[8 April 2008]
“Project Runway,” the fashion-design reality series that has been one of the Bravo cable network’s biggest hits, is slated to move to the Lifetime channel this fall under a new five-year deal, but Bravo parent NBC has filed suit to block the switch.
David Boies, counsel to show’s producers, The Weinstein Co., commented in a statement that NBC suit in the New York Supreme Court is “without merit.” Boies is perhaps best known for his role as lead counsel in former Vice President Al Gore’s litigation over the disputed presidential election in 2000.
The Weinstein Co. contends that NBC declined to “compete for the right” to keep “Project Runway.” Boies added that it’s “always unfortunate when parties try to win in court what they have lost in the marketplace.”
Representatives from NBC Universal did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon.
Lifetime, whose programming is tailored for women viewers, is jointly owned by Hearst Corp. and Walt Disney Co.
Hosted by supermodel Heidi Klum and featuring Tim Gunn, the exacting mentor to the show’s contestants, “Project Runway,” which completed its fifth season last month, has become a signature series for Bravo in the reality era.
The show, which follows the contest between a series of designers as they meet challenges each week, was the highest-rated reality competition show in all of cable for 2007.