Project has ‘TV’s most engaged audience,’ says Peter Helliar

The Project’s Peter Helliar defends the show against critics and boasts it has “TV’s most engaged audience” despite low ratings

Channel 10’s The Project is one of the most talked about shows on television, but fails to deliver ratings close to its commercial rivals.

But the low numbers don’t bother co-host Peter Helliar, who says the current affairs program makes up for that with its “passionate” and engaged audience.

Helliar, who has been on the panel since 2014, told the Herald Sun on Wednesday that he wasn’t listening to the “noise” surrounding The Project’s ratings drop.

The Project’s low ratings don’t bother co-host Peter Helliar (pictured), who says the current affairs program makes up for it with its ‘passionate’ and engaged audience

“I know there are people who come for the show,” the 47-year-old comedian said.

“But on the other hand, what I know and what I generally focus on is that we have an audience that absolutely loves the show and is passionate about the show.”

Helliar boasted that The Project has “the most engaged audience on television”, noting that human interest stories about “people doing the hard things” often result in raising $100,000 before even the end of the program.

“It’s not going to happen if people don’t invest in the show,” added the Gold Logie nominee.

The project is one of the most talked about shows on television, but fails to deliver ratings anywhere near commercial rivals.  (Photo: Waleed Aly and Carrie Bickmore)

The project is one of the most talked about shows on television, but fails to deliver ratings anywhere near commercial rivals. (Photo: Waleed Aly and Carrie Bickmore)

Various media, including The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, TV Blackbox and Daily Mail Australia, published stories last November about Channel 10’s shrinking metropolitan audience in five cities, with a focus on the long-term decline term of The Project since 2011.

After a week of bad press, a spokesperson for the ViacomCBS-owned station told That’s Entertainment podcast, “Recent media reports inferring that the project will not be on 10 in 2022 are completely fabricated, false and misleading.”

‘The Project just turned 12 and is here to stay! At a time when information, context and understanding are more important than ever, The Project will continue to provide Australians with their dose of information delivered differently.

“We have an audience that loves the show and is passionate about the show,” said Helliar, who isn’t listening to the “noise” surrounding The Project’s declining ratings. (Photo from left to right: Helliar, Waleed Aly, Lisa Wilkinson and Georgie Tunny at Les Logies on June 19)

In 2021, some insiders questioned 10’s future as a viable commercial network after a horror year that saw flagship shows such as MasterChef Australia, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette bomb the ratings.

As well as a string of crushing primetime losses, including the failed launch of Making It Australia, reports said The Project was losing viewers year on year, and Studio 10 and 10 News First were following a worrying downward trend.

But things are now looking up for 10 in the second half of 2022 after the triumphant launch of the new Hunted Australia format.

The thrilling reality show, in which contestants must evade capture for 21 days while being stalked by an elite team of former police and intelligence operatives, premiered Sunday in front of 619,000 subway viewers (884 000 nationals).

In a rare feat, it managed to boost its Monday Metro viewership to 711,000, reaching a total of 1.02 million viewers across the country, including regional figures.

Helliar bragged that The Project had

Helliar boasted that The Project has “the most engaged audience on television”, noting that human interest stories about “people doing the hard things” often result in raising $100,000 before even the end of the program. (Photo: Carrie Bickmore)

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