Lifetime Nabs (Finally!) ‘Project Runway’

Lawsuit with NBC ends, giving the cable net five years of the hit series, plus two spinoffs.

Last Updated: April 2, 2009 @ 6:37 PM

The long wait to hear Heidi Klum bid "auf wiedersehen" to some luckless designer is nearly over.

After months of sparring between NBC Universal, the Weinstein Co. and Lifetime Television, "Project Runway" will now officially be moving from Bravo to Lifetime. 

Plans are to bring the show back this summer — starting with the sixth season, which was never aired but had been shot in Los Angeles last fall, with a finale at New York Fashion Week on Feb. 20. The fifth season aired on Bravo last October.

As part of a legal settlement between the parties, the Weinstein Co. has agreed to pay NBCU for the right to air the show on Lifetime. A spokesperson for the Weinstein Co. declined to elaborate on the terms of the deal.

The settlement includes the next five years of "Runway," hosted by Klum and Tim Gunn, as well as a new spin-off show "Models of the Runway" and the development of another spin-off, "Project Pygmalion."

Also thrown into the deal: a package of the Weinstein Co. movies.

"I couldn’t be more excited that Lifetime will bring its viewers an amazing, all-new season of ‘Project Runway’ this summer," Lifetime Networks CEO Andrea Wong said in a statement. "As the highest-rated cable network for women, Lifetime is the perfect home for this outstanding program, as well as its companion series."

"All of the parties are pleased with the outcome," NBC Universal said in its own statement.

Last spring, the Weinstein Co., which produces the show, opted to move the program from Bravo to Lifetime. As a result, NBC Universal — the parent company of Bravo — sued the Weinstein Co. for breach of contract.

A New York Supreme Court judge issued a preliminary injunction in September to stop Lifetime from running or promoting the show. The injunction prompted Lifetime to file a complaint in October seeking to move the case to federal court.

That move was rejected in December, and the case went back to the state Supreme Court.

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