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The Sunday Project’s ratings go up during Lisa Wilkinson’s extended break

The Sunday Project’s ratings go UP during Lisa Wilkinson’s extended break after fears her book tour may have turned off viewers


The ratings crisis at Channel 10 has been a major talking point for weeks.

But there was some good news for The Project after its numbers went up last week, with the current affairs show drawing its highest Sunday audience for six weeks.

The ratings spike coincided with host Lisa Wilkinson taking time off the program, reports The Australian’s Media Diary.

 

Numbers game: There was some good news for The Project after its ratings went up last week, with the current affairs show drawing its highest Sunday audience for six weeks. The ratings spike coincided with host Lisa Wilkinson taking time off the program, reports The Australian

Wilkinson is taking an extended break from The Project ahead of the Christmas-New Year period when she will fill in as main weekday host while Carrie Bickmore is on holiday.

Her first Sunday off saw Rachel Corbett co-host alongside Hamish Macdonald.

This broadcast had 381,000 metro viewers in the 7pm time slot.

While this was a far cry from the heights of 500,000 The Sunday Project used to reach in its heyday, it was still 70,000 more than the previous two ­Sundays.

There has reportedly been some chatter at Channel 10 that the publicity tour for Wilkinson’s new book, It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This, had turned off viewers.

Ups and downs: Her first Sunday off saw Rachel Corbett co-host alongside Hamish Macdonald. This broadcast had 381,000 metro viewers in the 7pm time slot. Pictured: the Sunday Project panel on November 21

Ups and downs: Her first Sunday off saw Rachel Corbett co-host alongside Hamish Macdonald. This broadcast had 381,000 metro viewers in the 7pm time slot. Pictured: the Sunday Project panel on November 21

The program’s audience has declined sharply ever since Wilkinson sat down for a fawning interview with co-host Macdonald on October 10 to discuss her 2017 sacking from Channel Nine over a gender pay gap dispute. 

The Australian previously reported that some 10 staffers were hoping Wilkinson’s absence would be a ‘circuit-breaker’ that helps boost the show’s poor ratings.

It comes after several details in promotional extracts for her book were disputed by media insiders and her former employer Channel Nine.

Concerns: There has reportedly been some chatter at Channel 10 that the publicity tour for Wilkinson's new book, It Wasn't Meant to Be Like This, had turned off viewers. Pictured: Wilkinson at her book launch in Sydney on November 16

Concerns: There has reportedly been some chatter at Channel 10 that the publicity tour for Wilkinson’s new book, It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This, had turned off viewers. Pictured: Wilkinson at her book launch in Sydney on November 16

There is a particularly contentious chapter dedicated to her sacking from Nine and falling out with former Today show co-host Karl Stefanovic.

Wilkinson maintains Stefanovic earned double her salary to do the same job, and that when she asked for a pay rise she was unceremoniously sacked.

But it has since been claimed she actually earned more than Stefanovic for years when they first joined forces on the breakfast program in 2007. 

Break: The Australian previously reported that some 10 staffers were hoping Lisa's absence would be a 'circuit-breaker' that helps boost the show's poor ratings. Pictured from left: The Project hosts Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore, Lisa Wilkinson and Peter Helliar

Break: The Australian previously reported that some 10 staffers were hoping Lisa’s absence would be a ‘circuit-breaker’ that helps boost the show’s poor ratings. Pictured from left: The Project hosts Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore, Lisa Wilkinson and Peter Helliar

Wilkinson’s pay demands have also been disputed: Nine insists she had unreasonable expectations, while she says she simply asked for a fairer share of the show’s profits.

The debate surrounding these claims has dominated headlines for the past few weeks and has no doubt been a headache for 10 execs.

Wilkinson earns a reported $1.7million per year for her work on The Project and its Sunday edition, but is rumoured to be getting a pay cut due to the low ratings.

Dispute: It comes after details in promotional extracts for Wilkinson's book were disputed by media insiders and her former employer Nine. There is a particularly contentious chapter dedicated to her sacking from Nine and falling out with ex-Today co-host Karl Stefanovic (left)

Dispute: It comes after details in promotional extracts for Wilkinson’s book were disputed by media insiders and her former employer Nine. There is a particularly contentious chapter dedicated to her sacking from Nine and falling out with ex-Today co-host Karl Stefanovic (left)

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk