Launches companion reality series to 'Runway'

Lifetime is putting its best face on for a potential companion series to its soon-to-be-acquired “Project Runway.”

The cabler has given a six-episode order to the reality competish “Blush: The Search for America’s Greatest Makeup Artist.” Hourlong skein, exec produced by Laura Fuest (“The Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious”), will bow on the net in November. IMG Entertainment is producing.

Pickup of “Blush” reflects the ramp-up of unscripted development at Lifetime as it preps for the arrival of its pricey “Project Runway” acquisition this fall.

“Blush” will follow eight aspiring makeup mavens as they compete for the grand prize of a one-year contract as a professional makeup artist with Max Factor, $100,000 in cash and a shot at doing the makeup for a major glossy magazine cover shoot.

Contestants will live together in Los Angeles and engage in weekly elimination competitions.

Skein will feature a still-to-be-named host, an artist mentor in the style of “Runway’s” Tim Gunn, and three judges from the fashion and beauty worlds.

IMG Entertainment was until recently headed by former HBO topper Chris Albrecht. Albrecht joined IMG last year with the mandate to make the talent agency and sports production giant a bigger player in entertainment programming. But Albrecht exited IMG earlier this month, citing the company’s inability, in the current economic climate, to raise the “substantial funds” needed to expand the entertainment wing (Daily Variety, Aug. 13).

Rob Lee, an Albrecht recruit who is IMG Entertainment’s exec veep and head of programming, called “Blush” an effort to showcase “the critical role (makeup) plays in almost every performing element of the entertainment industry.”

Connectivetissue also will produce with IMG. Besides Fuest, exec producers include Scott Kramer and Rob Lee.

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