'Project Runway' Producers Sign with NBC
Magical Elves team won't follow show to Lifetime
Left unsaid in the release was the fact that Cutforth and Lipsitz's company, Magical Elves, will be "out" of the "Runway" business once the hit fashion-design competition moves to Lifetime later this year.
That wrinkle is the latest in the saga that began last month, when Bravo's signature show made the jump across the cable dial to Lifetime. The show's fifth season will air on Bravo (which is part of NBC Universal) this summer, and its Lifetime debut is set for late this year.
The deal with NBC Universal calls for Magical Elves, which also produces Bravo's "Top Chef" and NBC's "Last Comic Standing," to develop scripted and unscripted projects across the NBCU family, which also includes USA, the Sci Fi Channel and Oxygen, as well as for digital media.
"We have found NBC Universal to be great creative partners," Lipsitz says. "This deal represents amazing opportunities on multiple platforms, not just in unscripted television but in the scripted and digital spaces as well."
The NBC deal doesn't preclude Cutforth and Lipsitz from continuing to work on "Project Runway," but they tell the trade papers that they'd rather focus on their own projects rather than continuing to work "for hire." The Weinstein Co., which also produces "Runway" and engineered the move to Lifetime, is searching for new exec producers to run the day-to-day aspects of the series.
In addition to the other changes, "Project Runway" will also move from New York to Los Angeles for most of its first season on Lifetime. Host/executive producer Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn will remain with the show, but judges Nina Garcia and Michael Kors haven't signed new deals yet.