The Operation Was A Success, But The Patient Died

From Throng.com:

The 7PM Project is to be commissioned for another year, further demonstrating Ten’s support for the program, which many had written off when ratings fell after just a few weeks on air in 2009. Even early this year, and into the ratings period from February the show failed to attract the ratings it has been achieving now.

The 7PM Project has seen a recent surge in ratings, surpassing the 1 million mark and winning its timeslot over Home and Away on Seven and Two and a Half Men on Nine last Thursday.

Ten’s director of programming David Mott said the network was extremely pleased with the present success of the show.

“I’m so proud of this show after we took a huge risk and everyone wrote it off at the beginning.

“But we tweaked it, gave it a more newsy edge and Charlie’s old look was a victim of that process. The old look wasn’t right and the new one is. We’re very, very happy at how Project is coming along,” he added.

The improvement has been attributed to the team’s recent image and wardrobe overhauls. Presenters Carrie Bickmore, Charlie Pickering and Dave Hughes were all made to look more like news readers.

July 20, 2009 was when the show premiered on Ten, after the conclusion of the first series of Masterchef.

Yes, you read right. But let’s repeat that just to confirm:

The improvement has been attributed to the team’s recent image and wardrobe overhauls. Presenters Carrie Bickmore, Charlie Pickering and Dave Hughes were all made to look more like news readers.

Because no-one would ever in their right mind tune in for the 7pm Project‘s actual content. Which, although it wasn’t mentioned, has also tidied itself up by dumping the “comedy news” angle in favour of running a lot of Today Tonight scare stories about race and diet fads. And let’s not forget this:

The old look wasn’t right and the new one is

Why not just hire Ray Martin? He’s got a better “look” for current affairs than Pickering, after all. That said, my fist with a mouth drawn on it is a more credible newsreader than Dave Hughes, so there’s still room for improvement there.

This announcement is hardly cause for back-slapping over at Ten. All this really means is that the original, “failed” 7pm Project was axed a few months back and replaced immediately by a show with the same name and hosts but a totally different engine under the hood. An engine, let’s not forget for a single second, that is only firing now because the ratings juggernaut that is Master Chef takes off the split-second it finishes, dragging it along in its’ wake.

The real question is, if a crap quasi-current affairs show hosted by a collection of B-listers can have so much time and money and commitment thrown behind it even after months of rating failure, why is it that every Aussie comedy series that comes along gets the boot the second it shows the slightest sign of not being a massive runaway hit?

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