'Project Runway' to Strut Again This Summer

Lifetime, NBC Universal and the producers of the "Project Runway" TV show are finally making it work.

After months of legal limbo the Lifetime network announced Wednesday that it will air the sixth season of the fashion design competition featuring super model Heidi Klum this summer.

The deal ends a five-year run of the show on Bravo, the cable channel owned by NBC.

null

In a statement, Lifetime CEO Andrea Wong called her network "the perfect home" for the series. She said the network was "thrilled" to proceed with Klum, mentor Tim Gunn, and judges Nina Garcia and Michael Kors.

"Project Runway," created by former Miramax Films head Harvey Weinstein, had aired on Bravo since 2004. But, last April, Weinstein announced that he had sold the show to Lifetime, which has been trying to make over its image as a station best known -- as one "Project Runway" fan derisively wrote -- for airing "Golden Girls" reruns. Lifetime agreed to pay a reported $150 million for a five-year deal for "Runway" and spin-off shows.

The same day the deal was announced, NBC sued Weinstein. Now, a year later, the lawsuit has been settled, and in a statement issued Wednesday, NBC Universal said Weinstein will pay the media company "for the right to move 'Project Runway' to Lifetime. All parties are pleased with the outcome.'"

Weinstein expressed his relief that the legal drama is over.

"I want to personally congratulate Jeff Zucker and NBCU on their success in the litigation and thank Jeff for resolving this in a professional manner," he said in a statement.

Legal Drama Led to Odd 'Project Runway' Finale

As always, "Project Runway" shot its season finale on the final day of New York Fashion Week in February. All that was missing were the finalists.

Because the airdate of the show was in limbo, the three unknown designers were forced to remain hidden backstage after sending their collections down the runway. That didn't stop producers from shooting the entire season, including the finale.

"During the shooting, [the litigation] didn't impact anyone," Tim Gunn, the show's on-air mentor to the design competitors, told ABCNews.com. "What was unprecedented was when we reunited at New York Fashion Week and no one knew who these designers were. That's usually where they're greeted with the fans' support. But for everyone sitting and watching, it was an opportunity to really objectively evaluate the collections, and they were fantastic."

"Runway" host Heidi Klum told the Fashion Week audience the morning of Feb. 20 that she was "a little bit sad" the finalists couldn't have their moment in the spotlight.

"This year is gonna be a little bit different for us, for all of you, for our designers backstage," she said. "We're all in a bit of a limbo, and we hope that everything gets sorted out very soon."

The new season, under a new network and new producers, moved to Los Angeles from New York, its home for five seasons.

"Season 6 is really great," Gunn said. "It's stronger than Season 5. Our backdrop was L.A., which ended up being fabulous, and I was one of the skeptical ones who went."

Project Runway's Network Drama

The legal battle -- involving NBC, which owns Bravo; the Weinstein Co.; and the Lifetime Channel -- could have been the subject of a reality show about bickering television executives.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...