Rove McManus on Saturday Night Rove.
Rove McManus on Saturday Night Rove.

Rove’s baby axed after two shows

The axe has fallen on the embattled Aussie live TV variety show Saturday Night Rove after just two episodes, according to TV Tonight.

Rove McManus told TV Tonight, "It was clear looking at the numbers that the audience we hoped would find a free-wheeling live show on a Saturday night just weren't there. We spoke with 10 today and we both called it.

"The opportunity to play live in front of Australia again was fun, no matter how brief, and I would like to thank my amazing co-stars, the behind the scenes team and everyone at 10 who got behind Saturday Night Rove."

A Network 10 spokesperson told the website, "Unfortunately Saturday Night Rove hasn't resonated with viewers the way we had hoped, so Rove and 10 have made the decision to remove it from the schedule. Rove is a sensational entertainer and a close friend of 10, and we thank him for all his hard work, and all the laughs, on Saturday Night Rove."

Rove McManus' TV foray was a ratings disaster in its second week on air, with Saturday Night Rove pulling in 138,000 viewers for episode two.

That's way down on the show's 244,000 metro viewers for its August 24 debut and was not enough for the prime-time variety show to place as one of Saturday's 20 highest-rated programs (children's cartoon Bluey on ABC Kids came in at 20th with 165,000 viewers).

The dismal ratings come after Ten promoted the show's second episode with an ad displaying glowing tweets from viewers praising episode one - some of which had been heavily edited and were, in fact, less than complimentary.

As industry blog TV Blackbox first reported, one tweet Ten splashed on screen during the promo exclaimed "ROVE! Fantastic to have you back!!!"

The original tweet, by user @TdWhiteWhite, actually read: "Rove it's fantastic to have you back, but you need to listen to your loyal fans and change the format please."

This was among several other tweets from the same user criticising the show as "flat" and "disappointing".

Another tweet Ten screened in the ad said simply "Amazing … FUNNY!"

The full original tweet, from user @RVenusaur, read: "Soo I kinda liked it, it's not amazing but it's funny and can we get some musical performances please?"

A Ten spokesperson told TV Blackbox "the inclusion of these tweets was human error. We have updated our processes to ensure it doesn't happen again."

Viewer reaction to episode two, which featured former prime minister Kevin Rudd beating Rove in a game of handball, was … mixed, to say the least:




Initially titled Bring Back Saturday Night, Saturday Night Rove originated as one of the successful pilots during Ten's 2018 pilot week. McManus has also hosted trivia panel show Show Me the Movie! for two seasons on Ten.

Network 10 is yet to announce a replacement.

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