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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Project No-way?

Usually around this time the wounds of no more "Top Chef" are healed within weeks with the return of "Project Runway." However, more and more it seems this return may not be a reality.

Though the show wrapped filming its sixth season, legal battles may keep the most recent season from ever airing. Entertainment Weekly reports that after The Weinstein Company ("Project Runway" producers) announced they wanted to take the show to Lifetime, Bravo and its parent company -- NBC Universal -- sued for breach of contract. Then a few months later, The Weinstein Company sued Bravo, citing failure to properly promote the show's fifth season. And just for fun and to get in the mix, Lifetime sued everyone to try and get the show between made-for-TV sobfests.

What a mess.

So now, the show has finished taping -- they did the finale at this year's New York Fashion Week -- and is on the shelf just waiting for a network to start airing the show. Because the show had to conceal the identities of the finalists, shooting at Fashion Week was quite different than in past seasons. Contestants didn't get a chance to come out and introduce their line, thank their family, nada. So it's fair to say, if the sixth season ever airs, it'll be a bit of a bummer. Typically, watching the finalist have their moment in the spotlight and seeing the reactions of their family beaming with pride is one of the highlights of the finale.

EW even noticed the difference through season four winner -- and typical ball of energy and catchphrases -- Christian Siriano who said, "'It's so depressing. There wasn't the normal energy in the room, where everyone's sooo excited. The designers must be so depressed backstage. They can't have fun!''

The legal battles have been ongoing since last April -- and the show was supposed to air in January. With more court dates set for March, perhaps even a trial on the horizon, it seems like a settlement and subsequent return of "PR" is as unrealistic as the chances of season five's Kenley boasting humility.

-- Sara Boyd,

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