It looks as though the ABC is dropping The Bill from Tuesday nights and running it on Saturday nights only. It has experienced sliding ratings on both nights, but it’s Tuesday performance has been particularly weak.
The move will also mean changes for Foreign Correspondent, which presently runs from 9.20pm until 10pm on Tuesdays. Now that The Bill is moving ABC programmers seem to have made the ham-fisted decision to go back to modular programming, meaning Foreign Correspondent will be cut to half an hour.
And in an even more amazing decision, it seems someone wants it to have a presenter, or someone wants to be a presenter and is kicking up a fuss. Why a 40 minute program doesn’t need a presenter, while a 30 minute one does is one of those mysteries only the ABC can enlighten us on.
Foreign Correspondent has worked well with reporters introducing and promoting their reports. It’s made them into personalities. One of the show’s strengths is that it doesn’t look like The 7.30 Report. But the EP, Greg Wilesmith, obviously feels the program needs a host (it has had one in the past).
That’s got some of the correspondents upset as it will mean a cutback in their reports and a lower profile, so they have requested auditions.
Meanwhile it has been noted that the Sunday Morning program Asia Pacific Focus is going down the magazine route and the usually interesting interviews on topical matters are being cutback for colour stories. Is it becoming Foreign Correspondent for Sunday mornings?