The real reason Rove’s show failed this time
Television variety shows aren’t dead, despite the best efforts of Rove McManus to kill them.
His Saturday Night Rove was canned by Channel 10 after just two episodes, leading to claims that nobody wants to watch variety television, or indeed any network television, on a Saturday night.
That’s not true. We just don’t want to watch a latenight show in a family-friendly timeslot.
His ratings plummeted from a measly 244,000 to a woeful 138,000, leaving Ten with no option but to pull the plug, despite the network’s best efforts to make it seem like people were enjoying
the show by “editing” tweets about it.
“Rove, it’s fantastic to have you back but you need to listen to your loyal fans and change the format please” was altered to: “ROVE! fantastic to have you back!!”
You know they are working too hard when they throw in two exclamation marks. I always suspect people who use too many exclamation marks. It’s usually the mark of a serial killer or, worse, someone who works in public relations.
Anyway, it seems that families looking for something to do together on a Saturday night aren’t looking for a bunch of crude sexual innuendo and guests with the entertainment calibre of Kevin Rudd playing handball. Who knew?
Yes, it seems that what amuses the skivvie-wearing crowd at a Melbourne hipster bar doesn’t cut it in the loungerooms of middle Australia.
Saturday nights are hellish for two groups of people — employees of a Sunday newspaper and families with children aged between six and 12.
Nobody cares s about the first group, which is a smaller number r than even Rove’s ratings, but there are stacks of the second group.
The parents can’t go out unless they fork out for a babysitter and the kids can’t go out because they’re still at least six years off the legal drinking age.
So they’re both stuck at home looking for something to watch together. It’s why Hey Hey It’s Saturday was such a hit for so long.
Remember that? A mix of comedy and entertainment — I use the word “comedy” advisedly advis in some cases cas — that had something so for everyone. e And Molly Meldrum.
Somehow I e ended up going to se see one of the rare Sy Sydney episodes at Chan Channel 9’s Willoughby studios back in around 1996. It was a simpler time, when a sexually frustrated man dressed as a duck and a black wig impaled on a stick were serious comedic devices.
And the words of Molly Meldrum were treated seriously, instead of suggesting there was a need for serious treatment.
But it struck a chord with families. No parent really wants to watch Frozen for the 27th time (or even the second) and no child is really interested in a police procedural.
There needs to be a middle ground, where both can be slightly entertained and at least pretend they enjoyed some quality family time.
That’s what Hey Hey provided and that’s what Rove failed to do.
There’s still room for a Saturday night family show. But, next time, when you’re thinking skivvies, it needs to be more Wiggles and less Melbourne hipster.
Rove cracks himself up on Saturday Night Rove.