In the past 13 years, Project Runway fans have watched 16 seasons full of fashion successes, fashion faux pas, and everything in between. But the long-running reality hit's future is in jeopardy right now after its parent studio The Weinstein Co. declared bankruptcy, and there's a decent chance Project Runway may be over before Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn got the chance to show us what Season 17 would look like.
Back in 2016, Lifetime announced that it was ordering three more seasons of Project Runway to follow Season 15, with the most recent batch of episodes wrapping this past November. But the gameplan changed in the wake of the sexual misconduct controversy surrounding producer Harvey Weinstein. According to Variety, some bankruptcy paperwork filed this week noted that Lifetime apparently cancelled the three-season deal in January, citing The Weinstein Co. as having breached the agreement due to not operating a lawful workplace, for not having notified A&E of any potential legal claims, and for the failure to follow A&E's own standards and practices. (A&E claims to have alerted The Weinstein Co. of said breaches back in November.) Further, Lifetime had also pulled the plug on a different licensing agreement in place for a Project Runway movie.
Of The Weinstein Co.'s assets, the model-friendly series has quite a bit of value, but in part because of the deal with Lifetime and A&E. Without the cable entities behind the show, It's hard to know how valuable the property is. So quite obviously, if Project Runway has any shot at continuing on in its current form, changes will need to be made somewhere.
Luckily for fans, it's said that A&E is looking into acquiring the Project Runway library from The Weinstein Co., and is also reportedly negotiating with Lantern Capital to take over future seasons, with Lantern having bid upwards of $310 million for the majority of the Weinstein Co. assets. It would make a lot of sense for A&E to want full creative control over Project Runway after nearly a decade of producing it. That could even lead to more spinoffs beyond just Project Runway All-Stars and Project Runway Junior. But that's only if the acquisition goes through, and it's impossible to know how long it would take to make any of that happen.