In August, Project Runway returns to the air on Lifetime instead of Bravo, after a nine-month hiatus and tangled web of legal battles. Lifetime executives have seen the horror the move inspired in fans, posted in blogs and message boards all over the Internet. So they wisely decided to change as little as possible about the show. The set looks the same; the logo and colors are the same; Tim, Heidi, Michael, and Nina are all there; the format is the same.
Now, this is not what Heidi Klum wanted for the sixth season. She longed for a different color palette for the set, new seating for judges (what — bean bags? leopard chaises?), and a bigger, better catwalk. But, thanks to Lifetime chiefs, who are admirably determined not to screw up the show in such a fragile state, she got none of those things.
The biggest difference in season six is that it was shot in L.A. instead of New York. Lifetime also promises more celebrity judges. Except where Francisco Costa, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Roberto Cavalli once sat will now sit the increasingly irrelevant Christina Aguilera, Eva Longoria Parker, Rebecca Romijn, and Lindsay Lohan. One executive producer says, ''we had a near fainting when the designers saw who the guest judge was.'' Brainstorm time! Karl Lagerfeld? Britney Spears? Beyoncé? It seems unlikely, but Beyoncé could have arranged some sort of promotion with her House of Deréon label. But considering her, er, taste level, that could severely compromise the integrity of the show. Then again, they're already in L.A. With Xtina judging. So, yeah.