Project Runway's ratings are way down this year. And when we say way down, we mean that the Season 7 premiere garnered 2.9 million viewers, a third less than the 4.2 million who watched Season 6's premiere. (The show's ratings peak was in Season 3 when the finale attract 5.4 million viewers.) While there's no doubt buzz around the show has tempered, we're still a bit surprised by this. For one, several of the season's expertly skilled designers are producing top quality garments. Nina and Michael are there full time, and the guest judges--Matthew Williamson, Lauren Hutton, Nicole Richie--are people we like. But will it bounce back? To help us find the answer, we contacted pop culture messiah Robert Thompson, who is basically the most off-quoted expert on television in the country. And with reason. Thompson, who you've probably seen on VH1, is the director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. He explained to us that Project Runway's future comes down to one thing: Its cast.
"With reality television, you're just one great cast away from higher ratings," says Thomspon. "In Season 6, you didn't have those break-out, interesting characters like in the past." We already asked you if you even cared about Project Runway. Many said not really, others responded with a resounding yes. Now we're wondering, what do you think the producers can do to make the show better?