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'What’s going on?' Nine's new-look Footy Show suffers embarrassing debut

Rob Moran

Published: March 9 2018 - 2:10PM

After Nine announced its brutal production cuts, NRL fans would've expected a scaled-down version of its flagship Footy Show.

But Thursday night's season debut was laughably threadbare.

In an embarrassing hiccup, Beau Ryan was left hunching by the all-new panel, after the show forgot to give its favourite star a place to sit.

"Couldn't get me a chair, or what? What's going on?" the former Tiger quipped as he hovered halfway off-set.

"That's a little bit awkward," embarrassed host Erin Molan laughed.

She tried to persevere, getting the questions going as Ryan took a knee by panellist Ryan Girdler. But he couldn't resist another stab.

"Am I actually meant to be on the show?" he joked. "Can I seriously get a chair? I'm on all the promos!"

It's not the 'business-as-usual' start Nine had been promising for the embattled show.

The network had sparked criticism in October when it announced it was dropping veteran host Paul Vautin, and re-jigging the Logie-winning show's formula after 24 years on air.

Last month, new executive producer Andy O'Brien had promised a show "which honours the Footy Show's rich heritage whilst reflecting the game and its fans in 2018 and beyond."

Instead, viewers were treated to a budget re-do more along the lines of its Sunday morning format: no high-energy opening, no live band, and a set filled with the dour grey tones of a tax agent's waiting room.

"Who needs sleeping pills when you've got the new Footy Show?" a viewer's viral comment on the show's official Facebook page read.

Ryan later returned with his usual funnyman antics, Joey Johns introduced a new feature on his hard-partying adventures, and Darryl Brohman – originally a casualty of Nine's cuts – was on-hand with his crowd-pleasing Small Talk segment.

But Ryan uncomfortably hit on viewer sentiment when he joked: "I've been watching out the back... [The show's] actually quite boring."

"You’re doing a great job," he told Molan. "I just think, too much footy."

Why doesn’t Beau Ryan get a seat on the #NRLFootyShow? I’m confused. Budget cuts?

— Mark Gottlieb (@MarkGottliebFOX) March 8, 2018

Example of the Ch 9 glass cliff. Giving the most rubbish platform to the amazing #ErinMolan even #BeauRyan says it’s boring. #NRLFootyShow

— Dimity Smith (@smithdimity) March 8, 2018

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