Project Runway is going to be auf the air for a little longer than expected.
Lifetime, which will be the Emmy-nominated series' new home once the current cycle ends, said Friday that it is delaying the premiere of the show's sixth season until January 2009.
"With this move, the series will resume its traditional cycle of two seasons per year," a network rep told Entertainment Weekly. "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.”
Lifetime had originally intended for a group of egocentric talents with volatile tear ducts to be snipping away at some new threads (and each other) by November. But execs are now looking to utilize the extra time to unleash a bigger promotional campaign and really throw their weight behind the series, which was an extremely huge get for the female-friendly network.
And doesn't Bravo know it.
The decision to jump ship prompted Bravo parent NBC Universal to sue the Weinstein Co., which produces Project Runway, for breach of contract, claiming that the studio shopped the series to Lifetime and inked a deal before giving its longtime home first right of refusal or the chance to match the terms.
But despite the corporate head-butting, sewing machines are whirring and models are strutting as Project Runway's fifth season unfolds on Bravo to the tune of more than 3.5 million viewers per week.
Since NBCU has kept Runway executive producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz in the fold, signing an exclusive first-look with the duo in May, Bunim-Murray Productions is now helming Runway for Lifetime.
A network insider assured EW.com that the premiere delay is not due to logistical difficulties and that the next crop of designers has been cast and production is on schedule.