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Runway producers stick with NBC

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The Lifetime Channel is probably still popping the champagne and throwing confetti around the office after last month's major business deal that will see Project Runway sashay from Bravo to the female-centric cable channel.

The move sparked outrage from NBC (which owns Bravo), as Runway is not only cable's biggest reality program, but is also an Emmy Award nominee and critical favorite. NBC even filed a lawsuit against Runway production house The Weinstein Company to try to keep the show in the family.

Now NBC is attempting the next best thing to mine Runway's talent. The network has announced that it has signed a first-look deal with the show's producers, Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves. The deal keeps Runway's creative team at the network and means they won't be following the show over to Lifetime. It also means that NBC's suite of properties, including online ventures, will get first shot at gobbling up anything else the producers come up with.

Cutforth and Lipsitz have put their time in with NBC, working on Last Comic Standing, Project Greenlight, and Top Chef. The duo will continue to work on Runway's next season, the final edition to appear on Bravo before it moves to Lifetime.

Project Runway's fifth edition is scheduled to debut this summer, and the sixth (and first on Lifetime) is slated for November. Host Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn will both move over to Lifetime for Project Runway's sixth edition.

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