Today Tonight facing axe

Goodnight Today Tonight?

The future of the Seven network’s Today Tonight is uncertain and it may not return to air, Mumbrella understands.

The show has been sidelined for the past 17 days to make way for a one-hour news bulletin supplemented with content from the Today Tonight team, a formula that sources at Seven say will continue.

Mumbrella has been told by senior Seven executives that the experiment of a one-hour bulletin, to replace the Today Tonight show, has been under discussion for “several” years.

It was the recent bushfire crisis that gave executives a chance to extend 6pm bulletins to 7pm, and then monitor the ratings difference between news and Today Tonight filling the 6pm-7pm hour.

Curiously, TT has reamined logged into OzTam’s ratings system as a standalone program with its figures still appearing in daily reports.

Typical TT stories – produced and fronted by the current affairs team – have been fed into the second half of the hour-long news, and so far the executives have been impressed with the result.

TT’s long-time dominance was eroded by Nine’s A Current Affair last year, and then Seven announced host Matthew White was stepping down.

Speculation over the network’s plans for the show has been growing since the hour long arrangement began, but recent days have seen internal conversations taking the possibility much ore seriously.

Seven is currently pushing ahead with plans to bring TT back – having hired and announced ex-Ten reporter Helen Kapalos as the show’s new host on Monday – but that plan is now by no means certain.

“It could be back in a few weeks, or it may not be at all,” a network source said.

Kapalos was today in a publicity photo shoot for her supposed new role on the show, but could not be contacted by Mumbrella this evening.

It’s not known if there would be job cuts if TT was dropped as the one-hour bulletin would continue to carry TT-style stories, Mumbrella has been told.

TT evolved out of Real Life, hosted by Stan Grant, which Seven created to take on ACA in the early 1990s.

Marcus Casey


  1. Wolf Cocklin (@wolfcat)
    25 Jan 13
    8:23 pm

  2. OMG… Where will ACA get their stories from…. TT and ACA seem to mirror each other most nights.

  3. M.
    25 Jan 13
    9:01 pm

  4. Dear Mumbrella,

    This is your headline: Today Tonight ‘axed’.

    This is your lead sentence: The future of the Seven network’s Today Tonight is uncertain and it may not return to air, Mumbrella understands.

    Do you not see even a slight inconsistency between declaring in the headline that the programme has been axed and then, in your very first sentence, admitting that the whole thing is “uncertain” and that the most you can say is that it “may” not come back?

    One might almost think you were click-baiting…

  5. Oscar
    25 Jan 13
    9:10 pm

  6. big mistake.

  7. James
    25 Jan 13
    10:07 pm

  8. I may have been wrong all along. Maybe there is a God, or at least an intelligent programmer.

  9. Remer
    25 Jan 13
    10:16 pm

  10. The bogans who watch this trash must be devastated! Where will they watch a constant repeat of stories about supermarket prices, bras, feuding neighbours and the dodgy contractor who ripped off a pensioner

  11. Zakary Church
    25 Jan 13
    10:17 pm

  12. And that will be no loss to the life of a sane Australia. Pathetic rubbish excuse for a current affairs programme. Hopefully 7 are showing some professionalism in broadcasting at last

  13. mumbrella
    26 Jan 13
    8:26 am

  14. Hi M,

    I do agree that the initial headline – although it put the word axed in quotes was too strong.As it happens, I’d already changed it by the time I came to moderate your comment.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  15. toff
    26 Jan 13
    8:30 am

  16. Ahh this was inevitable, the news has been degenerating to the level of the current affairs programs so why not just join the two? Yes the news will continue to subsist of self serving stories, minority bashing and dodgy bludgers. Does anyone report real news anymore?

  17. Penguin Alert
    26 Jan 13
    11:33 am

  18. What a shame, I’ll sorely miss the sensationlist bullying of minorities, pensioners and small business owners. It’s a valuable public service.

  19. John
    26 Jan 13
    3:24 pm

  20. “Typical TT stories – produced and fronted by the current affairs team – have been fed into the second half of the hour-long news” Wow, calling that shit ‘news’? That’s even worse than not axing the show and will only make bogans take the faux-journalism more seriously. Disturbing.

  21. Wayne
    26 Jan 13
    3:49 pm

  22. Overcharging laundrettes and plumbers will be breathing a sigh of relief tonight, I can tell you…

  23. Jason Whittaker
    26 Jan 13
    10:20 pm

  24. Guys, I note that promos are already running for the new Brisbane edition of Today Tonight fronted by Sharon Ghidella.


    Unless Sydney and Melbourne produce one-hour news bulletins while the other capitals produce Today Tonight …?

    Seems unlikely. Not knowing who your source is, I’d bet on TT going ahead.

  25. Normal
    27 Jan 13
    1:16 am

  26. Where will “they” go? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA…???????????????

    You are kiddin me rooiiight?????? (deep boooming voice)… Ha ha h a!!! a a a a !!!! no rules anymore…..

  27. Ann
    27 Jan 13
    11:32 am

  28. Good idea, TT and ACA are really trashy and not worth the airtime

  29. Mike
    27 Jan 13
    2:52 pm

  30. Congratulations seven. Taking some responsibility it looks like.

  31. Viewer
    27 Jan 13
    8:37 pm

  32. Pity it’s ‘Today Tonight’ facing the axe and not ‘A Current Affair’ – the constant targeting of minority groups, refugees, Asians, single mums, and gays for cheap ratings is disgusting

  33. Jenno
    28 Jan 13
    2:49 pm

  34. Viewer, what on earth’s the difference between the two? And you are obviously very familiar with the content of ACA.

  35. Andrew
    29 Jan 13
    1:13 am

  36. If they were to continue to combination of Seven News and Today Tonight, I think they would actually lose quite a number of their viewers.

    I know that my parents really dislike the new format, because they’re now forced to watch all the crappy Today Tonight stories before they can see the 7 News Weather (which is now at 6:55pm, not 6:25pm).

    They’ve just been watching 9 news instead, so that they can get the weather at 6:25pm and then switch over to the Project on 10 or watch a DVD instead of sitting through the crap ACA and TT put out. I suspect they aren’t the only ones who’ve switched to 9 because of this.

  37. Rain Man
    29 Jan 13
    7:49 am

  38. @ Andrew

    You can get weather 24/7 on the net?

  39. Ragster
    29 Jan 13
    11:02 am

  40. Wrong, folks. I watched Today Tonight last evening on Channel 7 in Perth.

  41. Matvel
    29 Jan 13
    11:24 am

  42. I’ve been hoping for this for years. I am sure it would decrease blood pressure all across Sydney.

  43. Bob
    29 Jan 13
    12:28 pm

  44. But where will I get my news on dodgy tradies, suspicious ethnic minorities, dangerous religious wackjobs, supermarket shopping secrets and angry yobs?

  45. Bloggs
    29 Jan 13
    1:06 pm

  46. This will be a big shock for all the TT viewers – they will feel like they have been slapped out a dream in which their brains were sucked out every afternoon :).

  47. TV Dr
    29 Jan 13
    1:08 pm

  48. what has happened to the ratings? Hard to judge with Tennis in the mix but it is an interesting experiment. I have been watching and with bush fires and floods it seems like a good idea but I would be nervous on a slow news day

  49. sam
    29 Jan 13
    1:16 pm

  50. Where am I going to get my new wonder diets from???

  51. mediaman
    29 Jan 13
    1:20 pm

  52. After reading these comments on TT & ACA, i feel the need to remind everybody that Tv networks are only after ratings ….. Ratings = Ad revenue…… its that simple. Yes these shows are mindless, australias best value pizza’s and the speed camera exclusives, but they rate!!!!! The product, when you are a TV network is the timeslot, not the programme. The most important aspect is the promo, telecast during the 6pm news to get the ratings past 630, then promote the 7pm show before 7pm, and on it goes. WHEN IT STOPS RATING THE SHOWS WILL GO!!!! Lets just face it, people read Zoo magazine, and they watch Current affairs shows. Walk down your street tonight and casually look thru the windows- they are watching ACA & TT!!!!

  53. Wendy
    29 Jan 13
    1:30 pm

  54. Oh boo says everyone working in PR. There goes the chance for easy fluff stories on their celebrity endorsed products.

  55. Nic Halley
    29 Jan 13
    1:34 pm

  56. good

  57. Offal Spokesperson
    29 Jan 13
    1:44 pm

  58. Perth will remain with TT, because, well because its Perth. The same probably applies for Brisbane.

    Im guessing that in the rest of the markets they will try the hour long news for 6 months before they start seeing the bogans all backing their Utes up to ACA.

    This will of course bring about a new set design, an even prettier (read, more vacuous) talking head, an advertising blitz. and the return of the all new TT. Which will now focus on… dodgy car yards, boob jobs gone wrong and what ever Kardashions arse is doing this week.

    Still, even 6 months without TT is something to celebrate

  59. thisisme
    29 Jan 13
    1:51 pm

  60. Get rid of it and ACA. Total sensationlist crap TV for brainless people! Hate these shows with a passion.

  61. MM
    29 Jan 13
    2:11 pm

  62. Thanks for the tutorial ‘Mediaman’. Following this logic, we should return to feeding Christians to lions? That rated well.
    This is one small step for programmers but one giant leap for mankind.

  63. Roger Colman
    29 Jan 13
    2:12 pm

  64. It is sad to read some of these elitist comments. After celebrating Australia Day one would think that more respect would be extended to fellow Australians. These are the sort of people who died in droves in Galipoli and other far away places in two world wars, to leave Australia as intact and safe as it is now. With due respect to these , maybe lower class viewers, whether NAB Charitable giving Data or any of the other surveys, the typical lower class household gives more to charity as percentage of income than any of the higher income suburbs from where most of these comments probably eminate from.
    Shame on those who hold wrote these disparaging comments.

  65. mediaman
    29 Jan 13
    2:26 pm

  66. Hi MM, i totally agree with you, these shows are shite. My objective was to point out that TV Netwrorks are NOT out to provide world class edgy productions, they exist to appease the masses, gain high ratings, and make heaps of ad revenue. If they decide to run Gilligans Island repeats back to back, and they rated, they would. Instead we got decades of mindless shite every night at 630, but i have also witnessed daily ratings figures over the years and these show have been successful……..quality NO……….healty raters HELL YES!!!

  67. Jimmy
    29 Jan 13
    3:14 pm

  68. There goes the funniest show on TV.

  69. Bonzo
    29 Jan 13
    3:22 pm

  70. Oh God no !!! How will I know if ” Mr Big Corporation” is rorting “the little guy again”.
    And what about water in tinned peaches making up the weight……how will we know this stuff…

  71. Emilia
    29 Jan 13
    3:58 pm

  72. You’ve got a fair point @toff and @John. Here I was prepping my shoes to start dancing on Today Tonight’s grave but it’s potentially scarier for “news” (very loose term that one) that they’re funnelling the content into an extended new hour.

  73. PR Pro
    29 Jan 13
    4:27 pm

  74. Won’t happen. The media junkies who post on this site don’t watch either show, but there are still plenty of ‘ordinary Aussies’ who enjoy trashy stories about feuding neighbours, fat diets, tradie rip-offs etc.

    Besides, Channel 7 will not want to give total ownership of the 6.30 current slot to Channel 9.

  75. Biting the hand
    29 Jan 13
    4:39 pm

  76. Isn’t this more a sign that the news will become a 1 hr TT … as opposed to being a legitimate 1 hr news bulletin.

    There is no way the TT style stories will go anywhere – they are basically trying to stop people from changing channel at the end of the show by extending the show to 7 … where it will probably hold audience into H&A instead of people going from 7 News to ACA and back to H&A.

  77. Richard Moss
    29 Jan 13
    4:43 pm

  78. Apples and Oranges are once more in the comparison ring. What happens when the bush fires abate? how do you continue to fill a news slot when there is next to no news?

    In the USA they make news from scraps of coloured paper found lying in the waste basket. A dog riding a skate board becomes an item of news, a cat up a tree helped down by the local fire brigade, or a little pet rat that plays the first two bars of Fur Elise on an old chappell piano.

    Today Tonight needs, and has needed for some time, a face lift, but axing it will prove to be just another big gaff in the name of chasing ratings.

    Truth is that there are too many news programs and one or two are so incredibly superior to the rest that there is no contest, and certainly no need to extend the agony.

  79. Mark Auzzie
    29 Jan 13
    7:55 pm

  80. If we want to watch the news, that’s what we want to watch, not dodgy stories about Pensioners, I can’t spend a whole hour to watch the news, that is interspersed with TT stories. Two different shows.

  81. Biting the hand
    29 Jan 13
    8:17 pm

  82. If you want to watch the news then don’t you watch ABC at 7?

  83. Gav
    30 Jan 13
    8:16 pm

  84. Funny, as they were advertising for a new producer only two days before:

  85. Sarah
    30 Jan 13
    10:21 pm

  86. What a crock!
    “Sources say” – what sources mumbrella?!!
    People want Today tonight – I certainly want variation from news and hope they come back with some more in depth stories.

  87. mumbrella
    31 Jan 13
    8:24 am

  88. Hi Sarah,

    Sources who spoke to us on condition we didn’t name them.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  89. Actually
    31 Jan 13
    8:38 am

  90. The Price is Right is definitely axed.

    Toady Tonight is likely to go. SMH reports this morning:

    Sarah, why the anger?

  91. mediaman
    31 Jan 13
    10:27 am

  92. Hi Sarah, do you mean ‘come back with indepth stories?’ or “more in depth stories’?. The great aussie pizza challenge was so in depth, i had to record it and play it back in 60 second increments, i also took notes (‘cos I really love my pizza).

    By the way , Zoo magazine is a great read too:)

  93. john
    31 Jan 13
    4:30 pm

  94. Today Tonight will remain on WIN (SA, WA, Tas and NT) where it is locally produced. This story is only about the big markets (NSW/Vic/Qld).

    Why does ACA have so many stories about pensioners ? They’re not much value to advertisers are they ?

  95. anno
    2 Feb 13
    12:04 pm

  96. Current affairs programs like todaytonight are rubbish programs they just carry on with absolute crap and stick there noses into peoples lives(thats the job for the police not tv programs)sevens new hour long news is way better and i hope it stays all that needs to be done now is axe nines a current affair and the world will be a better place atleast nightly viewing will be.