After a two week hiatus, The Footy Show returned last night, with Eddie McGuire back in the hosting chair and with a brand new format.

McGuire hosted the program from its conception in 1994 until he departed the show in 2006, when he become chief executive of Channel Nine. Since then James Brayshaw and Garry Lyon have hosted, as have Brayshaw and Rebecca Maddern, while most recently Craig Hutchinson hosted with Maddern.

Plenty of fans tuned to see the revamped show, with The Footy Show easily beating The Front in the ratings battle.

The Footy Show averaged 381,000 viewers in Melbourne last night, compared to The Front Bar’s 180,000 viewers.

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Rather than two panels, one with the hosts and one with the guests of the evening, the set underwent a change to feature just one panel with seven chairs. Eddie McGuire, Sam Newman Rebecca Maddern, Dave Hughes sat on the panel alongside player Max Gawn, Shane Mumford and Andrew McGrath.

Recently sacked Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade made an appearance as a guest, as did Richmond coach Damien Hardwick and skipper Trent Cotchin ahead of the Tigers’ blockbuster clash with Geelong on Saturday afternoon.

McGuire was, as expected, great as host, but there were still some awkward moments, such as some of Dave Hughes’ segments, which need some tidy up.

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While the viewers returned for week one, which was expected, the next few weeks will really reveal if the show can return to its former glory.