We thought the catfights on America’s Next Top Model were good, but that granola-bar incident has nothing on Jeff Zucker and Harvey Weinstein’s battle over Project Runway. The NBC president and producer testified in a daylong hearing yesterday about whether NBC has a shot at keeping the show on Bravo. According to Zucker, in a meeting held January 15, he and Weinstein verbally agreed that should another network make an offer on Project Runway, NBC would have the right to match the offer and keep the show. Weinstein argued he understood he was free to shop it around at his leisure. So it’s a battle of he said, he said, with some e-mails in between that could offer proof for one or the other.
It’s not clear what exactly happened in that January 15 meeting. But it is clear Zucker and Weinstein are far from besties. Three notable diva moments emerged in yesterday’s testimonies:
• According to Adweek, Weinstein testified, “I’d rather cut off my arm than give [NBC] a right of first refusal.”
• Zucker said Weinstein told him he was one of his five best friends. Weinstein said he told Zucker he was one of his fifteen best friends. Oooooh [jazz hands].
• MediaPost reports that faced with losing Project Runway, Zucker said he’d run “so many repeats of the first five seasons that it could lead to an overexposure of the show and perhaps confuse consumers, thus hurting its value on Lifetime or another network.” We thought moving to Lifetime hurt its value enough, but okay!
Zucker said NBC is prepared to match Lifetime’s offer for the Project Runway package, which includes the rights to two spinoffs, making its final owner that much more important. So will the judge rule in NBC’s favor keeping Project Runway from Lifetime, L.A., and impeding doom? Stay tuned.