You expect flagship telly shows to slightly change their tone when they’re shipped overseas. Hell, look at the UK’s original version of Masterchef compared to our balls-to-the-wall culinary deathpit. 

So, when The Project announced it’d be receiving a New Zealand counterpart, we steeled ourselves for some Uncanny Valley-esque vibes. You know, it’d be close, but not quite close enough. 

Nope. To adopt the hackneyed parlance used to describe The Project past: they nailed it, fam. A quick throw from the Aussie team to NZ hosts Jesse Mulligan, Kanoa Lloyd, and Josh Thomson (and guest Rove McManus) went a long way to proving that fact.

Of course, the show’s actual content was structurally identical, and a half-humorous, half-serious piece on a proposed move to subsidise feminine hygiene products could have come straight from Channel 10

But a behind-the-scenes sit down between Thomson and Pete Helliar pushed the similarities even further.

For what it’s worth, viewers over the ditch found the show quite alright. #TheProjectNZ made its way to the #1 trending topic on Twitter in New Zealand, and viewers were pretty full of praise for the newsy panel set-up. 

Radio NZ, however, levelled some of the same complaints against the show that its Australian predecessor still wears: that by focussing on so many topics in such a short amount of time, it doesn’t have the means to really dig deep. 

Still, it’s only been one day. We’ll have to wait to see if the gang delivers one of those ISIS-speech moments to solidify its place on the Kiwi television roster.


Source: The Project NZ / Twitter / Radio NZ.
Photo: The Project NZ / Twitter.