Melbourne’s Herald Sun today reported that despite the 7pm Project running an extended one hour edition last night where six Celebrity MasterChef contestants were announced, the show only managed 776,000 viewers nationally.
This figure ranked the program within last night’s top 20, sitting comfortably at 17th place. According to the Herald Sun, however the show was beaten in its slot by Nine’s Two and a Half Men (1.16 million) and Getaway (1.3 million), Seven’s Home and Away (1.125 million) and ABC News (1.001 million).
The 7PM Project (produced by Roving Enterprises) is hosted by Charlie Pickering along with Dave Hughes and Carrie Bickmore, along with a raft of other reporters including James Mathison and MTV’s Ruby Rose. The show’s byline is ‘news not as you know it’ and is a mix of daily news, entertainment, discussion and comedy. The show utilises the full resources of Ten’s news department with numerous live cross’ each show and access to Ten reporters such as Paul Bongiorno.
Ten have publicly confirmed that the show will run until the end of the year and then, according to David Mott, Ten’s program chief, the show may return in 2010 pending a a performance review at the end of the year.
The show on debut took some 1.2 million nationally in late July and has since hovered between 700,000 and 800,000 viewers nationally, with some variation. Whilst this may appear to be a low figure for a commercial network, according to Ten’s ratings report for the week ending 29 August 2009, the show captured 34.1% of 16-39 year old viewers.
It is surprising that this show has not pulled more viewers nationally. The show is well-paced with meaningful news and discussion and is great with a live studio audience.
Network 10 appear to have all the right ingredients for this show to succeed. The 7pm Project is a ‘fresh’ idea rather than running another soap or American sitcom repeats at 7pm, has young talent, a vibrant set, and is leveraging its brand with an interactive website. Most importantly (and a rarity in today’s cut throat commercial television industry) Network 10 have committed to screening the show until at least then end of 2009, to allow an audience to build rather than pulling a show after one or two weeks, like Nine did with ‘this Afternoon.’
If Ten’s core demographic of 16-39 and 18-49 year olds continue to watch the 7pm Project, the show could prosper long into the future. All the right ingredients are there, lets just hope the show matures with age like a good bottle of red wine, and therefore viewers will want to watch a great program into the future.
Check out www.the7pmproject.com.au