Project Runway moves to Lifetime, chaos ensues

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Project Runway is falling apart at the seams.

The show, currently casting for its fifth season, was recently acquired by Lifetime. That’s bad enough, but then Nina Garcia, Colombian fashionista and long-running Runway judge, was fired as fashion director at Elle magazine.

When Lifetime bought the rights to Project Runway from The Weinstein Company, it sent BravoTV and NBC into a hissy fit (and rightfully so!). Lifetime is going to begin casting for a November premiere of Project Runway’s season six, which almost immediately follows the reality show’s final season on Bravo.

While NBC has sued for breach of contract, we think it’s unlikely that the show will ever return to Bravo, whose viewers will have to rely on Real Housewives for entertainment. (Come on, Top Chef is not allowed to count until we can taste the food they make.)

Now onto the Nina Garcia issue. Garcia, Elle’s fashion director since 2000, has been auf’d due to her time management issues (she spent too much time with Runway) and conflicting interests (her old-school style rivals Elle’s new creative director’s new-school look). As Elle is a partner in the production of Runway, it’s not guaranteed that a job-less (or job-lessened; Garcia was offered the position of Editor-at-Large) Garcia will remain a judge on the show.

Without the show returning in full Bravo/Garcia force, we’ll have to make due with Lifetime’s version. The following is what we foresee happening to the Peabody-Award-winning reality TV show as a direct result of these changes:

Casting for season five, which premiers in July, will triple as contestants will want to be on the last “real” Project Runway.

Season five will be heralded as the best. Season. Ever. Heidi Klum will have three children over the course of the season, each a better version of a milk chocolate kinder-egg than the last. The design talent will be fierce, with a six-way tie and a final challenge that takes place in a floating airship over Milan.

But not all of season five will be sunny zepplins. Garcia, heart-broken after losing her seat as a judge, is con-sold on Lifetime, when they buy her a box of chocolates and show her the Lifetime Original Movie, Odd Girl Out.

In November, season six will pit army wives against anorexic teenagers in a race to make high fashion clothes for real women. While Heidi and Tim remain with the show, Michael Kors is replaced by an eco-friendly Amish designer who is appalled by the contestants’ use of sewing machines. And lights. And television.

To lull Garcia into a false sense of security, Lifetime allows her to be a guest judge on season six — only when she finishes making them dinner on time.

Critics declare season six “a new direction” for fan-favorite Runway and a “valiant effort toward connecting the fashion industry with the real needs of women.”

Gunn, having experienced three seasons of Project Runway in 2008 alone, is frequently seen trashed in the streets of New York City, shouting, “Make it work!” at the bouncers who won’t let him back into the clubs. Tired, weary, and unemployed (presumably, soccer moms were too much for Gunn to deal with), he will have worn out his public welcome.

Then, for season seven, Gunn will be told to come up with a new motto, or leave. Upon his refusal, he will be told to make it work or find new employment (work).

Carson Kressley, taking advantage of his own Lifetime crossover, becomes a guest judge for the final episode of season seven (contestants, consulted by gay-guy Kressley, must design pin-striped birthday suits). Order is restored.

Nina Garcia continues to appear as a guest judge, looking more gaunt than normal and sporting dark sunglasses bucking the fashion trends of 2009. The media speculates trouble on the homefront. Meanwhile, Christian Siriano will write season seven off as a hot mess, even worse than Heidi Montag’s spring 2008 fashion show.

Mid-way through season eight, one contestant (a young bulimic girl who cuts herself), bleeds on her designs, and is too ashamed to stay. After her escape to Central Park, Heidi Klum and Seal organize a search party. Upon finding her, Klum, doting and inspirational, and a horrible actress, is dubbed the new Tyra Banks, a la America’s Next Top Model. Then, due to liability concerns, the producers cancel the show. But the experience hasn’t been a total failure: The network makes Run-a-way, a movie based on mentally destroyed designers and the pressures of being a contestant on a reality TV show.

In conclusion, a Lifetime-owned Project Runway is a big problem. And given that we’ve already spoiled the next three seasons for you, why would you watch? Can’t you see it’s all destroyed? Over? Kaput? No Lifetime movie can heal these wounds.