Runway lawsuit resolved


The battle over rights to “Project Runway” has been settled out of court. The upshot is that the show, which was a hit for NBC Universal’s Bravo cable channel, will get to move to Lifetime, but NBC Universal will get a cash settlement.

NBCU had sued to retain Project Runway, charging that The Weinstein Company violated its renewal rights. The five-year deal with Lifetime was reported to be worth around $150 million.

NBCU won an important round in court, obtaining an injunction blocking the move to Lifetime.

But now, it’s all been resolved and this announcement was sent to RBR/TVBR by Lifetime Wednesday afternoon:

“NBC Universal, The Weinstein Company and Lifetime have resolved their disputes.  The Weinstein Company will pay NBCU for the right to move Project Runway to Lifetime. All of the parties are pleased with the outcome. Harvey Weinstein added, ‘I want to personally congratulate Jeff Zucker and NBCU on their success in the litigation and thank Jeff for resolving this in a professional manner.  We look forward to working together on our ongoing projects’.”

Lifetime’s CEO is a happy camper.

“I couldn’t be more excited that Lifetime will bring its viewers an amazing, all-new season of Project Runway this summer. As the highest-rated cable network for women, Lifetime is the perfect home for this outstanding program as well as its companion series Models of the Runway. All of us at Lifetime are thrilled to move forward with Heidi, Tim, Nina, Michael, The Weinstein Company and the entire Project Runway team.  We are proud to add these shows to our growing slate of original programming, including the hit series Army Wives, the all-new upcoming series Drop Dead Diva and our top-rated original movies,” said a statement from Andrea Wong, President and CEO, Lifetime Networks.