The South Sydney Rabbitohs boss will link with this years panelists; Paul Vautin, Andrew Voss and Matthew Johns as the long running series makes it return on Thursday night. In recent years, the NRL Footy Show has struggled for ratings and rarely attracts ‘serious’ Rugby League fans – as it’s become more of a ‘Hey, Hey it’s Saturday’ type variety show.
The introduction of Crowe is a smart move and could bring the format back to its NRL roots.
Channel 9 is hopeful the show can return to the ratings winners circle, with 2009 believed to be last year for the show unless it begins to pull big viewers once again.
Russell Crowe has apparently been doing some reading to brush up on his NRL history and add some spice to the show, as the first few weeks are watched closely to see how the departure of Paul Harragon and Laurie Daley has affected things. The first few episodes of the Footy Show each year generally rate better, with eager NRL viewers more prepared to put up with the side-show antics because it’s the start of a new season.
However, if the Channel 9 Footy Show team cannot prove they’ve changed in the early weeks – it could be a painfully long year for the network and the personalities.