NBC Wins a Round in Fight for 'Project Runway'

Court Prevents Lifetime From Promoting Season Six, for Now

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The fight for "Project Runway" continues. NBC Universal made some progress in its lawsuit against the Weinstein Co. today after the New York Supreme Court granted its motion for a preliminary injunction against Harvey Weinstein's production company.
Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein Credit: AP

The suit stems from Weinstein Co.'s April sale of the broadcast rights of the sixth and all subsequent seasons of "Project Runway" to Lifetime, a move that NBCU contends was a direct violation of a so-called January agreement with the Weinstein Co.

"The overwhelming evidence demonstrated that the Weinstein Co. violated NBC Universal's right of first refusal to future cycles of 'Project Runway,'" NBCU said in a statement. "After hearing all of the evidence, the court issued an order prohibiting the Weinstein Co. from taking the show or any spinoff to Lifetime."

The terms of the preliminary injunction filed today prevent Lifetime from marketing, promoting or airing its sixth season of "Runway" -- or any spinoffs -- while the current season is still airing on Bravo, pending final litigation. All parties mentioned in the lawsuit will reconvene to discuss the next steps Oct. 15, the day the fifth season finale of "Runway" airs on Bravo.

Lifetime currently plans to debut the sixth season in January 2009, with plans in the works for a spinoff about the show's makeup artists.

Lifetime, although not a party to the NBCU-Weinstein lawsuit, issued its own statement following today's ruling. "We are disappointed with the court's decision to grant the preliminary injunction against the Weinstein Co. It's unfortunate that the people hurt most by this ongoing dispute are the loyal fans of 'Project Runway.' In the meantime, Lifetime will pursue all measures to uphold its valid and binding agreement reached with the Weinstein Co. for season six of 'Project Runway.'"
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