Will The Footy Show be back next year?
REBECCA Maddern won't be returning to The Footy Show, which is expected to undergo a major makeover during the off-season.
The Herald Sun on Monday confirmed with Channel 9 that Maddern, who gave birth to her first child four months ago, would not feature again on the show this year.
While Nine isn't confirming the show will be back, insiders say it will definitely return in 2019 with a new format. Given the decline in ratings this year, it's believed big changes will be made to the ailing show.
Maddern was announced on Friday as one of the faces of Nine's tennis coverage, along with Tony Jones and James Bracey.
She is also co-host of Australian Ninja Warrior, which may move filming to Melbourne this year.
Maddern joined The Footy Show with much fanfare as the first woman on the panel in 2016. She co-hosted alongside James Brayshaw after switching from Seven.
When Brayshaw was dumped, the co-hosting gig went to Craig Hutchison who was axed after less than one season.
He was late last year replaced with original host Eddie McGuire after a 12 year absence, with a promised shake-up. Ratings have plunged this year, with Seven's The Front Bar regularly pulling in more viewers.
When she announced her pregnancy in November, Maddern said she would be a part of the show "as much as I can possibly can in 2018".
In July she was noncommittal about a return, saying she was enjoying being a new mum to daughter Ruby Mae.
"There is no update because I'm so busy at the moment," she said.
"I just know for myself, and for my family, and most importantly Ruby, who is No. 1, that I can't do everything.
"I knew Ninja Warrior was going to air at this time of year, and I knew that she would be about 10 weeks old. I can't put too much on my plate because my focus right now is on Ninja Warrior, and on Ruby. And because I have been working since she was three weeks old, I still haven't put a date on it."
The Footy Show's mainstay for 25 years has been Sam Newman, with original funnyman Trevor Marmalade axed in 2008 after 15 years.
Comedian Dave Hughes didn't return this year. Shane Crawford, who was rumoured to have wanted out this year, and larrikin Billy Brownless, have been fixtures of the show for the past decade.
The panel welcomed three new faces this year - Chris Judd, Dane Swan and reformed bad boy Brendan Fevola. McGuire Media's offshoot company JAM TV produces The Footy Show.
THE FOOTY SHOW'S MOST CONTROVERSIAL MOMENTS
Fevola goes rogue
Drunkenly screaming "PRESSURE POINTS" while grabbing at Chris Judd's face was the final act of Brendan Fevola's Carlton career.
It was also one of the most controversial Footy Show segments (which is really saying something).
Channel 9 thought Fevola hosting Street Talk during the 2009 Brownlow Medal would be a hit.
What they didn't know was that Fevola would be the drunkest man in the room.
The result was car crash TV that embarrassed Fevola's wife, footy club and anyone else within shouting distance
The Footy Show was never the same again after funnyman Trevor Marmalade was axed in 2008. The quick-witted stand-up was a key part of The Footy Show's success from 1994 until 2008 thanks to his dry humour and clever quips delivered from 'Trev's Bar'. His sacking was said to be an attempt to freshen up the show.
Hughes was added in a Trevor Marmalade-ish role for the 2015 season, but never struck a chord with The Footy Show audience.
He left at the end of the 2017 season to host his own Channel 10 show.
When Nicky Winmar refused to appear on the show in 1999 - six years after his iconic photograph was taken - Newman stepped in and appeared in blackface, with his face covered in shoe polish.
Sam again caused a major controversy in 2008 when he lampooned football writer and TV presenter Caroline Wilson by stapling a cutout of her face on a lingerie-clad mannequin, before dressing it up and groping it.
The Hutchy debacle
Craig Hutchison's short lived stint as host could go down as one of the great missteps in Melbourne TV history.
Hutchison was installed as host alongside Maddern for 2017 but was boned - in McGuire parlance - barely halfway through the season.
The debacle saw Eddie McGuire reinstated some 11 years after he first left.
The Footy Show shut down for several weeks while McGuire's production company re-tooled the program, which spurred a brief bounce in the ratings.
Things got messy between two of the Footy Show's biggest stars in 2016 when it was revealed co-host Garry Lyon and show larrikin Billy Brownless's wife Nicky were having an affair.
Lyon's time on the show ended. Billy Brownless went onto the show to reveal his heartache:
"We have been good mates for a long time and that's what hurts you the most."