Lifetime joins 'Runway' row


Lifetime TV has joined the legal fracas over the rights to "Project Runway."

On Tuesday, the network filed suit in Manhattan federal court against NBC Universal and Bravo Media, claiming that Lifetime holds the copyrights to the high-rated reality TV show through its deal this year with the show's producer, the Weinstein Co.

The lawsuit comes after NBCU and Bravo, which aired the first five cycles of the show, filed suit in New York state court against the Weinstein Co. for breach of contract, claiming that the producer failed to honor the network's right of first refusal for the sale or transfer of "Runway's" rights.

Lifetime also lists the Weinstein Co. as a "nominal defendant" because of the producer's agreement with the network. In court papers, Lifetime asserts its deal with TWC was contingent on having "Runway" "free and clear of any third-party obligations." (partialdiff)