Will Channel Ten Fill Live Music Void?

23 May 2012 | 2:57 pm | Dan Condon

Can Newsnight match Kimmel, Letterman and Conan in support of quality live music?

One bugbear in the Australian music community at present is the sheer lack of opportunity presented to artists to showcase their music on live television, but a new Network Ten program slated to debut in the coming weeks may help contemporary music once again find a voice through the medium.

Ten Newsnight is a new 45 minute nightly news program hosted by Hamish Macdonald and said to feature a number of light entertainment flourishes to separate it from a traditional news broadcast. As well as live interviews and a social media focus, the network has mentioned that live musical performances will be one of the aspects the show embraces.

A spokesperson for the network declined to comment on the new program's approach to live music and what kind of acts would be showcased when approached this afternoon.

At present there are few chances for both Australian and touring artists to showcase their music to television viewers; Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight and the ABC's Q&A two of the only evening programs showcasing music from outside of the mainstream. Though we all know how that can end up.

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The axing of programs, as well as unwillingness to take a risk on offering live music has meant a barren landscape for Australian music amongst local programming.

In the United States support for quality music is being done both credibly and successfully, with the likes of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Show With David Letterman, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Late Call With Carson Daly and Conan offering slots to all sorts of non-mainstream musical acts.

The past few weeks has seen Kimmel host the likes of Delta Spirit, Silversun Pickups and Roger Daltrey, this week Letterman has had Joe Bonamassa, Alabama Shakes and Gossip on his show, while Conan has featured White Rabbits, Ed Sheeran, The Wombats and Rufus Wainwright in the past two weeks.

Couldn't Australian TV use a bit of this?