So Just How Well Is Bravo’s Project Runway Knock-Off Doing?


Having finally admitted defeat and losing Project Runway (it’s highest-rated show ever) to Lifetime, Bravo says it’s pleased with imitator The Fashion Show. But just how pleased? MediaPost:

“Fashion Show,” which some have labeled a “Runway” knockoff, debuted May 7 with 458,000 viewers in the female 18-to-49 demo. Ratings then rose for the second episode in “live plus same day” performance. But last week, viewership dropped 36% to 369,000 among women 18 to 49.

An inauspicious signal: the decreased ratings May 21 came as the show aired in the Thursday 10 p.m. slot opposite repeat dramas on ABC and CBS (NBC had a new episode of “Southland”).

The amount of total viewers for “Fashion Show’s” first three episodes have followed a similar pattern — an upswing for episode two and then a notable drop-off last week. Total viewers in week two were 906,000 (“live plus same day”) — but fell to 734,000 last week. The fourth episode airs tonight.

Meanwhile, supergay Andrew Christian, designer of the eponymous underwear line, is still making it work on Fashion Show. (Sorry, is that Tim Gunn’s line? Wrong program.) He won the challenge of Episode 3, giving him just the publicity boost he was looking for to launch a new line of swimwear; the bulge-enhancing Show It Swim Trunk and the Show It Bikini are coming to a poolside near you.

Fine, fine. But are any of you guys actually watching this? Or just waiting for Runway to return?

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  • ChristopherM

    I’m watching, but it really is terrible. Cheap production values, mini-challenges that make no sense, and a group of contestants that couldn’t have gotten cast even in Season 1 of Project Runway (and that includes Andrew Christian who had his winning design mostly handed to him by his team leader). Not even Isaac Mizrahi could save this turkey, and he’s the only entertaining thing on it.

    I seriously do not get Kelly Rowland as co-host of this show. Was Solange unavailable? Her critique of everything is, “I wouldn’t wear that.” Girl, you wore costumes from Tina Knowles House of Hot Glue Hell, and thus are in no position to critique a damn thing based on what you would wear!

  • dgz

    i’ve tried watching it. the designers are the same as normal (term used loosely), and are somewhat entertaining. (btw christian is this season’s villain.) but mizrahi is obnoxious, and i’m confused by kelly rowland — since when does she know anything about fashion? didn’t she make a name for herself wearing beyonce’s mom’s home-sewn, three-of-a-kind disasters?

    runway somehow hit the magic formula, and this show feels like a poor spin-off. it’s the “joey” to runway’s “friends.”

  • dgz

    @dgz: oops, i should’ve refreshed before posting… ditto what he said. except on the miz, who i think should just stay in Target.

  • Tom D Frog

    We watched part of one episode. The contestants had to show how well they sew by fixing up torn clothing.

    After about 10 minutes, we deleted it from TiVO. It was just bad. The contestants were not engaging to watch. Their sewing skills were ghastly. It was such a let down. Isaac is fun…that is about all the show had to offer.

    Yes, we gave it only 10 minutes but in 10 minutes NOTHING sparked our interest.

    Don’t know if we will watch another season of Project Runway. We have watched all of the previous seasons. Last year, we tended to watch it in 2x speed. We watch the challenge and the runway show/elimination but the same shit different year drama in between was skipped.

    my 2 cents.


  • rsquared

    The show sucks.

  • tonedef

    I’m watching, but mostly to fill the void in my weekly schedule left by Top Model and 30 Rock’s finales. I think the show is enjoyable enough, and the fashion shows are just as entertaining as Project Runway’s. It’s a serviceable rip-off, but I have to agree with Tom that the “same shit different year” aspect of it is kind of getting to me.

    I am cheering on Andrew Christian, just because I was wearing a pair of his undies when I realized who he was. Hasn’t he been on The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency before, too? At least he’s getting his name out there.

    Other commenters have hit the mark on why KelRow is a horrible judge. She is pretty, butthat wasn’t enough for India Hicks on Top Design. I hope that this show gets more exciting. Break those poor designers out of those terrible teams!

  • Jerry Priori

    I half-watched the first two episodes, but there was nothing interesting enough to hold my attention. I haven’t even thought about the show since.

  • Cam

    Why would they pick designers who can’t sew? And why in the world was Kelly Rollands picked as one of the hosts? She has spent her career dancing around in cold sequined mini dresses.

    As for Issav Mizrahi, well it’s nice to know that some things never change. He was obnoxious in unzipped and is similar here, but frankly that isn’t such a bad thing. I liked his reactions to the clothes and thought they were in some cases more genuine and on the mark than Michael Kors who comes from a standpoint of an older conservative designer who’s label caters to older park avenue clients.

    HOWEVER…one other thing I DO like is this. In Project Runway, I love Tim gun, BUT I think he gives WAAAAAY too much help to the designers. Look, they are there to win or lose and Tim shouldn’t be influencing them. I think this is the reason that some of their final shows don’t live up to their designs on the show. In this show, the designers pretty much have to sink or swim on their own.

  • DM73

    This show is just a poor facsimile of Runway. I don’t get Kelly Rowland’s involvement at all??? I guess they didn’t want another Magazine editor and/or supermodel as judges/hosts but Kelly Rowland? Really?
    This show looks hastily produced and poorly planned. I’m just not buying it (lol).

  • Qjersey

    I actually enjoy it, and the runway competition is a good mixup from project runaway…especially when they cut to the looks on the audiences faces. But I REALLY wanna slap the smile off the obnoxious latin queen.

  • Geoff

    I echo all the above. It sucks. I can’t watch it. Sadly however, I’ve heard the new Runway on Lifetime also tanks in a big way. Tim Gunn was making a lot of noise about his unhappiness w/the show and it’s direction earlier in the year. Hopefully they’ve fixed whatever issues because I actually do love the original Runway….usually.

  • razz

    i love the fashion show..but they have alot to develop…pity the show looks cheap. i mean if they are looking to replace runway, they should invest more money into it…but it’s a good show over all…

  • dgz

    How to Fix This Crappy Show in 6 Easy Steps:

    1)replace rowland with The Hill’s LC or whitney port (as the new Heidi/judge)

    2)make mizrahi the tim gunn/michael kors fusion

    3)bring in that annoying, awful rachel zoe to be the villain judge/nina.

    4)then, make menswear an option in challenges, but not a requirement

    5)add a few challenges in the later stages that employ sewing assistance, so we don’t hear constant whining about construction.

    6)finally, use “make me a supermodel” and AMTM contestants to up the publicity.

  • rdw

    This show is really bad. Its too bad. I have liked Issac in the past but this show is hard to watch. this was my last week to watch. I won’t waste my time.

  • Marcus

    This is not Project Runway.

    But this is on air, while Project Runway is not.

    I don’t like it better, but it’s better than nothing.

  • Dray

    I kinda like it.
    Issac is good.
    Kelly is the wrong casting choice but I’m glad I don’t have to hear Heidi’s shrill voice anymore.

  • scott ny'er

    wow. i find it really weird that Andrew Christian was on this show. I know he’s not a famous women’s wear designer but he is pretty successful I think. Why would you go on this “c” rated show.

    And it really is a “C”. I can’t put my finger on it but it’s a subpar Project Runway. Even with the “a” list stars and fashion insiders. There’s just something that is not good about the show.

  • Vince

    I show is growing on me. It’s getting better and better and the gay Black male is hilarious. I loved it when he referred to the other team as “the little people.” I do agree with the other commentators that Kelly Rowland is awful. She has no personality and has nothing intuitive to say about fashion. She definitely needs to be cut.

  • MackMike

    I’m not buying it, and it is hanging by a thread! Though the production standards do seem to be built on a shoe string budget, that doesn’t trouble me in the least, because the show’s focus should be on the creative process: give a budding designer $100.00 and have them create couture. Sadly, this isn’t the show’s focus.

    Entirely too much time is taken up by Mizrahi and Rowland (who is miscast). Mizrahi should be taking up the seat occupied by Michael Kors in P.R., offering pithy critiques regarding the design choices of the designers. He is no Tim Gunn, and he just can’t strut in those shoes. Rowland’s role would have been nicely filled, I think, by Linda Evangelista, whom I bet could quip with the best of them. Nevertheless, what one gets is a lot of mugging by le Miz and Destiny’s problem child at the expense of the time typically reserved in P.R. for delving a bit deeper into the design process by the designers.

    I hope someone on here can help me out with this, but I don’t think that P.R. has an openning design challenge, and if I’m correct, I think it is because the challenges necessarily have to be too brief to really measure any particular talent–and here, in any case, they come of as being very cheesy. Can anyone clarify for me, does P.R. offer an openning challenge? (Sure, it works on Top Chef, but then food prep lends itself well to this type of challenge, not so much so in design…is hemming a pair of pants really compelling to watch?). This is a misuse of time, and the show would be better served by taking that time and using it to grant more time to the designer’s process.

    The show also deviates from what made P.R. such a success. P.R. only took occassional glances at the personality conflicts on the show, and allowed them develop and unfold over the course of the show, wherein this knock off almost contrives them, and they seemed to have selected candidates mostly on personality, rather than raw talent.

    The show is askew. I don’t watch a lot of television, and my guilty pleasure was P.R., so I am saddened by this particular effort. I want to support Bravo, because Bravo has been very brave in presenting depictions of the GLBT community–some better than others–and I am hoping that by making some small changes along the way, the show will be salvaged and eventually successful. It isn’t like they don’t have a ready made pattern to design it around. Anyway, until that day, it is like pulling at threads.

  • MassEdge35

    Andrew is a “friend” of mine on Facebook and I applaud his success. I tried to watch one episode of Fashion Show and I didn’t get past 10 min. It’s such a poor imitation of Project Runway. I suppose Bravo had to do something, but this is just a BADLY executed show. This show is beneath Andrew he should leave it.

  • Not So Fast Cowboy

    Has the show gotten any better since May?

    I am not a huge fan of “Project Runway” although I would occasionally watch it. I just don’t care that much for fashion.

    “Top Chef” all the way here.

    But I have dropped in on “The Fashion Show” in the last few weeks.

    It does seem a tad better than earlier in its season, no?

    Oh, and this Andrew Christian designer, long gone , correct?

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