According to The Hollywood Reporter, what started out as a legal battle with Bravo seeking damages, due to the Weinstein Co.'s controversial move of Project Runway to Lifetime, has added yet another chapter to the ugly lawsuit.
Papers were filed in New York federal court by Weinstein claiming they were wronged by Bravo's intentional refusal to promote the show's most recent Season 5 run. According to the papers, Weinstein said Bravo sabotaged both Runway's ratings and value by running very few ads — which were referred to as "mundane and unappealing" — and also claimed the network was far too lax with providing press info for the season premiere and/or revealing spoilers for future episodes.
The company, owned by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, is also alleging that Bravo began to suspect the move to a rival network was eminent and thus the network began to create "copycat shows" based on Runway's style (think back to Sarah Jessica Parker's American Artist announcement back in July).
Bravo's parental unit, aka NBC Universal, released the following statement: "Not only do we categorically disagree with the Weinstein's Co.'s assertions, but the fact is that Season 5 was the most-watched and highest-rated Project Runway cycle ever."
It's hard to say whether Season 5 (often bashed on blogs for lacking the same je ne sais quoi as seasons past) was set up to damage the show, or if it was just an off cycle as far as contestants connecting with viewers. We know for a fact that Bravo was very tight-lipped about spoilers with TVGuide.com. But it has to be said that in retrospect, the hoopla surrounding Season 4 does not even compare to the promotion we got this time around (still wondering what happened to the reunion show).
Do you think Bravo set out to sabotage the show so it wouldn't make it on Lifetime?