The TV Column: Settlement to Bring 'Project Runway' Back on the Air

Tim Gunn and the rest of the
Tim Gunn and the rest of the "Runway" crew will move to Lifetime this summer. (Bravo)
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By Lisa de Moraes
Thursday, April 2, 2009

"Project Runway" lives! "Guiding Light" dies. That's life.

Everyone involved in the Great "Project Runway" Kerfuffle was tripping over each other yesterday to announce how happy they were that the lawsuit had been settled out of court, and the show would now go on -- Lifetime. Sometime this summer.

Much rejoicing erupted across the land. Okay, at least in this office. "Runway" fans, you see, have not had an original episode to watch since October.

"NBC Universal, The Weinstein Company and Lifetime have resolved their disputes," NBC Universal trumpeted in a news release.

The Weinstein Co., which produces the show, will pay NBCU an undisclosed sum to move the show to Disney-owned Lifetime, NBCU explained.

NBCU, which owns that sweet little chick cable network Bravo -- on the back of which "Runway" rose to fame -- had claimed that the Weinstein Co. transferred its TV jewel to the older, better-endowed chick network, Lifetime, without giving NBCU the chance to match the offer, per its contract.

NBCU claimed it had been in talks with the Weinstein Co. about keeping the show, though Weinstein wanted it moved from Bravo to another, bigger NBCU platform -- USA, perhaps, or even NBC. NBCU sued for breach of contract.

"All of the parties are pleased with the outcome," NBCU assured us all.

As part of the settlement, NBCU even got Harvey Weinstein to issue a statement personally congratulating NBC Universal president and CEO Jeff Zucker and the media conglom "on their success in the litigation."

Loosely translated: "You have bested me, sir! Huzzah!"

The Weinstein Co. also wants you to know it is "thrilled to be launching" its relationship with Lifetime, which also includes "Runway" spinoff "Models of the Runway," another reality project called "Project Pygmalion" and, as long as he's got us, a package of old Weinstein flicks to rerun.

Not to be left out, the president and CEO of Lifetime, Andrea Wong, revealed she "couldn't be more excited" that Lifetime will telecast the sixth edition of "Project Runway" this summer. That's surprising, since the delay cost her the centerpiece of her prime-time schedule last fall.


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