Friday, April 3, 2009

Project Runway announces

Lifetime IN .... Bravo OUT

If you’re a diehard PR fan such as me, you’ll notice that it’s been a while since the show last aired. I’ve been trying to record the upcoming series and no information was provided. Words of cancellation whispered throughout the air…. Is Project Runway cancelled; if so why and when? If not, when is it going to air? That’s because the innovative design-competition series was tangled up in a lawsuit involving NBC Universal, which owns Bravo, the Weinstein Co. and the Lifetime channel.

Last April NBC Universal sued Weinstein after the company landed a $150 million deal with Lifetime for the series that features supermodel Heidi Klum as host. Now after many talks from both sides, the lawsuit has finally been settled. In September, a New York Supreme Court justice issued a temporary ban preventing Weinstein from taking “Runway” or any spinoff to Lifetime and argued that Weinstein violated NBC’s “right of first refusal” for the show. Weinstein says that there was no such thing in the contract; only that NBC Universal was offered the deal and was outbid.

In a statement issued yesterday, NBC Universal and Weinstein will compensate the media company “for the right to move ‘Project Runway’ to Lifetime. All parties are pleased with the outcome.” Lifetime’s CEO Andrea Wong stated Lifetime “the perfect home” for the series. She added the network was “thrilled” to proceed with Klum, Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia and Michael Kors.

All the while this legal mumbo jumbo was going on; the show’s 6th season kept rolling and will air this summer. Thank God! Bravo will replace PR’s slot with a new series “The Fashion Show,” featuring Kelly Rowland (formerly of Destiny’s Child) as a judge on May 7. I am oh so relieved that Project Runway is coming back to TV. I can’t wait to see who’ll be the next Christian, Santino, or Michael. Wherever Project Runway goes I go. In the words of Heide Klum “Auf Wiedersehen.”

Food for Thought: If Bravo really wanted to compete, they should offer Christian his own show!

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