The Australian current affairs show, which is hosted by Dave Hughes, Carrie Bickmore and Charlie Pickering, was recently renamed and moved to an earlier timeslot in order to boost ratings, but was still beaten by Today Tonight, A Current Affair and the Seven and Nine Network news bulletins last night.
The Project achieved less than half a million viewers, while all the rival programmes got audiences of over a million. However, Ten's programming chief David Mott said that they are pleased that The Project still gave the station a 22% audience increase in its 6pm to 7pm slot.
Mott told the Herald Sun: "This is a positive start to Ten's long-term strategy to strengthen its early evening line-up."
Earlier this year, new Ten chief executive James Warburton announced that the network had a true "determination to lead, not follow, in 2012".
Ten's weight loss reality show The Biggest Loser debuted last night to 897,000 viewers. This year all the contestants, including the heaviest in The Biggest Loser history worldwide, are single and looking for love.
> Channel Ten in "no rush" to replace Chrissie Swan on 'The Circle'
> New Ten chief says channel needs 'more depth'
Watch the Channel Ten promotional video for 2012 below: