Fake tweets and no bums on seats: The real reason Rove was axed after just two shows
Rove McManus’ TV show Saturday Night Rove has been cancelled after just two episodes.
The comedy show proved to be a ratings disaster for Channel 10. Premiering with 244,000 metro viewers on August 24 and dropping down to a disappointing 138,000 metro viewers for episode two.
Speaking to TV Tonight, Rove said: “It was clear looking at the numbers that the audience we hoped would find a freewheeling 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.”
— Saturday Night Rove (@SatNightRove) 24 August 2019
Also releasing a statement to the website was a spokesperson for Network 10, saying: “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 show was aired during Channel 10’s Pilot Week in 2018 and was soon given a six-episode run in 2019.
But despite warnings over the dead time slot, Rove was convinced that he could somehow make it work.
Before the first episode aired, the host spoke to Hit TV, saying he knew the challenges that would come his way.
“Finding a way of getting people’s attention is the big one – there are so many options for an audience now,” he said. “But not only is the audience fractured, within each household the audience is fractured. You could have each individual member of the house watching their individual program on a laptop or a tablet or a phone. So how do you get everyone in a household together to watch something?”
Viewers who tuned in took to Twitter to express their disappointment, saying the show fell flat, but the network was busted after they heavily edited the feedback and aired an ad featuring glowing reviews from those who watched the first episode.
Reported by industry blog TV Blackbox, one tweet that was shown by Ten exclaimed “ROVE! Fantastic to have you back!!!”
But in reality, it read: “Rove it’s fantastic to have you back, but you need to listen to your loyal fans and change the format please.”
Another tweet Ten displayed said: “Amazing … FUNNY!” but the original read: “Soo I kinda liked it, it’s not amazing but it’s funny and can we get some musical performances please?”
“The inclusion of these tweets was human error. We have updated our processes to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” a spokesperson from Ten told TV Blackbox.
#SaturdayNightRove I'm a Huge Rove fan. I hate to say this it'ss F#!king Terrible!!! So awkward! So un funny! Judith Lucy is so annoying! the new sidekicks are just as bad. Bring back the old format....Rove behind a desk with Peter Helliar to support him
— James (@nutcase12) 31 August 2019
When Kevin Rudd is the funniest thing on your show, ou have a problem #SaturdayNightRove
— 💧Dr Jos 🇦🇺🇫🇷🇱🇧 (@redruby17) 31 August 2019
Channel 10 has yet to announce a replacement for Saturday Night Rove.