'Project Runway' Struts Over to Lifetime. Not So Fast, Says NBC.

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By Lisa de Moraes
Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Those bad-boy Hollywood moguls Bob and Harvey Weinstein have transferred the favor of their "Project Runway" -- cable's top-rated reality competition series -- from that sweet little chick cable network Bravo to the older, better-endowed chick cable network Lifetime, starting with the show's sixth edition.

Bravo's outraged parent, NBC Universal, has sued the Weinsteins for breach of promise, er, contract.

The scandal broke just days after those downright upright Peabody Awards people announced they would bestow one of their prestigious prizes on "Project Runway" -- the first reality series to receive one -- because the show about fashion wannabes "redeems the reality-contest genre."

The irony was not lost on the TV industry, where tongues were wagging yesterday over the scandal.

" 'Project Runway' hits the catwalk and struts over to Lifetime," that brazen hussy Lifetime boasted to the news media yesterday afternoon in an announcement littered with bad metaphors and precious one-liners from the "Runway" cast.

"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 said in a statement about the lawsuit it filed yesterday in the New York Supreme Court.

"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," the studio said, its sad face screwed firmly in place.

"While good for the market for lawyers, it is always unfortunate when parties try to win in court what they have lost in the marketplace," Weinstein Co. lawyer David Boies verbally mustache-twirled. "We believe the lawsuit is without merit."

That shameless floozy Lifetime boasted that the Weinsteins have promised to be true to the network for at least five years, which for the Weinsteins is, in fact, a Lifetime.

"Fashion is about change, so we're looking forward to saying hello to Lifetime, our new fashionable home for our fashionable series," the show's block of wood on a great bod, a.k.a. show host, judge and executive producer Heidi Klum, said, while (curiously) declining to add, "Auf Wiedersehen, Bravo!"

"Lifetime and I will definitely 'make it work' together," added the show's resident den mother Tim Gunn, referencing his extremely lame trademark expression from the show.

In its filing, NBC Universal paints a lurid picture of the "enormous amount of time, energy and money" it spent in the development, production and promotion of "Project Runway," "transforming it from an untested concept into an unqualified critical and commercial 'hit.' "


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