“Project Runway” will “Make it Work” on New Cable Channel (Includes Update #3 – Not So Fast Mr. Weinstein)

Just when I had thought I had my future reality television viewing planned, model Heidi Klum and the Weinstein Company, producers of “Project Runway”, has to throw a monkey wrench in the whole thing.  Damn them.  What am I ranting about this time?  Variety announced that the popular reality show which features aspriring fashion designers will be moving from it current channel, Bravo to Lifetime. 

In a stunning network hop, “Project Runway” producer The Weinstein Co. has signed a five-year deal with Lifetime to move the show – cable’s top-rated reality skein – to the femme-centric cabler. Show’s sixth season will premiere on Lifetime in November.  (Variety, 4/7/08)

The article also states that NBC Universal, Bravo’s parent company, is none to happy about the move, and has filed lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court against the Weinstein Company.  But it looks like the Weinstein Company isn’t too worried.  “In a statement, the Weinsteins thanked NBC and Bravo for helping nurture the show into a hit, but said ‘having Lifetime’s unique cable reach will ensure that the show will continue to grow and expand in the years to come. Lifetime is one of the strongest cable networks in the industry, with great leadership and a true commitment to original programming.'”

So what are they really trying to say?   Personally, I think that Bravo is a much better fit the program. Its programs are, for the most part, fun, intelligent, and classy. I haven’t watched Lifetime in years.  There is way too much melodrama for this momma. 

Well, good luck to “Project Runway” trying to make it work on Lifetime. 

UPDATE – In response to the move, NBC Universal, has issued the following statement:

“NBC Universal has continuing legal rights related to “Project Runway,” including a right of first refusal to future cycles of the series, which The Weinstein Company unfortunately has refused to honor. NBC Universal regrettably had no alternative but to bring legal action to enforce its rights to this program, including the right to decide whether it is in the best interest of the company to continue to air the show under the proposed financial terms.”

UPDATE #2

Well, if moving to the television graveyard for mauldin housefraus wasn’t enough to chap my behind, I just in Crain’s New York Business that the show will be relocating to LA.  WTF!!!  I am so through with Miss Heidi and Mr. Weinstein, I don’t know what to do. New York is the fashion capital of the world.  Period. Get with the program. TyTy Banks thought should could hang in SmellLA but then wisely realized the error of her ways and not only returned ANTM (America’s Next Top Model) to NYC but brought along her talk show as well.  

By the way, this last season on Bravo, which began on July 16, is already showing itself to be subpar. They, the producers, resurrected a previous challenge (design an outfit from things found in a grocery store — a remake from season one). And the designers are proving themselves to be uninventive with nearly all of them choosing to create dresses from table cloths.  Yikes!  I am not going to go out of my way to tune into this mess.  Heidi, my love, you were “in” but you are now definitely “out”.  Congrats on the Emmy nomination; savour it because it may be your last.

UPDATE #3

It was reported in Jossip on Friday, September 26, that NBC Universal was awarded an injunction from the courts effectively halting the production of future Runway episodes which were scheduled to be aired on Lifetime.  NBC Universal issued the following statement:

NBC Universal is pleased that the court granted our motion for a preliminary injunction against The Weinstein Company. The overwhelming evidence demonstrated that The Weinstein Company violated NBC Universal’s right of first refusal to future cycles of Project Runway. After hearing all of the evidence, the court issued an order prohibiting The Weinstein Company from taking the show or any spin-off to Lifetime. (Source)

And The Weinstein’s Company’s response:

We are glad that the court held that NBC Universal cannot exhibit the program on Bravo and that court required NBC Universal to post a minimum $20 million bond. Obviously we will be appealing and remain committed to our Partners. (Source)

Will Project Runway be “out” for good?  Stay tuned. 

 


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