In September 2008, NBC, owner of Bravo, was granted a preliminary injunction against the Weinstein Company, creator and owner of Project Runway, stopping the show’s move from Bravo to Lifetime. The Weinstein Company had signed a deal moving Project Runway to Lifetime without offering NBC a last opportunity to match the deal’s terms–violating a previous agreement which gave NBC first right of refusal to any future seasons of the show.

After appeals from both sides, NBC and the Weinstein Company reached an agreement last Wednesday. Amidst a long appeals process, the Weinstein Company agreed to pay NBC a settlement fee, admitting that it violated its contract by selling Project Runway to Lifetime without allowing NBC to match the offer.

In addition to millions of dollars, NBC is also receiving a competition-free start to the new Bravo program, The Fashion Show. The terms of the settlement pushed the premiere of the already-taped sixth season of Project Runway back to mid-August, allowing The Fashion Show to premiere on May 7th without any Project Runway competition.

While the exact terms of the settlement are unknown, and it remains to be seen which show is the bigger hit with viewers, it seems that for now NBC may have received the better side of the deal. Said Weinstein CEO Harvey Weinstein, “I want to personally congratulate [president and CEO of NBC] Jeff Zucker and NBCU on their success in the litigation and thank Jeff for resolving this in a professional manner.”

Kate Thornton

Image courtesy of Bravo

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