Entertainment Law – Cravath Swaine Represent Lifetime in Project Runway Telecast Litigation

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On April 1, 2009, NBC Universal, Inc. (“NBCU”), Lifetime Entertainment Services (“Lifetime”) and The Weinstein Company settled a dispute over the reality television series “Project Runway”. Project Runway will now be telecast on Lifetime.

In February 2008, The Weinstein Company licensed the exclusive rights to future episodes of the show to Lifetime, starting with the sixth season of Runway. In April 2008, NBCU, the parent company of Bravo Media LLC (“Bravo”), which had been telecasting the program for its first five seasons, filed a lawsuit against The Weinstein Company in New York State Supreme Court. The lawsuit cited breach of contract and specific performance and claimed NBCU had a contractual right of “first refusal” to future episodes of Project Runway predating Lifetime’s license from The Weinstein Company. NBCU and Bravo did not name Lifetime as a party to the state court action. NBCU obtained a preliminary injunction enjoining The Weinstein Company from performing under its executed contract with Lifetime, including promoting, exhibiting or marketing Project Runway on Lifetime, until a trial on the merits could be held.

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