When Project Runway relaunches on Bravo, it will be without its signature stars, Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. The Emmy-winning Project Runway hosts are exiting the acclaimed unscripted series after 16 seasons, and will develop, produce and headline a new fashion reality series for Amazon Prime Video, which will premiere globally in over 200 countries and territories.
Few details about the new series are being revealed beyond the fact that it “will continue Klum and Gunn’s 14-year relationship and a commitment to making fashion accessible to a wide audience.” It also will employ major synergies with Amazon Studios’ parent company, which is the biggest online retainer in the world, as Amazon Fashion will create a “shoppable experience” for viewers who likely will be able to purchase designs created on the show. Such a union of entertainment and commerce in the digital age seems tailor made for a company like Amazon.
It’s unclear why Klum and Gunn will not continue on Project Runway, but I hear the duo, who commanded hefty salaries toward the end of the show’s run on Lifetime, could not come to an agreement with the series’ new network Bravo.
“After 16 incredible seasons, I am saying ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to Project Runway, a show that I was honored to host and help create,” said Klum. “I am incredibly proud of the show, and it will always have a special place in my heart. I am so appreciative of the dedicated fans, and most of all, I am grateful that we could shine a light on creativity and help launch so many talented designers’ careers. I’m most excited that my journey with my dear friend and colleague, Tim Gunn, is far from over. We will be partnering with Amazon for a new show, and we’re excited for everyone to see what we’re designing next!”
Supermodel Klum was the original host of Project Runway, created by Eli Holzman, with Gunn, fashion chair at Parsons The New School for Design, starting as mentor on the program and ultimately getting a co-host billing. Klum and Gunn have been nominated six times for best reality host Primetime Emmy — including this year — winning in 2013. (Klum has three additional solo Emmy hosting noms.)
“I am grateful to Project Runway for putting me on a path I never, in my wildest dreams, thought my career would take me!,” Gunn said. “I am so proud to have been a part of the groundbreaking process that showcased talented young designers as never before. Most importantly, I am indebted to our incredible fans, they are the heart and soul of what we do, and continue to inspire us to raise the bar in this arena. I’m excited for them to see what’s next, as I partner with Amazon and Heidi Klum on our next great ‘fashion’ adventure.”
Bravo addressed Klum and Gunn’s departures in a statement to Deadline.
“Bravo is proud to bring Project Runway back where it all began, and Heidi and Tim will always be a huge part of the legacy,” the statement read. “The series will continue its iconic impact with Bravo’s reboot for the next generation of designers and fans. We are excited to announce our new host and mentor very soon.”
This marks the first big move in the unscripted space for Amazon under new Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke. Amazon Studios’ head of unscripted, Heather Schuster, recently left the company after an internal investigation.
“Heidi Klum completely changed the television landscape by developing a competitive reality fashion series that was unproven and different from what was popular on-air,” Salke said. “The show became wildly successful, and in turn Klum and Tim Gunn have become an iconic pop culture duo. Their drive to deliver fashionably entertaining, engaging and trendsetting content speaks for itself, and we believe their next iteration in this space will find an even larger audience on our global Prime Video runway.”
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