Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Project Runway found a new home with Lifetime Television

One of the top rated reality shows and one my favorite programs ever, Project Runway is leaving its home Bravo, part of NBC Universal networks for a Lifetime Network gig. Apparently, The Weinstein Company, the production company for “Project Runway” signed a deal with the lady friendly network for five years of PR and exclusive rights to air various new releases, like “The Nanny Diaries” and “Transamerica” in February. And NBC is mighty pissed with The Weinstein Company over the move. They are now suing the production company, since they own first refusal rights on the program. Also, according to the lawsuit, Lifetime is looking to air a new season this fall, yet NBC/Bravo still has one season left with its current contract with TWC. This, according to the suit, would force Bravo to air the next season this summer, causing the contestants to be chosen in a rush and production on the high concept show to be forced.
I am not sure why anyone would want to take Project Runway away from its home on Bravo and especially bring it to Lifetime Television. I didn’t even think Lifetime had the cash to pull in a program like Project Runway. I hope this all gets settled and doesn’t ruin the next group of designers because last season was just perfect and filled with talent. Ugh, I wonder how much of this had to do with money and how much of this had to do with the changes in regime over at NBC Universal. I mean after the Upfronts, it looked like NBC as a whole was one of the only networks truly looking into the future of “television programming” and understanding the online presence it needs to create to sustain relevance in this changing market. And personally, I don’t see how Lifetime would have the capability to run this program, marketing wise, as well as Bravo has. But who knows, we shall see what is ahead for everyone involved.