Project Runway’s ratings increasing rapidly; Austin is not “completely gay.”

Project Runway’s ratings increasing rapidly; Austin is not “completely gay.”
Bravo has another sleeper hit in Project Runway, its Heidi Klum-hosted clothing designer competition series. Critics are calling it “addictive” and a “guilty pleasure”, and ratings have been increasing exponentially in recent weeks. The January 4 episode had strong ratings, “jumping 323 percent above the show’s 18-49 and 256 percent above the 25-54 viewer totals of a week earlier,” a press release said. That episode “averaged 732,000 adult 18-49 viewers, up dramatically from the previous premiere episode’s total of 173,000.” But last week’s episode had 1.178 million viewers, a huge jump of about one million viewers. A Bravo release says it was “the second-highest telecast of the season for Bravo in 18-49.”

In addition to generating ratings, the series has a cast that’s generating its own buzz. One of the show’s stars, if he’s not the star, is 23-year-old Austin Scarlett. Despite his flamboyance (The Guardian called him “A cross between Quentin Crisp and a pipe cleaner,” which just barely begins to describe it), Austin isn’t gay. Well, not completely. “I’ve had girlfriends in the past. I think everyone always assumes that I’m completely gay, and I do identify myself with the gay community, but I don’t know. I know this sounds very cliche, but I’ve never even considered that to be a real issue for me. I just am who I am,” he told Time Out New York, according to blog Timmy Ray. Meanwhile, designer Kevin Johnn apparently has a profile on a web site for finding Russian brides. What this means, I have no idea.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.