Posted Monday, May 14, 2018 by RODNEY HOemail@example.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
It’s always great to go home.
After a decade on Lifetime, “Project Runway” returns to Bravo. I’m sure it’s happened but I can’t recall a show switching networks, then going back to its original home before.
The seminal fashion design competition show was a huge hit for Bravo in its early days of reality TV before “The Real Housewives” were a thing and Andy Cohen became a household name. It aired for five seasons before the Weinstein Company decided to move it to Lifetime.
This move was only possible thanks to the dissolution of Harvey Weinstein’s company following his massive fall from grace last fall when more than 50 women accused the former film and TV mogul of sexual assault and harassment. The Weinstein Company owned the rights to the show but A&E, citing his actions as a breach of contract, dropped its deal with them.
The original move from Bravo to Lifetime was acrimonious and had to be settled out of court. The show ultimately aired 11 seasons on Lifetime, plus numerous spin-offs including “Project Runway All Stars,” which recently concluded season six with Atlanta’s Anthony Williams taking home the crown. Williams, an effervescent, creative designer, finished fifth season seven of “Project Runway” when it was on Lifetime, followed by two stints on “All Stars.”
Williams was happy to see the change. “I think Bravo has a better handle on talent development,” he wrote in a text today. “I also think they would have navigated through the Harvey Weinstein situation without completely abandoning their project and their contestants.”
Indeed, with all the Weinstein accusations swirling last fall, Lifetime did very little marketing for the latest season of “All Stars,” which meant Williams’ victory didn’t help him quite as much as it might have otherwise.