'What’s going on?' Nine's new-look Footy Show suffers embarrassing debut

After Nine announced its brutal production cuts, NRL fans would've expected a scaled-down version of its flagship Footy Show.

But Thursday night's season debut was laughably threadbare.

Beau Ryan left standing during Footy Show

In an embarrassing hiccup, Beau Ryan was left hunching by the all-new panel, after the show forgot to give its favourite star a place to sit.

"Couldn't get me a chair, or what? What's going on?" the former Tiger quipped as he hovered halfway off-set.

Beau Ryan was left without a seat on the new, scaled-back Footy Show. Photo: NINE

"That's a little bit awkward," embarrassed host Erin Molan laughed.

She tried to persevere, getting the questions going as Ryan took a knee by panellist Ryan Girdler. But he couldn't resist another stab.

"Am I actually meant to be on the show?" he joked. "Can I seriously get a chair? I'm on all the promos!"

It's not the 'business-as-usual' start Nine had been promising for the embattled show.

"Am I actually meant to be on the show?" Ryan quipped. Photo: NINE

The network had sparked criticism in October when it announced it was dropping veteran host Paul Vautin, and re-jigging the Logie-winning show's formula after 24 years on air.

Last month, new executive producer Andy O'Brien had promised a show "which honours the Footy Show's rich heritage whilst reflecting the game and its fans in 2018 and beyond."

Host Erin Molan laughs off the gaffe. Photo: NINE

Instead, viewers were treated to a budget re-do more along the lines of its Sunday morning format: no high-energy opening, no live band, and a set filled with the dour grey tones of a tax agent's waiting room.

"Who needs sleeping pills when you've got the new Footy Show?" a viewer's viral comment on the show's official Facebook page read.

Ryan later returned with his usual funnyman antics, Joey Johns introduced a new feature on his hard-partying adventures, and Darryl Brohman – originally a casualty of Nine's cuts – was on-hand with his crowd-pleasing Small Talk segment.

But Ryan uncomfortably hit on viewer sentiment when he joked: "I've been watching out the back... [The show's] actually quite boring."

"You’re doing a great job," he told Molan. "I just think, too much footy."