NBC Universal is determined not to let Project Runway become the one that got away. Or, if the network must kiss it good-bye and release the show to Lifetime, NBC is at least going to make sure that Lifetime won't be getting the best possible goods. You'll recall the network filed a lawsuit against the Weinstein Co. when it sold the show to Lifetime, but yesterday the network struck a deal that would merely prevent the show's producers from following Project Runway over to Lifetime. Sneaky! The Wall Street Journal explains:
Monday's deal is with Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, who have been executive producers of "Runway" from its infancy but had no ownership stake in it. Instead of continuing with the show once it moves to Lifetime, the two have signed a so-called "first-look deal" with NBC Universal. That means NBC has the first right to consider new projects from the pair. The two said in an interview Monday that signing the deal was part of a plan to own more of their work.
"It is sad," Ms. Lipsitz said of leaving "Runway" behind. "But in terms of the bigger picture of building our business, it was a decision that we had to make."
So the show's executive producers are gone, half the episodes are moving to L.A., and Marie Claire might replace Elle. This is going to make for one disheveled mess of a show. But you know what? It will probably be perfect for Lifetime. May the pouting commence.
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