Reality Fashion. Project Runway’s Deep Freeze

November 20, 2008 • Lifestyle


Hate is a powerful emotion and can make people do stupid things…like kill a successful reality show. An interesting article ran in yesterday’s New York Times about the whole "Project Runway" debacle.

At a time when audiences are shrinking for almost every type of television program, you would think producers and network executives would do anything to keep a series whose audience is actually growing on the air!

So it is doubly perplexing that “Project Runway,” is now stuck in a legal quagmire that threatens to keep the show off the air indefinitely. In its first five seasons on the Bravo cable channel, “Project Runway” increased its average audience to 4 million viewers an episode from 1 million an episode, making the most recent season its biggest ever.

Even though much of the sixth season has already been shot, may not air until spring…or ever. At the very least, shooting the finale at February’s NY Fashion Week seems impossible at this juncture.

As you already know, the delay is the result of the continuing legal dispute between the Weinstein Company, which produces the series, and NBC Universal, the parent of Bravo. Early this year the Weinstein Company sold the rights to the series to Lifetime Networks for five years for what it says was some $200 million.

NBC Universal sued, saying it had a right of first refusal to keep the show on one of its channels. In September a New York State judge issued a preliminary injunction preventing Lifetime from promoting or broadcasting the series.

Insiders contend negotiations for an out-of-court settlement are not taking place, indicating parties involved in the suit (NBC, the Weinstein Co., and Lifetime) have giant egos and must truly hate each other.

Never fear fashionistas, Bravo is already finishing its next fashion reality competition show, now tentatively titled "The Fashion Show", where viewers instead of judges will pick the winners.

Thank God I love "Top Chef", because all of these other fashion-type reality shows…stink.

Read the NYTimes article "Legal Tangles of ‘Project Runway’ Keep It Frozen on the Catwalk"

Sources: NYTimes & NYMag

Image: NY Post

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