Project Runway will — finally! — return on Aug. 20 at 10 p.m. on the Lifetime Network, marking its eagerly awaited comeback after months of messy legal wrangling over which network had the rights to air the sixth season of the show. The catwalk reality series will bring back Teutonic hostess Heidi Klum, “make-it-work” mentor Tim Gunn, and judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia, and feature 16 new contestants vying to make it all the way to Fashion Week. Lifetime also announced that it would unveil a new companion series titled Models of the Runway, which will air directly after Project Runway at 11p.m. The 30-minute show will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the Project Runway competition from the vantage point of the models.
Project Runway is returning to television this summer — and it will air on Lifetime.
According to the network, legal battles surrounding beleaguered reality show’s already-filmed sixth season have been amicably resolved. “The Weinstein Company will pay NBCU for the right to move Project Runway to Lifetime. All of the parties are pleased with the outcome,” the networks say in a joint statement.
Changing gears, the upcoming season of Project Runway relocated from New York to Los Angeles, though it will continue to be hosted by Heidi Klum and judged by Michael Kors and Nina Garcia. Tim Gunn will also mentor the designers. As usual, the finale was shot during New York Fashion Week — this year on Feb. 20.
But ongoing legal disputes prevented producers from revealing any information about the cast, and the three final collections were shown blindly, with their designers unidentified. International Herald Tribute editor Suzy Menkes acted as the guest judge at the show.
In addition, sources close to the show have told PEOPLE that Project Runway’s season 6 will utilize “local resources” in Los Angeles — namely focusing more on Hollywood — and will feature appearances by Christina Aguilera, Eva Longoria Parker and Rebecca Romijn.
Project Runway producer Harvey Weinstein expressed his appreciation for the resolution to the legal battle. “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,” he said in a statement.
No additional details about the cast or specific airdates have been released.
On Tuesday, Bravo, Runway’s original home, announced details about its new design competition, The Fashion Show, and introduced the cast. That show, featuring Kelly Rowland and Isaac Mizrahi, will air May 7.
According to Lifetime, the network will also air a companion series, Models of the Runway, alongside Project 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,” network president and CEO Andrea Wong said in a statement. “We are proud to add these shows to our growing slate of original programming.”
The actress/designer/reality show star/new mom completed her much-hyped, first-ever triathlon on Sept. 14. With husband Marc Anthony as well as fellow racer Matthew McConaughey cheering her on, Lopez completed the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 28 seconds.
While the physical feat (and the fact that Lopez raised $127,000 for the Children’s Hospital of L.A. in the process) is newsworthy, New Yorkers are still buzzing about Lopez suddenly bailing on her judging duties.
A source close to “Runway” host Heidi Klum says that Klum was furious that Lopez pulled out.
“Heidi went from one big-name judge for the finale to none,” the source says. “It was embarrassing, especially the excuse that (Lopez) was hurt.”
Lopez is rumored to be throwing a birthday party for husband Anthony back in New York, and, according to the source, “She can forget about Heidi and (husband) Seal attending after this.”
One of the rumors swirling around Lopez’s sudden injury is that she had no beef with “Project Runway,” but instead was angry with The Weinstein Company, which produces the reality show.
“Jennifer was hoping for a part in an upcoming Weinstein film, and she was told the day before (the ‘Project Runway’ show) that she wasn’t getting it,” the source says. “She was angry, so she pulled out.”
Lopez’s rep, Leslie Sloane, denied the rumors, saying “(Lopez) pulled out (of “Runway”) because she had an injury and had to have it rehabbed so she could compete (in the triathlon).” She went on to say “(Lopez) has no issues with Harvey (Weinstein).”
Reps for the hit Bravo series are keeping a serious lid on the identity of their traditional celebrity guest judge for the show’s finale this season.
But, rumor has it, Jennifer Lopez is it.
The new mom will be taking her fashion sense to the front row at the finale’s popular runway show, sources tell the Daily News’ Jo Piazza.
Lopez will join the ranks of guest judges such as pal Victoria Beckham, Natalie Portman and Brooke Shields, who have all weighed in on the runway looks of the show’s top designers.
Despite the buzz, a “Project Runway” rep wouldn’t confirm or deny Lopez’s involvement with the show, telling us, “we’d rather give the audience and viewers a surprise.”
In a surprise development, Lifetime has announced that it won’t debut the sixth season of Project Runway until January so it has more time to promote the show that it swiped from Bravo last spring. “With this move, the series will resume its traditional cycle of two seasons per year,” according to a Lifetime spokeperson. “We look forward to ringing in the New Year by giving Project Runway loyal fans a superlative season six with Heidi, Tim, Nina, and Michael. The new date and time will be announced soon.”
he news comes as a lawsuit over the rights to Project Runway continues to wind its way through the New York courts. Bravo’s parent company, NBC/Universal, is alleging that the Weinstein Co. shopped Runway to Lifetime before giving its home network first refusal. NBC/Universal also is attempting to block Lifetime from marketing and promoting future cycles of the show.
One source familiar with the lawsuit believes the delay (the show had been set to debut sometime in late fall) has less to do with the ongoing litigation and more to do with Lifetime’s inability to get the production together for an autumn start. Bunim-Murray Productions, the company behind The Real World, is now producing Runway since Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves left the show when it moved networks. A Lifetime insider, however, says production is on schedule and the new cycle has already been cast.
Perhaps he said it best himself, looking directly into the camera and asking, “Hello, did you have a doubt?”
Christian Siriano, this season’s Project Runway favorite — and, at 22, the youngest winner ever! — took home the top prize in the show’s finale Wednesday night.
“I don’t believe it yet,” Siriano told PEOPLE at the TRESemme Finale Party in New York City, where guests watched the show in the Tribeca Grand hotel screening room. “I’m so excited. It’s fabulous. I have no words!” (He did, however, have text messages — more than 50 shortly after the finale concluded.)
“I did, I cried on the runway,” he admitted after watching his emotional moment in front of the judges. “I was scared! I thought I should win — I thought I deserved to win, but I really didn’t know. Rami and Jillian were so good.”
In fact, all three designers heard rousing applause from the screening room audience, which included their season 4 costars Chris March, Sweet P, Ricky Lizalde and Jack Mackenroth.
And for the runners-up, it was also well-deserved. Jillian Lewis tells PEOPLE she’s officially started her own company, Jillian Lewis Inc., and she’s meeting with buyers to sell a new line. “All of us did such different things, it’s like comparing a shoe designer a hat designer and a bag designer,” she says. “But when [Christian’s] story played out I thought he really has a strong vision and I understand why he won.”
Meanwhile, Rami Kashou may have a new celebrity client in Heidi Klum, who expressed an interest in wearing some of his creations. “She already pulled some of my clothes for fittings,” he says. “So that’s great. Anybody would want to dress Heidi!”
The Project Runway party wouldn’t be complete without show mentor Tim Gunn, who doled out warm hugs to the designers and addressed the audience before the show. “To Christian, Jillian and Rami,” he said, “it is a phenomenal race and all of you are winners. I’m thrilled and proud of each of you.”
As for the judges’ decision, Gunn “celebrates” the ruling but admits, “It was a tremendously difficult decision.” And despite some early reservations about Christian’s collection, Tim tells PEOPLE, “When I saw the runway [show] my concerns evaporated. I thought, this is fabulous.”