Rove McManus' game show Riot tanks on debut in America

Despite a stellar helping hand in the shape of Steve Carell as executive producer, Rove McManus' new improv game show has spectacularly tanked on its United States debut. 

In what was one of the weakest debuts for a series on one of the four major American TV networks, the Australian funnyman's comedy-improv series Riot attracted just 1.3 million viewers on its Tuesday debut.

Variety described the numbers as "anaemic" and "dismal", despite generally positive reviews from critics. 

Riot appears to be a hybrid of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Wipeout, with its key gimmick being a 22-degree sloping studio floor, aimed at triggering numerous pratfalls.

The show was signed up by Fox for eight episodes, and was commissioned without a pilot. McManus has said the show came about following his long-standing friendship with Carell

The show, airing on Rupert Murdoch's Fox network and based on the Australian series SlideShow (which featured on Seven last year), had plenty of star power, with Carell and The Office's Andy Buckley starring. But Americans were not interested.

Riot wasn't helped by the sinking ratings of one-time Fox favourite Glee, which did not offer much of a lead-in with a series low 1.9 million viewers.

Riot, with McManus as the host, features improvised stunts. SlideShow was based on a French program.

- with AAP