The Footy Show (AFL)
The Footy Show was an Australian sports and variety entertainment television program which aired on the Nine Network. The show was dedicated to the Australian Football League (AFL) and Australian rules football. The show featured a panel of hosts and a rotating regular panel of guests.
|The AFL Footy Show|
|Opening theme||"More Than a Game" by Chris Doheny|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||26|
|No. of episodes||736 (list of episodes)|
|Production location(s)||Melbourne, Victoria Docklands Film Studios GTV9|
|Running time||120 minutes (including commercials)|
|Original network||Nine Network|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)|
|Original release||24 March 1994 –|
September 25, 2019
Under the show's initial format, which ran from 1994 to 2018, The Footy Show was hosted by Eddie McGuire, Sam Newman, Trevor Marmalade, Garry Lyon, James Brayshaw, Rebecca Maddern and Craig Hutchison, and won eight Logie Awards for Most Popular Sports Program. In December 2018, McGuire announced that the show would continue as a newly-formatted show from 2019 and that he and Newman, the show's original hosts, would host several specials throughout the year. However On 9 May 2019, seven episodes into the new season and less than an hour after that evening's episode had aired, the Nine Network announced that the show would be cancelled following weeks of poor ratings. The show was hosted by Anthony Lehmann, Neroli Meadows, Brendan Fevola and Dylan Alcott in 2019.
On June 21, 2019 McGuire announced that he, Newman and Marmalade, the original hosts will do a farewell grand final show on the 25 and a half years that the show has been on. It will be filmed at Rod Laver Arena on September 25.
Origins and format
The Footy Show had its origins in 1993 when a special Grand Final edition of The Sunday Footy Show aired on the Thursday night before the AFL Grand Final (the name deriving from the diminutive form of the word football commonly used in Australian English). The program was then extended and started as a regular program in 1994 hosted by former Network Ten reporter Eddie McGuire, former Geelong player Sam Newman and comedian Trevor Marmalade. They were usually joined by three current and former football players in a panel format.
The show was broadcast live from Melbourne with a large studio audience "warmed-up" each week by MC and comedian Michael Pope. From 1994 to 2010 (Seasons 1 to 17) the show was broadcast from Studio 9 at GTV 9 in Richmond. Following GTV 9's relocation to Docklands at the start of 2011 to 2019, from (Season 18 to Season 26) the show was produced from Sound Stage 4 at Docklands Film Studios.
Over the years the show has also broadcast special live episode from locations including Geelong, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, London (2001 and 2004) and Munich (2006).
In 2006, after McGuire's appointment as CEO of the Nine Network, he stepped down as host of the program and was replaced by former Melbourne player Garry Lyon and North Melbourne Football Club director, later chairman, James Brayshaw, as co-hosts. In a bid to resurge the show in 2009, Trevor Marmalade was cut from the program to make way for former footballers Shane Crawford and Billy Brownless. In 2012 former Essendon player Matthew Lloyd was brought in with Lloyd, Crawford and Brownless rotating each week.
The panelists discusses any news stories which arise during the week, review the last round of matches and preview each match for the coming week, including showing the lineups. Before 2001 no footage of any AFL games could be aired by the show as the rival Seven Network held the broadcast rights and refused to allow the show to air footage in an attempt to stall the program's success. From 2002 until 2006, Nine had the rights to AFL broadcasts and footage was used liberally during the show. From 2007 they reverted to not using footage due to Nine having lost the rights to AFL broadcasting to the Seven Network and Network Ten until the end of the 2011 football season. From 2012 until 2019, footage was used from Fox Footy broadcasting all of the AFL games every weekend.
- Eddie McGuire (1994–2005, 2017–2018, 2019 finale)
- Sam Newman (1994–2018, 2019 finale)
- Trevor Marmalade (1994–2008, 2019 finale)
- Rebecca Maddern (2016–2018, 2019 finale)
- Anthony Lehmann (2019)
- Neroli Meadows (2019)
- Garry Lyon (2006–2015)
- James Brayshaw (2006–2016)
- Craig Hutchison (2017; news reporter 2007–2010)
From 1994 to 2012, The Footy Show usually aired at 9.30 pm AEST. However, on 28 November 2012 to 9 May 2019, Nine announced that the show would air at 8.30 pm AEST.
In 2008, the AFL version of The Footy Show could be seen live into most New South Wales and Queensland TV markets via the Nine HD channel. However, this was discontinued before the launch of GO! when Nine HD ceased breakaway programming. Since then, the show aired at 11.30pm.
A related program, The Sunday Footy Show (AFL), airs between 10.00 am and 12.00 am on Sunday mornings.
- Almost Football Legends—(Formerly by Crawford/Brownless/Marmalade). Showcases local footy highlights (such as big marks, great goals, and unusual occurrences). Originally started so that some football footage will be shown. It became a talent quest with the winner receiving a prize, and some players featured in the segment (most notably Russell Robertson) have even been signed up by AFL clubs based on their performances.
- Angry Al—Originally the Gary Coleman Medal, renamed the Gary Coleman Memorial Medal and then the Charlie Sheen Medal, and recently resurrected in homage to volatile Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson. A faux medal awarded to the AFL personality who lost their temper in the most major way in the previous week. Footage of other sport flare ups where also shown as 'nominations'.
- Big Bill House—A one off segment which air on the show in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Was introduced in 2013 when Newman, Shane, and Garry all got their certainty tips incorrect in the same round. Big Bill house featured challenges set by Big Bill (Brownless) which were often humorous and stupid.
- The Wheel—Brownless goes around to local footy clubs to have a competition where they won what would come up on the wheel. This segment come back in 2018 for only a couple of episodes.
- Street Talk (by Newman)—A satirical take on the vox pop by interviewing and making fun of various characters on the streets of cities around Australia. Brownless, Crawford or Brendan Fevola fill in as host of this segment when Newman was unable to fulfill his position.
- The Footy Show Stakes (cartoon Andrew Fyfe)—A satirical animation sending up the weekly events in football in the form of a house race (Formerly known as Fyfe’s Footy Flicks).
- Sam's Mailbag—Newman reads and answers letters sent in by viewers of the show.
- 2018 Sam’s Mailbag changed its name, with Newman reading social media post from the shows Facebook or Twitter or instagram and his own instagram or Twitter
- Fyfe's Footy Flicks (by cartoonist Andrew Fyfe)—A satirical animation sending up the weekly events in football.
- MARStermind—Each week McGuire would have quiz someone.
- Hatchet Jobs—Featured during 2006 towards the end of the show. Footage from coach interviews is chopped up and edited resulting in facetious one-liners.
- House of Bulger—5-minute parody of daytime soap operas featuring Crawford as Hank Bulger, and other presenters and AFL stars as recurring characters.
- Bulger, MD—The sequel to House of Bulger, ending with Hank being shot dead by Dr. Pink (Nathan Brown) on the Grand Final show.
- Shane's Mailbag - A simple mock of Sam's Mailbag that occurred occasionally in 2009. Crawford placed a sign in front of himself with the segment's name, whilst wearing a wide-brimmed hat and blowing a whistle.
- Pillow Talk (by Brayshaw/Lyon)—Wives or girlfriends of AFL footballers are interviewed.
- Under The Pump—A member of the panel would be asked poignant questions by other panellists and presenters, with a bike pump lowered above them for comedic effect.
- That's What I'm Talkin' About (by Crawford/Sheedy)—Recurring segment in 2009. Crawford attempted to beat various Guinness World Records. Records that have been broken include kissing 96 people in 60 seconds and having 153 spiders crawl on his body for 30 seconds.
- Pardon My Puzzle (by Brayshaw/Lyon)—Recurring segment in 2011. A sequence of images is displayed from which Newman and the panel must "piece together" the answer. Usually (but not always) they are the names of AFL players and coaches, and the images are deliberately amusing.
- Hughesy's Spray—Involves Hughes attending a selected team's training and 'stirring them up' with humorous asides about their club and various players. This was similar to the BTG Super Spray (also done by Hughes on Before The Game)
Grand Final spectacular
Commencing in 1996, The Grand Final edition of the show was broadcast live from the Rod Laver Arena annually on the Thursday night before the AFL Grand Final in front of a crowd of around 12,000. The show includes the AFL Players Revue in which players dress up and dance to themes.
Despite the cancellation of the weekly show earlier in 2019, it was confirmed that Eddie, Sam, Trevor and Rebecca Maddern will do the last ever Footy Show Grand Final edition which air in September 25, 2019 looking back at the show's twenty-five and a half year history.
The Footy Show was nominated for the Logie Award for Most Popular Sports Program each year between 1996–98 and 2000-2018 (with no Logie awarded in the category in 1999).
Criticism and controversy
Newman was the most controversial figure on The Footy Show and has been the subject of many complaints to the Nine Network. In May 2008, the Nine Network removed Newman from the show indefinitely following a controversy over allegedly sexist jokes. He was reinstated soon after.
Newman has also had a number of well-publicised off-screen incidents that are often brought up during the show.
In 2015, there were questions raised after Newman made remarks about Mitch Clark's depression issues.
The program was previously shown in the United Kingdom and Ireland on Premier Sports the following night on Friday evenings at 8pm and live on Sky Sport in New Zealand on Thursday evenings at 10:30pm.
- "Eddie McGuire announces massive changes for The Footy Show in 2019". Fox Sports (Australia). 7 December 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
- De Silva, Chris (16 March 2019). "Revamped AFL Footy Show line-up for 2019 revealed". Nine's Wide World of Sports. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
- Sutton, Ben (9 May 2019). "Channel Nine axes The Footy Show amid poor ratings". afl.com.au. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- Welsh, Sophie; Garlick, Shelby (9 May 2019). "Channel Nine cancel The Footy Show". Herald Sun. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
- Knox, David (21 June 2019). "The Footy Show to reunite for farewell spectacular". TV Tonight. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
- Laurie, Timothy; Hickey-Moody, Anna (2017), "Masculinity and Ridicule", Gender: Laughter, Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference: 215–228