Variety reports that the Weinstein Co. have signed a 5 year deal to move "Project Runway" from Bravo to the Lifetime network.
"Not so fast!" claims Bravo owner NBC, who have filed a lawsuit against the Weinstein Co. saying that the show violated Bravo's right of first refusal. When Lifetime made the offer, Bravo should have had the chance to make a counter offer. And from the Var article, it looks like the whole thing is becoming a big mess:
According to NBC, the two sides met in January 2007 and agreed to a quid pro quo: NBC would strike a "holdback" clause in the "Runway" pact that, should the Weinsteins take the show elsewhere, prevented it from airing on another channel for 12 months. In exchange, NBC said it received the right of first refusal from the Weinsteins.
In the suit, NBC said Weinstein Co. principal Harvey Weinstein assured NBC U Jeff Zucker with these words: "You can only have in your life five true friends and I consider you one of my five friends. And I'm telling you, I will not embarrass you."
The lawyers for the Weinsteins say that the lawsuit is without merit, but NBC are sticking to their guns.
And the best part - at least for "Runway" fans - is that because of all of this, audiences will end up getting a whole lot more of the show this year:
Plans are still under way for Bravo to air season five of "Runway." According to the suit, TWC asked Bravo to launch the season in July, rather than in the fall. NBC/Bravo said it agreed to do so in a concession to the Weinsteins.
Now, with Lifetime slated to air its "Runway" in November, that would mean three cycles of the show would air in 2008.
With Tim Gunn telling them to "Make it work," the lawyers try to sort this all out.
As always, stay tuned.