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April 1, 2009 5:27 PM

Project Runway Heading to Lifetime After Settlement

Posted by Zach Lowe

I guess The Am Law Daily's sister has to memorize LIfetime's spot in her cable package, because the hugely popular "Project Runway" is heading there after a settlement between the show's owners, the Weinstein Company, and NBC, the parent company of Project Runway's former network, Bravo.

Weinstein agreed to pay NBC an undisclosed settlement fee for the right to move the show to Lifetime, according to The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

The settlement didn't seem possible after some nasty testimony in New York trial court last summer, when NBC won an injunction that prevented an immediate move to Lifetime. NBC and its go-to lawyer, Orin Snyder of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, argued that Harvey Weinstein had granted NBC a right of first refusal during talks in 2007 and accused Weinstein of violating that agreement by signing a megadeal with Lifetime. Weinstein and his lawyers, David Boies and Motty Shulman of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, claimed no such right of first refusal existed--and produced a July 2007 agreement that made no mention of first-refusal rights.

As we reported last July, Weinstein tried to make it as clear as possible that he never granted NBC first refusal rights. "I'd rather cut my arm off than give them the right of first refusal," Weinstein reportedly said. 

For his part, NBC's president, Jeff Zucker, testified that there was "no chance" he would have cut off talks with Weinstein without the right of first refusal in his pocket. 

Weinstein released a statement congratulating Zucker and NBC on "their success in this litigation" and thanking Zucker for "resolving this in a professional manner."

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