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The Rove logo used from 2007 until 2009
Developed byRoving Enterprises
Directed byGary Newnham (1999)
Peter Ots (2000–2009)
Presented byRove McManus
StarringRove McManus
Peter Helliar
Corrine Grant (1999–2005)
Hamish Blake (2007–2009)
Andy Lee (2007–2009)
Ryan Shelton (2007–2009)
Liam Pattison (2009)
Kristy Warner (2009)
Judith Lucy (2009)
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons11
No. of episodes354
Executive producerCraig Campbell
Running timeApproximately 60 minutes (inc. commercials)
Original networkNine Network (1999)
Network Ten (2000–2009)
Picture formatPAL (1999–2000)
DVB-T 16:9 576i (2001–2009)
HDTV 1080i (2007–2009)
Audio formatStereo
Original release22 September 1999 (1999-09-22) –
15 November 2009 (2009-11-15)
Followed byRove LA

Rove, also titled Rove Live, was an Australian television variety show, that featured live music performances and interviews with local and international celebrity guests. The program premiered on the Nine Network on 22 September 1999, before moving to Network Ten which aired the program from 2000 until November 2009. The show was hosted by comedian Rove McManus through his production company Roving Enterprises, and featured an ensemble cast who presented various segments throughout the course of the show. The show won the Logie Award for "Most Popular Light Entertainment Program" five times (2002, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009).


Origins: The Loft Live[]

Rove McManus began his television career hosting the RMITV-produced[1] The Loft Live on Melbourne's Channel 31, a community-access television station. It was a straightforward tonight show, with a comic monologue from the host, pre-recorded skits and guest interviews. The show had unusually high production values for a community access show.

1999: Rove (Nine Network)[]

The Nine Network developed the show into a commercial production. In 1999, the show, named Rove, ran in a late-night timeslot for 10 episodes. The show featured McManus and three co-hosts he referred to as 'the kids on the couch': Peter Helliar, Corinne Grant and Dave Callan. However, Nine decided not to renew the program and the cast moved to Network Ten the following year.

Move to Network Ten[]

2000–2006: Rove Live[]

2006 Rove Live logo

The new show, very similar to the Nine production, was named Rove Live. The show was sometimes known as Rove [Live] or Rove (Live), owing to the use of (square) brackets around the word 'Live' in some of the show's graphics.

Dave Callan left the show after one year, to pursue standup comedy and radio opportunities. Corinne Grant left the show at the end of 2005, to concentrate on The Glass House and other interests. Carrie Bickmore joined the cast in 2006, presenting a parody news segment. Meshel Laurie joined the cast for only one year.

In November 2006, Rove Live was suspended until further notice due to the death of McManus's wife Belinda Emmett. Rove wrote a personal message on the Rove Live website, saying that it "is a very difficult period for all of us and some time away is the best thing for me right now".

2007–2009: Rove[]

The show reverted to the title of Rove in 2007. Production moved from the Global Television facility in Nunawading to the old Seven Network studios in South Melbourne. It now occupied the premium timeslot of 8:30pm on Sunday nights.

Peter Helliar returned to McManus's side. Bickmore's role in the show increased. Following the cancellation of the show The Glass House, Dave Hughes joined Rove. The comedy duo Hamish & Andy, who had previously collaborated with Roving Enterprises with their television show Real Stories, began appearing every second week. Their associate Ryan Shelton also began presenting a segment each week.

Each year, the show's set changes in some way from the previous. In a previous year, the set was changed to be less like a traditional late-night talk show and more like a variety show. In 2007, the show's set was reconfigured back into a more traditional late-night talk show again, even going so far as having a view of the Melbourne cityscape in the background.

In July 2007, a special show was filmed at Times Square in New York City. Rove, Helliar and Adam Hills attended, and a live Australian audience was present. In late July a second special was filmed in Los Angeles at the Bob Barker Studio.

Hayden Guppy now also co-host of Video Hits also became a cast member, who shows TV viewers what the cast does during ad breaks.

In 2008, Myf Warhurst, who co-hosted a breakfast radio show with Peter Helliar on Triple M, joined the cast as an infrequent addition whenever a regular cast member was unavailable. Again in 2008, Elmo returned as a guest.

In 2009 the program moved premises to ABC Studios in Elsternwick, Victoria which houses a new set. Dave Hughes, Hamish Blake and Andy Lee began only appearing on a fortnightly appearance. Between May and July 2009, actor Brian Wenzel had a weekly skit at the end of the show.

After 12 July, the show went off-air to let the team take a mid-year break due to the show starting in February (earlier than 2007 and 2008). It was also announced that this episode would be Bickmore's and Hughesy's final episode as regular cast members,[2] due to them both leaving to focus on their new show, The 7pm Project,[2] which premiered on 20 July 2009,[3] and is also produced by Roving Enterprises.[2]

Series finale[]

Various news reports appeared in the lead-up to the scheduled season finale for the 2009 season of Rove that it would be the final season. The Herald Sun originally reported that McManus had confirmed that his show would not return until later in 2010.[4] Despite not appearing on a list of shows at Ten's 2010 launch event, it was rumoured that Rove would return in 2010 with a new format, similar to Hey Hey It's Saturday, which rated over two million viewers for its two reunion shows. McManus made a comment to the Herald Sun and stated: "This show is my love and my passion and it's always what I've wanted to do." McManus then continued to say "If everything else fell down, as long as I still get to do this thing I love then I’m happy. We have that connection with the audience at the moment and that's where my enthusiasm is coming from."[5]

However, rumours appeared the day before the 2009 finale of Rove in that "staff on his TV show were told this week to look for alternative work next year." Ten's publicity department denied these claims by stating: "We have checked with Roving (Enterprises) and no such discussion was had. As for what changes may or may not be made with Rove for 2010, this will be announced on the show this Sunday, stay tuned." McManus was spotted earlier dining with Merrick Watts and Peter Helliar in Sydney, prompting talk that he might return to radio in 2010.[6]

The rumour of the show ending later revealed to be true, as, during the finale on 15 November 2009, McManus confirmed that the show would be ending with the 2009 finale. He said: "It's purely my decision. It's not one I've made lightly or flippantly. The timing was right to stop, stand back and see what happens next."

The final show finished at 11:11pm AEDT with a montage of clips from the 2009 season and a performance by Powderfinger. Rove's last words was a variation of his signature sign off: "I'm Rove McManus. Say bye to your mum for me."


Main cast[]

Secondary cast[]

Format []

The show starts with Rove performing a comedic monologue about a variety of news events that have occurred during the previous week. He then introduces Peter Helliar and the other cast members present on the couch that week.

PeteSpace, a parody of social-networking website MySpace, consists of Helliar presenting a selection of celebrities, news-makers and online video clips that make up his top events of the week.

Kristy at the news desk presented by Kristy Warner, was a parody news report, similar to the long-running Weekend Update segment of the American sketch show, Saturday Night Live (replaced Carrie at the news desk from 17 August 2009 onwards).

Judith Lucy presented by Judith Lucy. Lucy delivers a satirical and comedic commentary on a personal or newsworthy topic (Replaced Hughsey! from 17 August 2009 onwards).

Throughout each show, Rove will interview several celebrity guests. Each interview ends with a segment titled Public Probe where he will ask his guests five different questions that have been posted to the website by the general public. At the end of the interview, Rove would usually spruik the product or event that guest was promoting, and the words The Plug will appear on the screen.

Throughout the course of the show, a variety of other segments are shown, presented by members of the Rove cast:

Two other segments are occasionally shown, not necessarily every week.

The final segment of the show was What Have We Learnt?, in which each cast member, and usually each guest, give a humourus example of what they have learned during the week. Peter Helliar always answers last and ends with "and you can read all about it in my new book..."

The show will usually end with a live performance from a band in the studio, and McManus will end the show by saying his trademark line "Say hi to your mum for me!" Starting in 2005 the band performs before the closing crs. In previous years the crs would roll while the band performed. In 2006, Rove had a house band, which may have been the same band as the main act, or an Australian band of much smaller stature than the main act. They would play live music when returning from ad breaks.

Former show elements[]

This segment started in 2004 when Rove pointed a camera at Kirribilli House and asked the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, to flick his light switch if he was willing to be interviewed on the show. When the desired result was not achieved, Rove then asked the neighbours to flick their switch if they would try to help get Howard on the show. On 19 April 2005, Rove succeeded in his goal of getting someone at Kirribilli house to flick their switch. A special ferry filled with participants in a dress-up competition for the show stopped on Sydney Harbour outside Kirribilli House, the passengers chanting "Flick your switch". Rove and viewers were surprised to see the lights flick. It was neither Mr or Mrs Howard as they were both on an international visit at the time. It is believed that it was one of Howard's children or an aide.
The show Don't Forget Your Toothbrush had a similar element for the second season involving the audience flashing their house lights on and off at a prescribed moment. A camera in a mystery location would search for someone taking part, thus selecting him or her to play a game that involved throwing things out of his or her windows.


The show has sometimes struggled in the ratings. This was most obvious in the ratings for the final show of 2005, which was broadcast on 22 November. The show gave away six cars, and had media heavyweights Bert Newton, Jerry Seinfeld and Kath & Kim as guests. The show rated 19th for the day, with only 797,000 viewers nationwide.[7]

On 16 May 2006, the ratings peaked over a million for the first time since 2002 when 1,040,762 viewers watched nationwide. This episode involved an intruder entering the Big Brother house live during the show.[8] The final episode for 2006 attracted only 700,000 viewers nationally.[9] This wasn't intended to be the final episode, but it eventuated as the result of the death of McManus' wife Belinda Emmett.

The first episode of the revamped series, which began 1 April 2007, attracted 1,693,000 viewers nationwide, and was the highest-rated program for the day.[10] For the second episode of the season, which aired on 8 April, viewership fell to 999,000.[11] The third episode was shown on 22 April, achieving around 1,073,000 viewers.[12] Since then, the show has consistently rated above 1,000,000 viewers nationally.

Rove's final show for 2007 featured then Leader of the Opposition Kevin Rudd, as well as Australian Greens leader Bob Brown, comedian Jerry Seinfeld and actor Jason Donovan. It was watched by 1.368 million viewers.[13] The season premiere for 2008, broadcast on 30 March, only attracted 777,000 viewers.[14]

855,000 viewers watched the 2009 return of Rove, up nearly 100,000 viewers on the previous year. Ratings frequently average 800,000–1 million viewers.

International broadcasters[]

In 2004, the show began broadcasting on TV3 in New Zealand at a late-night time slot. The show quickly gained a following and was given a primetime slot on Friday nights (8:30pm–9:30pm). It was not broadcast live in New Zealand (in spite of its former title Rove Live); rather, it was televised five days after the Australian broadcast.


On 28 June 2009, McManus interviewed Sacha Baron Cohen (appearing in character as Brüno Gehard). During the course of the interview, Brüno joked that "I hear [Cohen's] wife gets less sex than Katie Holmes".[15] However, when televised, the words "Katie Holmes" were censored. A further joke at the expense of Holmes towards the end of the interview was not even televised. Throughout the interview, Brüno made numerous jokes about other celebrities, especially Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. These jokes were not similarly censored.[16]

Other media[]


Rove, Peter and Corinne hosted a radio program originating from FOX FM in Melbourne for Austereo's Today Network, as well as selected regional stations, until 2004. It was initially known as Saturday Morning Rove. It was then called Rove Live Radio.


Two soundtracks have been released featuring musical performances from the show, as well as a compilation of Rove's What The? segments, and a rap song about Home and Away character Alf.
The Rap song was recorded by John Von Ahlen and Jaime Jimenez at Subterrane Recording Studio under the guise of Planet J Productions, and included backing vocals by the late Belinda Emmett.

John and Jaime also produced the theme music for Rove Live from 2003 through till the show's revamp in 2007.

See also[]


  1. ^ "Uptempo Entertainment - Wedding Bands, wedding entertainment, reception and ceremony entertainment, melbourne, sydney, brisbane, adelaide". uptempo.com.au. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Knox, David (12 July 2009). "Bye bye Hughesy and & Carrie at the Newsdesk". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  3. ^ Knox, David (13 June 2009). "The 7pm Project: it's official". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  4. ^ "Rove McManus will delay with chat show return next year". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 15 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Rove pulls the pin on TV show". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 15 November 2009.
  6. ^ "Rumours fly over the future of Rove Live". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 15 November 2009.
  7. ^ "Tuesday 22 November 2005 ratings from MediaSpy". 24 November 2005. Retrieved 6 October 2008.
  8. ^ "Tuesday 16 May 2006 ratings from MediaSpy". 17 May 2006. Retrieved 6 October 2008.
  9. ^ Seven Network Ratings Report for Tuesday, 7 November 2006
  10. ^ Knox, David (2 April 2007). "Ratings Week 14 in 2007 from TV Tonight". TV Tonight. Retrieved 6 October 2008.
  11. ^ Knox, David (9 April 2007). "Ratings Week 15 in 2007 from TV Tonight". TV Tonight. Retrieved 6 October 2008.
  12. ^ 14% fewer eyes watched Big Brother
  13. ^ "1.368 million reasons Rudd chose Rove - Crikey". crikey.com.au. Archived from the original on 22 December 2007.
  14. ^ Knox, David (31 March 2008). "Ratings Week 14 in 2008 from TV Tonight". TV Tonight. Retrieved 6 October 2008.
  15. ^ "Ten censors Bruno sex gag, cuts Katie Holmes". Courier-Mail. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  16. ^ "Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno quip about Katie Holmes censored on Rove". Herald Sun. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.

External links[]