NO MORE CATFIGHT: After almost a year of legal limbo, and just when it was in danger of fading from memory, “Project Runway” is back. The show will finally make a new home at Lifetime. NBC Universal, parent of Bravo, and The Weinstein Co. have settled their dispute over the show, which had left the reality program in the dark for nearly a year.
According to a statement from NBC Universal, the parties “resolved their disputes.” As a result, The Weinstein Co. “will pay NBCU for the right to move ‘Project Runway’ to Lifetime.”
This story first appeared in the April 2, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The amount Weinstein has to shell out was not disclosed. Lifetime reportedly paid between $150 million and $200 million for “Project Runway” for a five-year deal.
The legal drama began last April when Weinstein said it was moving the show to Lifetime from Bravo. NBC Universal then filed a lawsuit for breach of contract and the show remained in limbo until Wednesday’s decision.
“I want to personally congratulate [NBC Universal president and chief executive officer] Jeff Zucker and NBCU on their success in the litigation and thank Jeff for resolving this in a professional manner. We look forward to working together on our ongoing projects,” said Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Co.
Season six of “Project Runway” will air on Lifetime in the summer with hosts Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum and judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia, fashion director of Marie Claire, which — no surprise — will be the official magazine sponsor. The latest season wrapped taping in February during New York Fashion Week under unusual circumstances: the competing designers had to remain sequestered backstage in order to hide their identities until the show aired.
“Project Runway” might not have easy sailing, though. In the year the program has been off the air, several other fashion-related reality contests have sprung up, including “The Fashion Show,” a new designer contest on Bravo, with Harper’s Bazaar as the official magazine partner. The program will premiere May 7.