Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn quit Project Runway to launch Amazon series
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn say they are leaving Project Runway — and launching an Amazon Studios series instead.
After 16 seasons on basic cable, Klum and Gunn announced Friday they’re saying goodbye to the iconic series to re-team for a new fashion competition reality series on the streaming service instead.
“After 16 incredible seasons, I am saying ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to Project Runway, a show that I was honored to host and help create,” Klum said. “I am incredibly proud of the show, and it will always have a special place in my heart. I am so appreciative of the dedicated fans, and most of all, I am grateful that we could shine a light on creativity and help launch so many talented designers’ careers. I’m most excited that my journey with my dear friend and colleague, Tim Gunn, is far from over. We will be partnering with Amazon for a new show, and we’re excited for everyone to see what we’re designing next!”
We’re told “the series will be a fresh take in the reality space and will appeal to a global audience who are entertained by competition, storytelling, and authenticity.”
What does that mean, exactly? No idea. Amazon isn’t giving any specifics about the show’s format. But it will extend the Emmy-winning duo’s 14-year partnership to the streaming platform and a global audience when the show is rolled out to 200 territories worldwide.
“I am grateful to Project Runway for putting me on a path I never, in my wildest dreams, thought my career would take me!” Gunn said. “I am so proud to have been a part of the groundbreaking process that showcased talented young designers as never before. Most importantly, I am indebted to our incredible fans, they are the heart and soul of what we do, and continue to inspire us to raise the bar in this arena. I’m excited for them to see what’s next, as I partner with Amazon and Heidi Klum on our next great ‘fashion’ adventure.”
The power move marks the latest streaming talent grab from traditional linear channels, with mega-producers like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy having made lucrative Netflix deals over the past year.
“Heidi Klum completely changed the television landscape by developing a competitive reality fashion series that was unproven and different from what was popular on-air,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “The show became wildly successful, and in turn Klum and Tim Gunn have become an iconic pop culture duo. Their drive to deliver fashionably entertaining, engaging and trendsetting content speaks for itself, and we believe their next iteration in this space will find an even larger audience on our global Prime Video runway.”
Project Runway was originally launched on Bravo in 2004, then shifted to Lifetime in 2009 and earlier this year was announced as returning to Bravo for its next iteration. The show’s future was uncertain earlier this year given that it was an asset of The Weinstein Company, which has gone into bankruptcy following the fall of producer Harvey Weinstein. In June, Bravo announced original series producer Magical Elves were coming back on board to help “reboot” the show for 2019.
In response to Amazon’s announcement, Bravo issued the following statement affirming the network plans to move forward with another edition, only with different talent on board: “Bravo is proud to bring Project Runway back where it all began, and Heidi and Tim will always be a huge part of the legacy. The series will continue its iconic impact with Bravo’s reboot for the next generation of designers and fans. We are excited to announce our new host and mentor very soon.”
So perhaps Bravo can still … make it work?