Network Ten is talking big about its new live 7pm project, The 7PM Project, with programming boss David Mott describing the show as “a game changer for Ten”.
The programme, produced by Rove McManuss’s Roving Enterprises, features a team of five presenters led by comedians Dave Hughes and Charlie Pickering.
The 7Pm Project will start in five weeks’ time, in the slot currently occupied by Ten’s ratings hit MasterChef.
The show is an offbeat take on the day’s news, with the concept previously being compared to the acclaimed Comedy Central production The Daily Show. However, according to Ten: “The 7PM Project is the news un-spun. It is not a satirical newscast in the style of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, but a TV show joining in the conversations going on in living rooms around the country.
It will also feature newsreader Carrie Bickmore who works at Nova 100 in Melbourne and also appears on Rove. Ruby Rose and James Mathison will be among the show’s correspondents.
The announcement adds: “The 7PM Project is a place where people who are genuinely interested in the world around them come together to talk, offering genuine conversation in a space previously crowded by scandal and spin. While it’s not afraid to be serious, The 7PM Project can guarantee that there will be no miracle diets, no stories that ‘no parent can afford to miss’, and virtually no dodgy plumbers.”
David Mott, Ten’s chief programming officer, said: “If we get this right, The 7PM Project could be a game changer for TEN in that very crucial 7pm timeslot.”
The announcement also attempts to leave room for the possibility that the show will initially struggle to find an audience. It quotes Craig Campbell, executive producer at Roving Enterprises as saying: “It will take time for people to get their heads around this show and TEN have a reputation for giving shows room to grow. They gave Rove room to grow and we are still here 10 years later.”
Meanwhile, it also emerged at the weekend that Ten is planning a celebrity version of MasterChef although no star names have yet been selected. TV Tonight’s David Knox labels the early brand extension “a risky move”.