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Oh man; somebody’s getting fired. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bravo has lost Project Runway to Lifetime. In the four seasons the fashion design competition series has aired on Bravo, it has broken ratings records, made Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn into household names and given us “hot tranny mess” as this spring’s new catchphrase. The network switch comes after Bravo’s parent company, NBC Universal, refused to accept a package deal from Runway’s producers, The Weinstein Co.
The package, which Lifetime accepted, includes television rights to “second-tier” Weinstein Co. movies including Transamerica, The Nanny Diaries and The Great Debaters. Although reps for Lifetime say they have a signed contract that will give them Project Runway starting in its sixth season, NBC Universal isn’t letting go without a fight. The conglomerate is suing The Weinstein Co. claiming that its agreement with Lifetime is invalid, since they have the right of first refusal for the show.
It’s unclear what the move will mean for the show itself. Lifetime has vowed “to keep the show exactly the way it is,” and so far both Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are scheduled to make the move with Runway, although there is no word on whether judges Nina Garcia and Michael Kors will follow suit. While it may be more embarrassing to say you’re watching a Lifetime show than one on Bravo, the fact that Runway is already a known entity with a built-in fan base will hopefully mitigate any stigma attached to it. Plus Lifetime reaches 7 million more homes than Bravo, so the potential audience is expanded from the get-go.
I get both channels and have been watching Runway since the beginning, so I’ll definitely follow it if it does in fact move to Lifetime. Will you do the same? Do you think people who aren’t currently fans will be more or less likely to watch it on Lifetime? Feel free to comment below.