Axed: Saturday Night Rove

Exclusive: "We spoke with 10 today and we both called it," says Rove McManus as new show ends at 2 episodes.

EXCLUSIVE:  Saturday Night Rove has been axed on 10 after just 2 episodes.

It follows the show falling to just 138,000 viewers on Saturday after debuting to 244,000 the previous week. The lower numbers this week come despite no AFL or Cricket in the same slot.

Rove McManus said, “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 said, “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.”

The Roving Enterprises show was commissioned for 6 episodes after featuring as part of Pilot Week 2018, with Judith Lucy as announcer plus Alex Lee, Alex Jae, Justin Hamilton and comedy trio Aunty Donna.

But while the it tried to put a loose and sometimes absurdist spin on the traditional Tonight show format, some viewers wanted a return to the former Rove Live in the early evening slot. Even 10’s own Gogglebox cast were confused by the first episode, while a random doorknocking skit heard from a man confessing, “I don’t watch much Free to Air.”

The news will also come as a blow to viewers who have been longing for Live variety on Saturday nights.

10 is yet to announce a replacement.

68 Responses

  1. I’m not sure I agree with the sentiment that there is an appetite for variety on a Saturday night. I seem to recall that it was when the Hey! Hey! revival moved from mid-week back to Saturday that it’s ratings dropped fairly sharply.

  2. Rove’s a great talent, but trying to know what audiences want these days in the TV landscape is extra tricky. What was great and relevant last week is out of touch and dated not long after.

  3. Yes not surprising, however when the Graham Norton Show only pulls 300,000 plus on a Friday Night with an array of well known guests and singers, then how they thought something like this would work on a Saturday Night baffles me.

  4. The expectation of the audience was it’s going to be Rove Live which is was never going to be. People’s memories of Saturday Night Variety is Hey Hey it’s Saturday which I’m sure Network Ten only have 1/10th of the budget for Saturday Night Rove that Rove Live and Hey Hey it’s Saturday was given in their day.
    I think we need to give up the idea of Saturday Night Variety TV our viewing habits have changed and if you look at the ratings over the last decade, we simply don’t watch anything other then sport on FTA on a Saturday night.
    Australia needs a good Live Variety TV show but it’s going to have to build audience from the ground up on a Tuesday or Wednesday night.
    Sadly the experiment of Saturday Night Rove has probably put off any network giving Live Variety a go for the next few years.
    As always I advocate for a return to Hey Hey it’s Saturday, surely Darrell can swindle Nine…

  5. I am also interested in seeing live variety on Saturday nights. I understand that there is a huge demand for it, as we saw in the campaign to revive Hey, Hey, It’s Saturday. But Saturday night variety needs to resonate and can’t be mediocre.

    So much feedback was given from viewers about what to improve, such as not wanting lewd jokes in family timeslots, refined and polished humour, live music, house bands, high profile celebrities and much more.

  6. I think the majority of people are really hanging out for variety on Saturday nights but unfortunately Roves kind of variety wasn’t exactly what we were hanging out for. Maybe put James Corden show best offs or something like that. Sad really but at least he tried.

  7. Gone are the days people would watch people on tv only have fun. There’s so many options and people don’t want mindless viewing like this. No compelling reason to tune in weekly. If 10 want to revive their Saturday nights, some new foreign dramas with consistent time slots will gain traction…

  8. I watched both episodes, but there were no interesting guests on (either ones who are in Aus and/or ones overseas who he’d have interviewed by satellite) and having unfunny stand up comedy people on didn’t help at all. With Hugh Jackman currently being in the country on his tour, he could’ve had an interview with HJ on it.

  9. I watched and liked the pilot. The first episode this season was a let down but I thought with a few tweaks it could have made it. Just because this didn’t work, doesn’t mean Australia doesn’t want live Saturday night variety show. I hope one of the networks is listening. Ten were on the right track they just didn’t give the show chance to evolve into what viewers wanted.

  10. I caught a brief part of the encore last night & there was a female comedian who was dying. Even the studio audience wasn’t laughing. She was even stumbling over her words. Why so tv producers think we want to see B & C grade comedians on our screens. If this was Hey Hey we would have had acts like Fleetwood Mac on the show in some capacity. Sad that Australia can’t have even 1 prime time or Kate night talk show.

  11. From a personal point of view a shame it didn’t last just another week. I just finished today a review of it as part of my internship with the local paper. Looks like that will now go in the dustbin….oh well…

  12. Not really surprised with this news. The ratings weren’t there.

    I guess that its good that they tried something different with the format. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out.

    I prefer the Rove Live format too

  13. Who on earth wants Live Variety one Saturday nights?
    Put it on a Monday/Tuesday and it would’ve been fantastic.
    I think people honestly just want Rove Live back. I wonder why he’s hesitant..?

      1. The who needs to be closer to 750,000 people than 200,000 people in my opinion.
        A Monday – Wednesday weeknight would’ve been much better for first broadcast.
        Saturday night replay then haha

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