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. The reason why this show failed is because they did not present it the way they did when they aired the “pilot”. There was no music (which the viewers asked for) no “live” Wedding gate crasher like the pilot (which was brilliant). The pilot was fantastic compared to what they aired in the last few weeks. You have to listen to your viewers, Channel Ten!

  2. Shame really but it was not the Rove of old which I think people would have liked but Saturday night TV I am watching ABC TV for Poldark etc. I caught up with the first one and saw a few minutes of the last show.

  3. Nothing worse than unfunny people telling unfunny jokes and pretending that it’s funny. Rove , Denyer, Kinney? I’ve never watched their shows because I only watch repeats of a few old classics on the spinoff channels but you still get the ads for their shows which shows me enough to turn me straight off them.

  4. If I was 10 I would have tested the waters with a “Rove Live Reunion” Mixing old highlights of guests and segments with new versions of What The! Flick Your Switch and former interviews. Some of that stuff would be excellent viewing again.

  5. I really, really wanted to like this show – and don’t get me wrong it wasn’t the worst thing ever. It was just not meeting what I wanted nor assumed it to be. Nothing was familiar to me the way I wanted it, and each time I saw more random extra’s on this show giving their commentary I felt more distant to it. Interesting to point out, for a show which didn’t rate well, there are certainly high numbers of comments on this one…

    1. This was how I felt about it too. I wanted to like it & sometimes it was funny, but it just didn’t feel right. I wanted to like it, but it just didn’t have what I wanted or assumed/hoped it would be. Maybe if they can look at the comments people have made about the show they can look at trying again though.

  6. Shame. I really wanted to like this – I loved Rove Live back in the day but unfortunately this show just wasn’t funny and Judith Lucy was completely inappropriate for a 730pm Saturday family time slot. Such a shame 🙁

  7. SNR was pretty dire but a bit harsh axing it after only two eps.
    Considering there were only another 4 eps to go TEN may as well have let it run its course.
    It’s not as though there’s anything else in that time slot on a Saturday night to take its place- just reruns of ‘Ambulance’ or old movies..

    1. yes totally agree, i’ve never been much of a fan of the man himself, at times i’ve actually found him quite annoying, but i used to watch Rove Live for the interviews. They missed the mark this time with that & just seemed to be throwing in all sorts of random stuff so it ended up like a dog’s breakfast.

  8. this is why Hey Hey It’s Saturday got the axe, no one is watching TV on Saturday nights. Rove should have gone back to Tuesday or Sunday nights. Hopefully he and 10 can come to that decision. Live TV is needed.

  9. I’m surprised they pulled the plug early. It can take time for a show to find its rhythm and audience. The Project was dreadful for a long time, but they persevered until it turned into something worth watching.

  10. This is surprising. I thought he had a few shows at least to be given?

    Anyway I thought it was going to be like rove live, but just on Saturdays. You know live performances, guests, etc.

    I watched it and was a bit disappointed it wasn’t. It wasn’t even in any of the studios that rove/rove live was done in Melbourne. It seems these days apart from The Project/HYBPA every other 10 show which isn’t a drama gets done in the same Sydney studio.

  11. Perhaps one of the FTA networks could try a live program catering for the 55YO+ crowd on a Saturday evening instead of trying to recapture what Hey Hey/Rove had decades ago and is now well past it’s use by date? Something like Saturday Night Jukebox, but live with a some throwback musicians from the 60s, 70s and 80s and “where are they now” style interviews? Something different for a change…

    1. Similar to “The Set” which is now on ABC Wednesday nights. And “The Set” itself seems to be based on the Jools Holland format. Live music and interviews with the musicians. Bring it on.

    2. i could see that working, not sure what the ratings were like but RockWiz on SBS on sat nights def had a cult following. Not to say that would be rating with over 55’s but plenty of over 40s would’ve watched.

  12. If the Americans can still produce interesting late night live shows, with good guests, why can’t we? There’s always a plethora of good local and overseas people floating around Australia, and they don’t have to be showbiz types. I assumed Rove would be late-ish night, not children’s time. I didn’t see either show as a good British thriller on the ABC held my attention for both weeks, so I’m disappointed I didn’t get the chance.

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