One day “Project Runway” was in — the crown jewel of Bravo’s television lineup and the next… it was out — snatched away by competing network, Lifetime Television. But host and co-creator Heidi Klum has her Pradas firmly planted with Bravo for the show’s upcoming fifth season that has fans longing to find the next “fierce” fashionista.
Despite the impending network switch, Klum tells Entertainment Weekly that she’s all about season five of “Project Runway,” which will debut on Bravo July 16.
“We’re totally focused on the show — on the challenges, the drama,” Klum told the mag. “I’m not already with one foot over at Lifetime. Both of my feet are here, and I’m concentrating on making a beautiful show.”
As for the decision to switch networks to Lifetime in November, that decision was out of her hands, according to the supermodel.
“People always think I have all the say. I don’t!” she said with a laugh. “It’s Harvey (Weinstein) — he owns most of the show. And exactly what they do behind closed doors, I don’t really know.”
In fact, Klum says she’s not the type of person that could orchestrate a network coup.
“A hard businesswoman like, ‘You’re fired!’ — that’s not me,” Klum said. “I like to think I am serious about business, but that doesn’t mean I’m someone that stands in her office like, ‘Grrrrrr!’ I’m not a mean person.”
Another gentle presence on the series is “Runway’s” fashion mentor, Tim Gunn, who says fans can expect another slew of talented designers in season five.
“I’ll be blunt… I don’t know how we could have raised the talent bar any higher than season four,” Gunn said. “But the bar is still there for season five. We have an extremely high level of talent.”
The talent, along with a dash of reality show drama, translates to big ratings for the series (last season 5.8 million viewers tuned in for the finale), which has Bravo’s parent company, NBC Universal (which also owns “Access Hollywood”), embroiled in a legal battle with The Weinstein Co., which produces “Runway.”
When the Weinstein Co. announced that Lifetime would be the home for seasons six through 10 of the program, NBC Universal filed a lawsuit claiming breach of contract by The Weinstein Co. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
The issue will land both parties in court sometime in July where a judge will decide whether or not to allow The Weinstein Co. to continue their network jump.
If “Runway” does end up at Bravo’s cable competitor, Lifetime says they won’t mess with the show they have referred to as “our crown jewel.”
“We love the show exactly the way it is,” Lifetime CEO, Andrea Wong, told Entertainment Weekly in April. “We plan to keep it that way.’’
One thing that will change when (or… “if”) “Runway” leaves Bravo for Lifetime is its location.
Season six will reportedly start in Los Angeles and not its usual home of New York City.
But the coast change shouldn’t worry fans, according to Executive Producer Jane Cha.
“We’ve spent five seasons in New York, and a little changeup is not a bad thing,” she told EW. “L.A. gives us Hollywood, red-carpet fashion, and more context for our challenges involving celebrity culture.’’
Klum agrees, saying she believes it doesn’t matter what city the show takes place in — or, even on what planet.
“The designers are in the ‘Project Runway’ world — they don’t go anywhere apart from the house or Parsons or (the fabric store) Mood,” she said. ‘‘You can do that anywhere. You could do it on Mars, really.’’
Another change fans might notice is the producing team that has been with the show since its inception, Magical Elves, is being replaced with Bunim-Murray, best known for MTV’s “The Real World.” Host Klum wants fans to know the show they fell in love with will still be there.
“The heart of the show will still be there,” she said. “It won’t go into gossipy things like who’s sleeping with whom. I can assure people that. It will continue to be about finding great talent and giving them a platform to shine.”
Will there be a new contestant worthy of using the sewing machines that Santino, Malan and Christian once graced with their presence?
Find out when “Project Runway” returns.