When you have friends like these… who needs enemies?

Today is Ed day, the day Eddie McGuire returns to the small screen in a regular hosting gig and not his cameos at Beaconsfield or in Germany.

Since word escaped of Eddie’s hosting of Nine’s new quiz show 1 vs 100 earlier this week Nine has been playing a straight bat (too much cricket) not confirming or denying but emphasising that everything would be revealed today in Melbourne. And… “He will be THE CEO” was always added for emphasis.

But the cat is now out of the bag, officially, courtesy of a Nine Network executive in Perth as the News Ltd website Perthnow explains:

Channel Nine Perth manager of programs Rob Pedretti confirmed at a riverboat media function in Perth today that McGuire would host new show 1 vs 100. In unveiling the lineup of shows for 2007, Pedretti said McGuire would be back on camera.

Oops, oops and double oops.

The key to the deal will be how many eps of the new show will be made first up. It should be around 13. The program is expected to be a ratings hit: it is in foreign markets and we are fairly slavish in the way we follow overseas. Just look at the way Millionaire became a success here after doing well in the UK and US. It was ended in the US before Nine killed it off last year.

So if Nine does around 13 programs between now and the start of ratings on 11 February, it will have enough to last until mid-April and the end of the first period of the 2007 ratings battle which usually starts around Easter and the associated school holidays.

Nine can make more over that break but will there be enough to allow Eddie to keep the day job?

That will be the big test for Eddie and Nine. If 1 vs 100 is a ratings hit and Nine wants 40 programs for the full ratings year, can Eddie do that and play CEO? And then there’s the pressure emerging for Eddie to resume the main chair at the AFL Footy Show in Melbourne. If he decides to play a role there he can’t be CEO and host 1 vs 100.

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