The sixth-season finale of Project Runway ranked as the series best this year among households, viewers and key women's demo.
The Nov. 19 telecast, during which 27-year-old New York native Irina Shabayeva became this campaign's winner, averaged a 3.4 household rating, up 31% from the show's season average to date, according to Nielsen data. The final was watched by an average of 4.28 million watchers.
Among women 18 to 49, the program averaged a 3.2 rating, 28% above the season average, a 3.6 against women 25 to 54, up 38%, and a 2.9 among women 18+, a 26 advance, according to Nielsen.
The show, according to Lifetime officials, ranked as cable's most-watched reality program in 2009 among women 18+, women 25 to 54 and households.
It did, however, lag the season-five finale on Bravo by 32%, as that show averaged a 4.7 among women 18 to 49. Relative to the entire season, Lifetime's Project Runway averaged a 2.59 rating against that group, 23% less than Bravo's fifth-season average, according to network officials.
The inaugural season finale of Project Runway's companion series, Models of the Runway, averaged a 1.1 rating among women 18 to 49, a 13 household rating and a 1.48 million. Kalyn Hemphill was the winner of the rookie show.
Looking ahead, Project Runway, after spending time this year in Los Angeles, will return its seventh season to New York on Jan. 14 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), while Models of the Runway will follow at 11 p.m. The new season will mark the first time the shows will be shot and distributed in high-definition; all subsequent seasons of both shows will come in the enhanced format.