Auf wiedersehen, indeed.
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, the stars who turned “Project Runway” into one of the first and biggest cable reality-TV hits of the previous decade, are saying goodbye to that venerable series and making the leap to streaming. The duo has signed a deal to develop a new fashion-oriented reality show for Amazon Studios.
Details of the new program are not yet known, and no producers are yet attached. Sources tell Variety that Amazon will open a competitive process for production companies to vie to oversee the new show.
Klum and Gunn’s Amazon deal throws into question the future of “Project Runway,” whose season-16 finale aired last year on cable channel Lifetime. Bravo, the show’s original network home, made a surprise announcement in May that the series would return to the NBCUniversal-owned channel for its next season with longtime production company Magical Elves again on board.
“After 16 incredible seasons, I am saying ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to ‘Project Runway,’ a show that I was honored to host and help create,” said Klum. “I am incredibly proud of the show, and it will always have a special place in my heart. I am so appreciative of the dedicated fans, and most of all, I am grateful that we could shine a light on creativity and help launch so many talented designers’ careers. I’m most excited that my journey with my dear friend and colleague, Tim Gunn, is far from over. We will be partnering with Amazon for a new show, and we’re excited for everyone to see what we’re designing next!”
Gunn added: “I am grateful to ‘Project Runway’ for putting me on a path I never, in my wildest dreams, thought my career would take me! I am so proud to have been a part of the groundbreaking process that showcased talented young designers as never before. Most importantly, I am indebted to our incredible fans, they are the heart and soul of what we do, and continue to inspire us to raise the bar in this arena. I’m excited for them to see what’s next, as I partner with Amazon and Heidi Klum on our next great ‘fashion’ adventure.”
The deal with Klum and Gunn is the most recent with high-profile talent for Amazon under Jenifer Salke, the former NBC exec who became head of the tech giant’s entertainment division earlier this year. Amazon has in recent months set deals with Nicole Kidman, Jordan Peele, and Barry Jenkins.
“Heidi Klum completely changed the television landscape by developing a competitive reality fashion series that was unproven and different from what was popular on-air,” Salke said. “The show became wildly successful, and in turn Klum and Tim Gunn have become an iconic pop culture duo. Their drive to deliver fashionably entertaining, engaging and trendsetting content speaks for itself, and we believe their next iteration in this space will find an even larger audience on our global Prime Video runway.”
Gunn is represented by CAA and attorney Eric Weissler. Klum is represented by CAA, Harvey Markowitz, and attorneys Daniel Passman and Harold Brown.
Designer Zac Posen, who has served as as a judge on the six most recent seasons of “Project Runway,” is also leaving the show.
“Working alongside Heidi, Nina and Tim as a judge for six seasons of ‘Project Runway’ was one of the greatest experiences of my career. I will cherish the opportunity the show gave me to learn from and grow with my co-judges, the producers, crew and designers. Runway has led to incredible opportunities and I am currently at work on some new projects that I am very excited to share with you soon. I wish the show and everyone much success always.”
Bravo and producer Magical Elves are in the process of recasting “Project Runway.” “Bravo is proud to bring ‘Project Runway’ back where it all began, and Heidi and Tim will always be a huge part of the legacy,” a Bravo spokesperson said in a statement. “The series will continue its iconic impact with Bravo’s reboot for the next generation of designers and fans. We are excited to announce our new host and mentor very soon.”