Tears, laughter and plenty of memories flowed on Friday evening, as hosts of The Project bid an emotional farewell to viewers before Three’s news and entertainment show rolled credits for the final time.
The decision to axe the long-running show was announced by Warner Bros Discovery in October. The comedy current affairs panel show was launched almost seven years ago, in February, 2017.
For half an hour, the trademark curved desk of the studio played host to plenty of celebration and laughter, tinged with just a hint of melancholy, for permanent hosts Jeremy Corbett, Kanoa Lloydand Jesse Mulligan.
The final show brought a stream of “fourth hosts” and guests joining the final party – from Paddy Gower, Kate Rodger, Mark Richardson, Jaquie Brown, and long-time producer Jon Bridges and the audience, for this night, was filled with friends and family of those who worked on the show.
I was never a fan of The Project.
We are a more stupid people with a weaker democracy because the 7pm Current Affairs slot has been so bastardised by both networks..
When TV3 killed Campbell Live, the rumour was a dumbed down jokey Ben and Jonno was going to replace it to target the advertising Shortland Street takes. The rumour was quashed because the backlash against real current affairs was so intense and TV3 produced a half way house with Story hosted by Heather du Plessis-Allen and Duncan Garner.
When the short-lived Story sank in the ratings low enough to resurrect the desire for a 7pm vehicle that could take Shortland Street advertising, Rove’s The Project was licensed as a proper way to do jokey current affairs.
The problem was that the Australian Project was hosted by rebels and smart funny hosts who had no problems ‘going there’ where as the NZ version had weak joke writers from 7 Days for a safe scripted banality that helped dumb down the 7pm timeslot to levels even worse than Seven Sharp.
Seven Sharp while dreadful as well, has trust fund baby Jeremy Wells to lean into the camera and knowingly arch his eye brow at the banality that is 7 Sharp while Hill’s giggles in the background, so while utter crap, this knowing wink routine always makes the dumb seem smarter.
The Project never had that luxury, it was dumber than Seven Sharp and could never transition to the serious stuff because it’s 7 Days writers for fucks sake and what the Christ do they know beyond feminist approved jokes by the NZ Comedy Guild?
Not a hell of a lot as it turns out.
Warner Bros killed The Project off, not because they suddenly cares about public broadcasting, but because the licensing fees and royalties to Australia cost them a fortune.
The AM Show is currently smashing the ratings despite becoming a glee club for private schools, property investment and Farmer grievances because Breakfast on TVNZ is still mourning John Campbell leaving them.
It’s just so sad at TVNZ Breakfast. It’s like that relationship you lost and knew was your highest point ever and that everything else afterwards never compares.
That deep, deep sadness?
That’s what watching TVNZ Breakfast is like now. I don’t want to wake up to their sadness as well as my own each weekday FFS!
That’s why The AM Show is smashing the ratings right now, it’s either watch Ryan Bridge salivate over property tax loop holes for 3 hours or the sadness in Jenny and Matty’s eyes.
Ryan is going to win 4 out of 5 of those weekdays isn’t he?
Discovery looked at the success of The AM Show and asked why they were paying Australia for a product they can make themselves at a fraction of the price.
Rumour now is they won’t even replace The Project with another current affairs shows meaning Ione of the alters of light infotainment is dead.
Good, all The Project and Seven Sharp do is keep us collectively stupid.
The only miracle of The Project was their ability to find a studio full of people who actually wanted to watch this dreck weeknights!
The Project achieved nothing and dumbed people down. Don’t fret about the hosts, I’m sure everyone will get a job as a panelist on 7 Days.
Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice – please donate here.
If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media