Can The Weinstein Company make Project Runway‘s move to Lifetime work? That’s the question we’re asking ourselves after we received a joint press release from TWC and the cable channel announcing a “groundbreaking agreement” that would move Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, et al from Bravo to Lifetime in Nov. 2008. Of course, buried deep in the release was an acknowledgment that NBC Universal, Bravo’s parent company, had filed a lawsuit today against The Weinstein Company in an effort to block the hop. Apparently, NBC believes its contract gives it the right to match any other offer Weinstein has for the show, while the Weinstein-Lifetime press release claims that NBC declined to compete for the series. The courts will have to figure out that hot mess, but there is something we can judge in the meantime: Does the network airing Runway affect whether we’ll watch it? And how big of a loss would this be for Bravo?
Clearly, a move to Lifetime means that the show isn’t concerned about wooing men (okay, straight men) to its fanbase. So if it’s women and gay men producers are after, Lifetime is the place to be. Lifetime doesn’t have the cachet that Bravo has, but Klum and Gunn do bring their cred with them. I can’t imagine they’d let production values suffer, so why wouldn’t we keep watching? As for Bravo, it’d still have Top Chef (and Kathy Griffin). And I’d bet on Bravo’s development team coming up with another hit quicker than Lifetime could create one from scratch.
So, will you watch if Runway moves to Lifetime? And will it feel as fierce?