes Ch10 should have Hamish and Andy in the 7pm show. They would be more funny that Dave Hughes. I got nothing againist Dave Hughes but I like Hanish and Andy instead.

  31. @Elizabeth: Out Of The Blue was shown at 10.30pm and then moved to Sunday 5.30pm. I don’t think it was ever given a Simpsons or Neighbours-type weeknight timeslot.

  32. @Tad: the fact that Out Of The Blue is still showing… on a Sunday late afternoon and getting ratings that a test pattern would be ashamed to get… indicates that it’s getting more of a chance than any other show would be with the figures it’s getting

  33. I think what helped the show is having less of James Matheson. He behaved like a twit when Julie cooked for that family last Tuesday. She seemed to get irrated by him too. He tried way too hard

    Having three people on the panel as core presenters is a better fit. Kitty Flannigan is quite funny. There onto a winner with her.

    Looking forward to Rob Thomas coming on this week. Hopefully they will have him there for a while and have a good chat with him

    The show is improving. If anyone remembers how Johanna Griggs started when she was working for 7 presenting tennis, that was woeful. Now she is hosting Better Homes………

  34. Having been in the audience last night I reiterate my call to get rid of Hughesy.

    He appears to be a fish out of water on camera and off camera he’s a nervous wreck. Add to that the fact that he has to be up at 4am the next morning and there’s no chance he can be delivering what is needed.

    He’s a damned funny commedian and does well on breakfast radio, but 7pm isn’t him. Changing the voice-overs from Carrie to Charlie was a great move — it no longer sounds like we’re watching Rove.

    Josh Thomas was a revelation: on TBYG he’s crap, but if he’s prepared on the topic he has something to say and does a good job.

    Really feels like the show is starting (by babysteps) to find it’s legs.

  35. As i said before, the show is Crap! The main reason I cannot stand it is because of Dave Hughes who I find revolting and ignorant, always have … does not deserve to be on TV! As for “letting the show find an audience” … wake up Mott … give the good overseas shows a decent chance for once instead of this “jobs for the boys” rubbish! Fools!

  36. Tad,

    Ten did put Out of the Blue on in prime time over summer. It replaced either the Simpsons or neighbours for weeks, but failed to find an audience after extensively pushing it. Ten isnt usually the network that pulls things if they dont rate immediately. I believe that crown goes to channel Nine.

  37. I also thought last night’s show was better, more relaxed feel, less stories meant the show didn’t feel so rushed. I’m happy to stick with it and let the 7pm project find it’s feet. The alternative is another Simpsons episode or rerun of a sitcom we’ve seen a hundred times before.
    I’ve always found the 7pm slot lacking, at least 10 is offering a new option. I think given some time and finessing they will end up with a good, entertaining show.

  38. This show deserves to be given a chance to experiment a bit and to me that is the attraction. Sure it misfires here and there but sometimes it hits the mark … Kitty Flanagan was a hoot last night.

    As someone else put it, if you want serious discourcse this ain’t it, for a broad overview with the occasional laugh, could do a lot worse.

  39. Funny how 7PM deserves a chance but Out of the Blue didn’t. Ten should have tried it at 7pm over summer. They would have got points from me for trying, but now I have no sympathy for their lack of alternatives.

  40. Spot on David. I haven’t watched it yet but the networks need to learn that you don’t get very far constantly cutting things from your schedule. That sends people off to internet land to get things instead. Ten should be congratulated for showing some commitment. The default position for every new show should not be how long will it last. The show is live I believe so there’s no editing costs, it’s pretty much radio on tv and if it’s mainly banter probably not a lot of writers. It wouldn’t be that expensive. The Daily Show changed hosts after its first season, lot of shows take time to mature or have longer development periods. They probably shouldn’t have hyped it so much but that’s understandable. I decided not to watch after seeing the previews before it aired, but at some point I’ll probably stumble across it and if it’s okay watch it. Dave Hughes is I think quite polarising, I saw him live many years ago and liked him a lot but I’ve never been much of a fan on tv. For the record I predicted three to four weeks initially. I give ChK CHk Fail’s new show on nine two weeks.

  41. What people want is the Panel, so whether these guys or Working Dog deliver it, Ten should read into publics opinion and and take it on board. Dave, Charlie and Carrie are good operators (a little white bread for mine but otherise okay) so hopefully they can make this show work.

    I think when GNW started on the ABC ten years ago it had a similar problem and then matured in Yr2

  42. Here’s hoping they stick with it. If it doesn’t work after two months it isn’t going to work, a show like this needs to find it’s groove. Watched it again last night after missing the back half of last week. I still felt as though too much was going on but I’m confident that with time the show can work out the kinks.

  43. Thought the hosts started to gel a lot better last night and it seemed to flow a lot more smoothly. Hopefully 10 sticks with it and doesn’t go with a knee jerk reaction like Seven traditionally do and axe it without giving it a chance.

    Still when your getting thrashed by repeats of a sitcom( albeit an excellent sitcom) and a aging soapie that jumped the shark eons ago it’s a slight problem.

    Hopefully it picks up.

  44. Great to see some common sense from a network for once. Giving a new show time to find an audience and polish the format, how novel, and it just might work.

    It just needs some good word of mouth from the people still giving it a go and maybe some high profile guests to get people giving it another look.

    A further small criticism of the show is that it uses Twitter to find its skype subjects and broadcast what will be coming up that night but sometimes it doesn’t eventuate. I understand that they will be making editorial decision right up to the last minute but its kinda dissapointing for a viewer to think a topic will be coming up then it never eventuates. Almost as annoying us the “up next” on Today Tonight when its talking about tomorrows segments.

  45. They should take it out before it becomes a floating joke, The 7PM Project was a good idea. But the ratings have shown.. This Project is a failure.. Pull the Plug on it Ch10 before you ruin the careers of the presenters on the show!

  46. I agree with most of the comments here, that it was much better last night when it eased its pace, and everyone seemed more relaxed. I can see it figuring itself out fairly quickly.

    I like the idea of having members of the public on via Skype. They should try extending that idea so they can contribute more than just a few sound bites.

  47. @Nick: don’t make it 6pm, there are a lot of commuters like me not home by 6 but would switch this on at 7.

    @Ellie: if networks p*** off viewers by taking off any new show at the drop of a hat, then there will be no numbers to sell to advertisers. Channel 9 is finding that out now where the audience just has no trust in them anytime a new show appears because they know if it doesn’t rate from day one it will get pulled.

  48. What’s wrong with going back to the drawing board? If the show isn’t working & if a bit of tinkering here & there isn’t working, why persevere? Why did Ten ever think that a news type programme would work with an audience that isn’t big on news type programmes? And they have hosts that do not appeal to the public. Replace them all & change the format? Might as well axe it and go back to the drawing board.

  49. I feel they’re aiming too young with the skype calls and the constant banter about twitter etc they’re alienating the middle ground audience – I’m 22 so I’m quite aware of everything, but someone like my parents in thier mid 40’s aren’t going to be as in tune with the evolving internet door – it seems like gimmicks.

    The show has some strong points, but there is also too many poor mistakes in the show – and most of it is from a production view point. I can get past the odd moments between hosts they’re still adapting to each other, but they fire off the news in rapid fire which isn’t working (mind you this is comments from last week I didn’t catch last nights episode).

    They’d be better to adapt a format like

    7.00 – 7.10 – News Headlines – minimum chatter between hosts
    Ad Break
    7.13 – 7.23 – Talk Back between hosts + Guest interview
    Ad Break
    7.26 – 7.30 – Entertainment Report + Continued Guest Interview etc.

  50. spot on david, ten have put lots of time , money and effort into the 7pm project and aren’t just going to give up after just one week, it takes times for a show to find it’s feet, something nine don’t seem to understand.

  51. said it last week…let it find it’s feet…time will tell, i actually thought it was better last night… a few weeks of nerves gone and what works and doesnt work will help it out

  52. That… And the default deal that ch10 has signed with Roving Enterprises is supposed to be massive. If 10 pull the plug they have to pay out an enormous amount to Roving as a penalty. Or so I’m told:)

  53. Perhaps they could make it the 6pm Project and put the Simpsons on at 7pm.

    I mean a lot of people get their fill of tabloid television at 6:30 with Today Tonight and ACA, they’re probably not in the mood for another half an hour of it at 7pm.

  54. I agree with you David that they certainly will, and probably need to keep it going.

    But…… isn’t television also about money?

    Do they sit down with their advertisers and say “Well, the 7 pm project will only get you 750, 000 viewers tonight and we might not even win our key demos but it will grow in time”! Do advertisers believe in the networks that much?

    This is actually a question as I don’t know the answer… maybe they do :O) ?

  55. It was a lot better last night, not much of the “headline – punchline – headline – punchline etc.” stuff that was often happening last week. Give it another week or two of refining the format, then a big guest being advertised in the promos to get back the people who gave up after the first few episodes and it could easily get to around 1 mil a night.

  56. Good that they haven’t axed it. I’m beginning to quite like it now and last night’s episode was very good in the changes they implimented. The skype calls need to be a little longer I reckon but like I said last week, they’re heading in the right direction which is what matters.

  57. i think they should keep it until summer then everyone will be satisfied that it was given enough of a chance. if it’s not doing 850k+ on mondays (hopefully more) or winning any demos by then i don’t think it should return for 2010.

    but there has to be a point were they do quit. it is still dropping who knows how low it will get before it starts growing again, it it ever does. if it starts getting around 500k at the beginning of the week it is not worth waiting and they would be better of with friends repeats (IIRC that was taken out’s limit).

    but it’s ten we’re talking about. not 9.

  58. Nice that they are making changes.
    Only one problem though – I gave up last week after viewing snippets here and there.
    I doubt,if i (and many others) will go back.

  59. I thinks people need to give it time to grow, undoubtedly if this was on the other two networks the axe would probably have fallen, I applaud TEN for sticking with it and ITA it’s far better then endless re-runs of The Simpsons.

  60. I think the 7pm project was much better last night than it was last week, even though it’s still not fantastic… at least its getting better.

    It’s certainly better that its competition on comercial TV, how anyone could watch 2.5 men is beyond me. It really dissapoints me that so many people can watch this crap.

  61. If this show is axed, Please Do Not Resort to playing really bad & old eps of shows such as “Friends”, “Seinfeld”, “Simpsons”, “Nanny” etc.

    It deserves to have something fresh & local aussie made show!!.

    Ch 9’s programming repuatiuon continues to tumble as they keep showing eps of “Two & a half Men”

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