Local TV presenter Ronald Briffa will lead a Friday night TV talk show on TVM that will fill a slot vacated by Xarabank.
Tentatively titled Serata ma’ Ron, Briffa has said that the upcoming show will be “anything but Xarabank.”
“Our program is meant to target all audiences, but we are aiming particularly for a younger viewership,” Briffa explained when contacted by Times of Malta.
“Essentially, it is meant to be an hour-and-a-half that will provide light entertainment, something to relax one’s mind before the weekend rather than taxing it,” he continued.
Serata ma' Ron is expected to start airing in early October, although dates are still not confirmed.
Xarabank was axed from TVM's schedule last week after a record-setting 23-year run on the national broadcaster. The broadcaster subsequently said that the decision was "part of the process to renew the schedule" and denied any political intereference in the decision.
Briffa acknowledged the weight of responsibility of filling in the shoes of Malta’s most popular TV program for over two decades.
"Personally, I was a fan of Xarabank," he said, also pointing out that he did not wish to seem like he had somehow pushed Peppi Azzopardi out of the picture.
"It feels like the responsibility for that was placed on me, when this isn’t the case."
“Although it is challenging to think of how to maintain the standards of popularity set by Xarabank’s prime time slot, we can promise that we will give 200% of our energy to make that happen,” Briffa said.
Sources told Times of Malta that Serata ma' Ron had originally been pitched as an hour-long late-night show to air on a weekday, but was subsequently switched to the coveted Friday night slot.
TVM had had suggested extending the program from its original one hour to an hour-and-a-half and the move to prime time.
The show will be produced by Timecare Media.