“Project Runway” Heads to Lifetime, Jim Not Amused

What, haven’t you heard? “Project Runway” is defecting from Bravo to Lifetime. That’s right: The most awesomest ode to the meaning of fashion ever (with the exception of “ANTM,” obvs) is moving, by choice, from the gay channel to…the soccer-mom channel. And boy was our “PR” expert Jim Cantiello not entirely pleased about the news. From Jim:

My thoughts?

Weird. Obviously Lifetime is hoping to add some cache to their network. (I guess they finally grew tired of showing old TV movies where Melissa Joan Hart got beat up by Fred Savage. [Ed: Oh, snaaap!]) But instead of “Runway” elevating Lifetime’s hip factor, it looks like Lifetime is bringing “Runway” down to their level. [Ed: Oh no, you diiiidn’t!] The same (awesome) production company, Magical Elves, is going to deliver the show, so I can’t imagine the network switch affecting how the show will look, feel, etc., but it will definitely be a weird dynamic to see ads for “Mother May I Sleep With Danger” during commercial breaks, instead of the usual glitzy Bravo promos for “Top Something or Other” or “Fame-Hungry Rich Middle-Aged Disasters.”

But who knows? If Martha Stewart can make a K-Mart line work, maybe Lifetime can make “Runway” ferosh. (For an especially hilarious Lifetime/”Runway” prediction, check out Opalescent’s take on the story.)

The other scary news that was released is that Bravo is kicking off the NEXT “Ruwnay” season in July. And then Lifetime will begin airing the FOLLOWING season in November. That means by the end of 2008, we will have had three different seasons of “Project Runway” on the air. As Tim Gunn would say, “That’s a lot of look.” Part of the genius of “Project Runway” (and “American Idol”) is that they haven’t over saturated the market, “Deal Or No Deal”-style. By the time it debuts on Lifetime in November, will we be ready for a new cast? Unlikely.

But then there’s the opposite extreme. With the show now hung up in legal hell, that could mean a very, very long “Runway” hiatus. Eek!

My friends at Blogging Project Runway had a poll, and 45% of “Runway” fans said the Lifetime switch is a “Tranny Hot Mess.” I’m bummed to say that I agree.