Darlings, we HEARD you the first 50 times! We were sitting in a second screening of Jay McCarroll's film when the emails started flying in at a frantic rate of about 2 per minute. Why?
THIS is why:
""In a stunning network hop, Lifetime announced Monday that The Weinstein Co. has signed a five-year deal with the femme-centric cabler to take over the show - cable’s top-rated reality skein - effective this November. sixth season will premiere on Lifetime in November.
According to Lifetime prexy/CEO Andrea Wong, the two sides first started talking in January, and signed the deal on Feb. 7. As part of an overall programming agreement with the Weinstein Co., Lifetime will pick up a movie package from the company, and develop other projects (including, perhaps, a “Runway” spinoff).
Lifetime’s announcement came just as NBC U was filing suit against TWC. Peacock claims Weinstein didn’t give NBC U proper notification that another party had made an offer for “Runway,” and that as a result, the sale to Lifetime is invalid. What’s more, NBC said the Weinstein Co. had continued to conduct “sham negotiations” with the Peacock after Feb. 7.
"They’ve been sold stolen goods,” an NBC U insider said of the Lifetime deal.
Suit also alleges that TWC had been negotiating a package deal for "Runway" in which the show would move from Bravo to another NBC U property, most likely the NBC broadcast net. In addition, Peacock would be forced to buy a package of TWC movies, with a total package price of $150 million.
"NBC has continuing legal rights related to ‘Project Runway,’ including a right of first refusal to future cycles of the series, which The Weinstein Company unfortunately has refused to honor,” a NBC U spokeswoman said. “NBC Universal regrettably had no alternative but to bring legal action to enforce its rights to this program, including the right to decide whether it is in the best interest of the company to continue to air the show under the proposed financial terms."
Plans are still underway for Bravo to air season five of “Runway.” According to the suit, the Weinstein Co. asked Bravo to launch the season in July, rather than in the fall. In a concession to the Weinsteins, NBC/Bravo said it agreed to do so.
Now, with Lifetime slated to air its "Runway" in November, that would mean three cycles of the show would air in 2008.
In a statement, Weinstein counsel David Boies said he believed the lawsuit was "without merit."
"While good for the market for lawyers, it is always unfortunate when parties try to win in court what they have lost in the marketplace," Boies said.
The show’s defection to Lifetime was announced Monday by Wong and Weinstein Co. co-chairmen Harvey and Bob Weinstein.
"'Project Runway' is one of the best television programs on the air today on broadcast or cable,” Wong said. “I am a huge fan. All my friends are huge fans. Having watercooler movies, dramas, and reality shows like ‘Project Runway’ is what Lifetime Television is all about. We welcome The Weinstein Company, Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn to the Lifetime family for many walks down the runway to come."
In a statement, the Weinsteins thanked NBC and Bravo for helping nurture the show into a hit, but said “having Lifetime’s unique cable reach will ensure that the show will continue to grow and expand in the years to come." "Lifetime is one of the strongest cable networks in the industry, with great leadership and a true commitment to original programming," the Weinsteins said. "We are very excited for the many new opportunities that will now be provided to ‘Runway’ and its fans and look forward to premiering the sixth season in November 2008.""
We honestly don't know what to think about this. We're huge fans of Bravo and they've been very good to us, not to mention we have many relationships with the people over there. We can't help but think this isn't good news.On the other hand, we get two seasons of the show this year, so that's a definite plus. On the other, OTHER hand, it's somewhat notable that Michael and Nina aren't mentioned in the press release and we wouldn't be a bit surprised if they don't follow the show over to LifeTime.
The idea of Lifetime doing spinoffs of the show just smells like ""Project Runway, L.A." to us. Not sure how we feel about that one either.
We just don't know. One of the many reasons we love the show is because it was on Bravo, the most gay-friendly cable network around. While Lifetime certainly isn't UNfriendly to the gays, we can't help but fear for our baby.
What do you bitches think?
[Illustration: Project Rungay - Photos: Bravotv.com/Mylifetime.com]