8:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn Exit 'Project Runway' for Amazon Fashion Show
Emmy-winning duo Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are saying "Auf Wiedersehen" to Project Runway.
The duo, who have spent 16 seasons (and 14 years) together on the fashion competition series, are not returning for the Bravo revival. Instead, the duo is reteaming for an untitled global fashion competition series for retail and streaming giant Amazon. Additionally Zac Posen has said that he will not return for Bravo's Project Runway revival, either.
Details about Gunn and Klum's new reality series are being kept close to the vest. Amazon says the series will make fashion accessible to a wide and global audience and offer a fresh take in the reality space, while appealing to viewers who are entertained by competition, storytelling and authenticity. As part of the series, Amazon Fashion will create a shoppable experience for viewers as the retailer and streamer looks to bridge the intersection of content, commerce and technology.
"After 16 incredible seasons, I am saying 'Auf Wiedersehen' to Project Runway, a show that I was honored to host and help create,” Klum said in a statement. “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!”
Added Gunn: “I am grateful to Project Runway for putting me on a path I never, in my wildest dreams, thought my career would take me! 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.”
The news comes as Bravo recently brought Project Runway back from purgatory after Lantern Entertainment acquired The Weinstein Co. assets, including the show, following the latter's bankruptcy. Project Runway started its run on the NBCUniversal-owned cable network in 2004. The show then moved from Bravo to Lifetime, where it ran for 11 additional seasons. In 2016, Lifetime renewed the show for three additional seasons in a pact with The Weinstein Co. However, after the sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein, TWC declared bankruptcy and the contract was voided with only season 16 airing. Bravo revived the series for a 17th season and has yet to reveal its hosts or judges.
Landing Gunn and Klum should be seen as a "get" for Amazon Studios, which recently parted ways with head of unscripted Heather Schuster after a year following claims of verbal abuse. Amazon, under new head Jennifer Salke, is said to be narrowing down candidates to fill the position. Amazon's unscripted efforts, pre-Salke's arrival, have been modest, with notable entries including a Top Gear sequel of sorts in The Grand Tour and the football doc All or Nothing. The move signals Amazon's unscripted push as it looks to compete with Netflix in the reality space. The latter has a breakout hit with the Queer Eye reboot, as well as true-crime docuseries including Making a Murderer, among others.
"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."
Klum is repped by CAA Harvey Markowitz and attorneys Daniel Passman and Harold Brown; Gunn is with CAA and attorney Eric Weissler.
The following is Posen's statement about his Runway departure: “Working alongside Heidi, Nina [Garcia] and Tim as a judge for six seasons of Project Runway was one of the greatest experiences of my career. I will cherish the opportunity the show gave me to learn from and grow with my co-judges, the producers, crew and designers. Runway has led to incredible opportunities and I am currently at work on some new projects that I am very excited to share with you soon. I wish the show and everyone much success always.”