Ten axes Saturday Night Rove after two episodes

Ten’s attempt to woo consumers back to its channel on a Saturday night has hit a speed bump, with the network announcing it has cancelled Rove McManus’ Saturday Night Rove after two episodes.

The show was scheduled to run for six episodes. It debuted to 244,000 metro viewers, and fell to 138,000 for its second outing on Saturday.

Its premiere during Ten’s Pilot Week experiment last year – when it was known as Bring Back Saturday Night – had 203,000 metro viewers.

The story of the show’s axing first broke tonight on TV Tonight, with McManus then telling Mumbrella via a spokesperson that the audience simply wasn’t there.

“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,” McManus said. “We spoke with Ten 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 Ten who got behind Saturday Night Rove.”

McManus had previously told Mumbrella he believed there was an audience ready and willing to return to their couches, and free-to-air television, on a Saturday night.

“We have to remember that one of the most successful television shows we ever had was on a Saturday night, Hey Hey It’s Saturday which almost ran for 30 years. So there is an audience there, and I know it was a much much different era to what we have now with the ways people can consume their content and the list of options that is seemingly endless. But I do feel there is an audience we aren’t being served on a Saturday,” he told Mumbrella ahead of the show’s launch.

“If you don’t want to watch sport, if you don’t want to watch a murder mystery from the BBC or if you’re not happy to watch a movie that’s 20 to 30 years old, then, of course, you’re going to go off free to air and start searching elsewhere.”

He said with the right care, love and attention, the show could grow into something successful.

Ten, the network behind Rove’s successful early 2000’s show Rove Live, and his production company’s The Project, was also disappointed with the outcome.

“Unfortunately Saturday Night Rove hasn’t resonated with viewers the way we had hoped, so Rove and Ten have made the decision to remove it from the schedule,” a spokesperson told Mumbrella.

“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.”

Over the weekend, TV Blackbox revealed the show was embroiled in backlash after editing viewers tweets. The tweets, which in their entirety were critical of the program, were edited to appear to be endorsing it, and then used in promotions.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.