The Ten Network has confirmed this morning that Rove McManus is returning to Australia and will take over co-hosting duties of The Project for the remander of 2014.
After co-hosting The Project in May, Rove says he jumped at the opportunity to return to Melbourne to join his long-time friends and former colleagues, Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar.
Currently based in Los Angeles, the guest co-host position gives Rove the perfect opportunity to return home to Australia for a few months. He will be on The Project until December 2014.
“It was fantastic being back doing live TV with Carrie and Pete in May and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to return and co-host again for a few months. Plus I think I left my phone charger in the dressing room,” Rove said.
“It will be great to be able to be part of The Project for the remainder of 2014 as member of the regular team. Everyone involved does such a tremendous job putting the show together and even better for me, I’m essentially working with friends every day.”
If Ten can lock in Rove into The Project hosting role fulltime then they should be congratulated for finally getting it right and making a bold investment decision into rebuilding the network in the right way.
Personally I have been campaigning for this decision ever since it was confirmed Charlie Pickering was leaving The Project desk in March. I’m sure Rove wont come cheap, but he has star quality. He is the kind of figurehead that Ten desperately needs. The kind that can lift The Projects average 650k audience back up near that all-important 1 Million mark.
Ten has been in an epic wasteland for the last three years, to write about all the poor decisions that has been made over the last few years would take all day. However just in the last few weeks there has been hints that the network finally has a plan. Last nights Ian Thorpe interview was compelling Television, Masterchef has returned to basics and re-discovered its audience. Offspring continues some of the most engaging TV drama produced in this country in a long time.
Tonight Ten launches Family Feud into the 6pm timeslot, many will tell you it’s a big risk, honestly I disagree. The show is relatively cheap to produce and is a proven format world-wide particularly in the US where its ratings are booming, sure Grant Denyer would not have been my first choice to host but he has a proven track record of success and has helped get people talking about Ten again. Repeats of Modern Family in the 6pm timeslot are currently languishing as low as 300k, if a rebooted Feud can achieve and audience above 500k per night against the might of Seven and Nine’s News then it will have done its job.
When Rove McManus returned to Australia in May to fulfil a guest-hosting role on The Project that old chemistry with Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar was immediately apparent. Live Television is a special skill; most TV personalities are terrible at it. But for Rove I suspect this is the role he was born for. The Project needs to be Ten’s flagship, something they can build a Primetime line-up upon. I don’t care how much Ten is paying him. They need a star.
Rove joins The Project desk from Monday, August 18