When Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum left Project Runway, it wasn't clear whether it could survive without them, or whether they could succeed on a different show. We know the answer to the first question, at least creatively: The new incarnation of Runway, starring Christian Siriano and Karlie Kloss, is better than most of us expected, and Siriano in particular has carved out a very different mentor role than Gunn's that's satisfying in new ways.
We've now arrived at the other half of the question: Can Tim and Heidi make a show that's not Runway? The first episodes of Making The Cut are streaming now on Amazon Prime Video, and the verdict is ... maybe?
There are a couple of things that are very different right off the top if you're comparing the new show with the old. Where Runway had a kind of chirpy relentlessness, Making The Cut is going for more of a chill and glamorous vibe, still a competition, but with the vibe of a high-end travel show. That's not only true because of the locations (New York and Paris, to start). It's true because the whole show has a kind of Instagram-influencer vibe, with a constant hum of forgettable music that sounds like it comes from an ad for yoga pants.
There are also some format differences that seem likely to have originated with the specific hope to set the show apart from Runway; most notably, it doesn't always eliminate one person per week. It can be more. It could be nobody. This can help a little bit with the problem that comes up on a lot of judged competitions where somebody is constantly second-worst but never quite worst. Here, such a person would probably eventually be bounced, even if they didn't do the worst job in that challenge.