×

‘Project Runway’ Future in Doubt Amid Weinstein Co. Bankruptcy

A+E Networks has scrapped its deal with the Weinstein Co. to air two additional seasons of “Project Runway” in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the distributor revealed in a court filing.

The Weinstein Co. owns “Project Runway” and its spinoffs, “Project Runway All Stars” and “Project Runway: Junior,” all of which run on A+E’s Lifetime channel. In 2016, Lifetime announced that “Project Runway” had been renewed for three additional seasons, of which only one has aired so far.

But the network unilaterally canceled the deal on Jan. 10, according to a filing Tuesday in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy, arguing that Weinstein’s sexual misconduct constituted a breach of the agreement. Specifically, A+E alleged the Weinstein Co. had failed to operate a workplace within the bounds of the law, failed to notify A+E of potential legal claims, and failed to abide by A+E standards and practices. A+E also rescinded a separate licensing agreement for a “Project Runway” movie. Weinstein has been accused of using his connection to “Project Runway” and to the fashion industry to gain access to young models.

A+E Networks’ move leaves the show’s future in doubt. The popular series is one of the key assets of the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy estate, and the break with A+E Networks creates some uncertainty about its value. A+E would like to acquire the program, either through bankruptcy or after the sale of the Weinstein assets, and is said to be in negotiations with Lantern Capital over the future seasons. Lantern has bid $310 million, plus some debt assumption, for the bulk of the Weinstein assets.

In its motion, A+E said it first notified the Weinstein Co. of the breach on Nov. 1, a few weeks after the first reports of Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct.

A+E declined to comment beyond the court filing.

The producers of other titles have raised objections to including their projects in the bankruptcy estate. On Monday, the producers of the unreleased film “Hotel Mumbai,” said that they, too, had rescinded their deal with the Weinstein Co. after learning of the harassment claims, and that as a result, the Weinstein Co. has no right to distribute the film.

On Tuesday, Speedee Distribution filed an objection claiming that the Weinstein Co. is in breach of a settlement agreement arising from a dispute over “The Founder,” the 2016 biopic about McDonald’s mogul Ray Kroc, starring Michael Keaton. Speedee argues that the Weinstein Co. has no right to transfer its distribution rights to the film until it cures the breach.

POPULAR VIDEO ON VARIETY

More TV

  • Whoopi Goldberg addresses the crowd while

    Inside World Pride's Opening Ceremony: An LGBTQ Celebration With a Tinge of Politics

    World Pride officially kicked off on Wednesday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. About 8,000 people packed into the arena for a three-hour show that began with Cyndi Lauper singing her hit “True Colors.” The performance ended with a gaggle of dancing drag queens who pranced alongside Lauper as she turned the train of [...]

  • Democratic presidential candidate Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth

    The Messy NBC Democratic Debate Proves the Need for a Tier System (Column)

    The opening night of the first debates of the 2020 Democratic Party primaries brought — even by the standards of such way-far-out confrontations between candidates for whom the election remains a far-off dream — vastly more empty drama than new information. But then, that may have been by design. NBC News’s organization of the debates, [...]

  • Max Wright Dead

    'Alf' Actor Max Wright Dies at 75

    Max Wright, best known for playing patriarch Willie Tanner on the sitcom “Alf,” died Wednesday. He was 75. Wright’s family confirmed his death to TMZ. The actor died in his home in Hermosa Beach, Calif., after years of battling cancer. Wright was diagnosed with Lymphona in 1995. Wright is most famous for his role as [...]

  • Greyson Chance -Gabby Barrett Alejandro Aranda

    Greyson Chance, 'Idol' Alums Gabby Barrett and Alejandro Aranda Sign Major Label Deals

    Two “American Idol” alumni — Gabby Barrett and Alejandro Aranda — as well as viral star Greyson Chance all announced new major label recording contracts this week. Barrett, who finished in third place of the first season of the rebooted ABC version of “Idol,” has joined the roster of Warner Music Nashville. The singer had [...]

  • amazon-studios

    YouTube Head of Scripted Jon Wax in Talks to Join Amazon Studios

    YouTube’s head of scripted programming, Jon Wax, is in talks to join Amazon Studios, according to an individual with knowledge of the matter. Wax is said to be in discussions for head of genre programming at Amazon, a position held by Sharon Tal Yguado until recently. Variety reported on her exit in early May. The [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA Takes Aim at Endeavor IPO, Tells Members It Has 'Sufficient Funds' for Legal Battle

    The Writers Guild of America has gone to the Securities and Exchange Commission in its battle with Hollywood’s largest talent agencies over the issue of packaging fees and affiliated production. The guild sent a letter to William Hinman, director of the SEC’s corporate finance division, the guild accuses WME parent company Endeavor of misrepresenting the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content