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Report: 'Project Runway's next season may be delayed until summer


By John Bracchitta and Steve Rogers, 10/07/2008 

Barring a surprise lawsuit settlement, viewers reportedly may have a long wait before they get to see Project Runway's sixth season.

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Last month's court decision to issue a preliminary injunction that prevents Project Runway's The Weinstein Company production company from proceeding with its plans to move the show to Lifetime has reportedly made it "highly unlikely" that the show's sixth season -- which Lifetime had originally planned to debut in November -- will still premiere as currently scheduled in January, The Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.

New York Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Lowe granted the injunction on September 26 in response to a request from NBC Universal, the Bravo parent company that is suing to prevent losing Project Runway to Lifetime.  NBC Universal filed the lawsuit immediately after The Weinstein Company and Lifetime's April announcement that they had reached a five-year, $150 million deal to bring Project Runway from Bravo to to Lifetime beginning in November.

In its lawsuit, NBC Universal claims that The Weinstein Company breached the parties' contract and didn't give it the right to match Lifetime's Project Runway offer before reaching signing the deal with the women's cable network.

Although Project Runway's sixth season began filming in Los Angeles last month, The Times reported that the ongoing court battle -- which is currently scheduled to resume with another court appearance on October 15 -- is likely to result in the show not debuting in time to film its finale at New York Fashion Week in February. 

While filming Project Runway's sixth season finale someplace other than New York Fashion Week's semiannual February and September events would seem to be an obvious alternative, The Weinstein Company -- or Lifetime -- apparently isn't interested in considering those options.  Instead, according to The Times, missing the February event would mean that the show's finale would take place at New York Fashion Week's September event -- a move that would reportedly delay the sixth season's premiere until at least next summer.

"I think [viewers are] going to be sad they have to wait," Project Runway host and executive producer Heidi Klum told The Times. "And, of course, we will be sad too. But we're all sitting in the same boat. We don't really know what is going to happen."

Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn was more optimistic about the idea of a delay.  In addition to feeling confident that the show's viewers would be patient, he told The Times that a delay would actually calm his worries that they might grow tired of the show, which had been on track to premiere three seasons within twelve months. 

"Frankly, I've been more worried about having too much Runway, thinking, oh, my God, people are going to overdose on this. The fans will wait for us. I have every confidence in that."

(Photo credit Lifetime)


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