Hughesy, Charlie, Carrie & George

No more George Negus. No more 7pm Project. Welcome The Project – essentially a combination of both. Again.

With new livery, new idents and new (or renamed) website/Facebook/Twitter accounts, the show kicked off with a the expected gags (especially considering the standard line up of Charlie, Carrie & Dave were joined for the first 1 hour episode by George Negus). Negus slotted in like he’d never left, which suggests he possibly shouldn’t. We are better for him having given us 200+ episodes of his show though.

There was little new within the extended format (other than a big new sponsor of the news segments in BMW, and a Top 5 “things you need to know” at the end of the show), they just managed to pack more into it. Given the weekend’s events thanks to Qantas the show got significang mileage from discussing the events but it does suggest that filling an hour might be a stretch for the show’s special kind of news, commentary & comedy.

The saddest result was the ratings for the first episode had it deliver 571,000 viewers, coming in 23rd overall and well off the pace for the 6:30pm and 7pm slots. I liked 7pm, and I like this new iteration however I suspect it will struggle for some time to draw eyes away from the competition. Perhaps Channel 10 should consider coding the show in two parts – 6:30pm and 7pm – to allow them to get a better average across the two parts of the show, although with TT whipping ACA at 6:30pm and Celebrity Apprentice Australia & Home and Away fighting for first at 7pm, it’s a battle to be heard amongst the noise anyway.