- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - After months in limbo, “Project Runway” has a new home at Lifetime.

The popular design-competition series that aired for five seasons on the Bravo network had been mired in a legal struggle involving NBC Universal, which owns Bravo, the Weinstein Co. and the Lifetime channel.

The dispute began last April when NBC Universal sued Weinstein after the production company made a reported $150 million deal with Lifetime for the series that features supermodel Heidi Klum as host.

The lawsuit has been settled. In a statement issued Wednesday, NBC Universal said Weinstein will pay the media company “for the right to move `Project Runway’ to Lifetime. All parties are pleased with the outcome.’”

The show’s sixth season _ which has already been taped _ will air this summer on the female-centric channel, said Lifetime CEO Andrea Wong.

In a statement, Wong called Lifetime “the perfect home” for the series. She said the network was “thrilled” to proceed with Klum, mentor Tim Gunn, and judges Nina Garcia and Michael Kors.

“Project Runway” had been a huge success for Bravo. The sew-off show, which debuted in 2004, became water cooler TV in part because of its intense challenges and creative contestants with strong personalities that rivaled their daring designs.

The show jump-started Bravo’s evolution to the reality brand behind such addictive fare as “Top Chef,” “Millionaire Matchmatcher” and the “Real Housewives” franchise. Bravo will air its new sartorial series “The Fashion Show,” with judges Isaac Mizrahi and Kelly Rowland, on May 7.

Last September, a New York Supreme Court justice issued a temporary injunction preventing Weinstein from taking “Runway” or any spinoff to Lifetime and contended that evidence showed that Weinstein violated NBC’s “right of first refusal” for the show.

Weinstein has said there was no right of first refusal in the contract and that NBC Universal was offered the deal and was outbid.

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