Project Runway was the tentpole show of Bravo, the series that birthed a million spin-offs (Top Chef, Shear Genius) and became a cultural phenomenon. There was no reason to think anything would change — until April, when we first saw the shocking announcement that Project Runway now belonged to Lifetime.
It turns out the announcement of the Weinstein Company's deal with Lifetime was a wee bit premature — or at least naive of the legal battle that was to come. More than eight months later, the fate of Runway remains up in the air, after lawsuits and counter-lawsuits, and the current expectation is that Runway will be grounded for months.
The legal nitty-gritty has given us some funny revelations, like Harvey Weinstein's "five true friends" speech and the sullying of Meredith Baxter Birney's good name. But there's some serious stuff here, too — or, at least, as serious as any battle over a fashion-related reality TV show could be. Episodes for an upcoming season six, produced by Real World producers Bunim-Murray and not original producers Magical Elves, have been filmed, but there's no telling if or when or where they'll air.
A judge initially ruled against the Weinstein Company and said Lifetime couldn't air Runway or any planned spin-offs. But Weinstein is still challenging the ruling, and Lifetime has now filed a suit of its own. With no end in sight, and many of you saying you wouldn't watch more Lifetime even if they did have Runway, a lawsuit isn't the only thing that could be lost — Runway's audience could flee, too.
Photo courtesy of Bravo