Will 'Runway' Make It Work After It Moves to Lifetime?

What Everyone Is Talking About

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Never mind that hot tranny mess of a lawsuit between NBC Universal and the Weinsteins. Lifetime's poaching of Bravo's "Project Runway" has dedicated fans panicking over the fate of their beloved show, wondering just what a switch to the home of three-hanky TV fare like "Army Wives" and reruns of "The Nanny" will mean. As Tim Gunn says in nearly every episode, "This worries me."
Loaded Gunn: What do you think he's gonna say?
Loaded Gunn: What do you think he's gonna say? Credit: Barbara Nitke

In fact, that quote is part of the problem "Runway" ran into in its fourth and most recent season, going from cultural phenom in its first season to a 13-episode catchphrase. Gunn already kick-started this trend by Season Two, when contestant Santino Rice parodied him as a broken record that could only utter the phrase "Make it work."

Two years later, Bravo's sibling network NBC summed up the show's current appeal perfectly in a March "SNL" sketch titled, "Fierce: The Hot Mess Reality Show," in which Amy Poehler portrayed Season Four winner Christian Siriano simply by uttering his four favorite words: "fierce," "tranny" and "hot mess." Even host Heidi Klum is becoming more known more for her "Auf wiedersehn" dismissal than for any incisive fashion commentary. And judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia, the show's most reliable sources of fresh, biting critique, have been notably absent from the terms of the Lifetime deal, further damping any hopes that any remaining cattiness will still be left on the catwalk.

Although "Runway" has one last season (and shot at cultural redemption) on Bravo before making the switch to Lifetime in November, the blogosphere is already calling for its demise. Gawker Media's Defamer posted a clip reel of the show's most tear-stained moments from the last four years to illustrate how Lifetime might make the show fit in between a Nora Roberts movie marathon. "Lifetime: television for the emotionally bankrupt" scrolled across the clip as Season One contestant Nora Caliguri choked out her final sob.
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