What Magical Elves think of Lifetime’s version of Project Runway, the show they created

Besides having the best name in the reality TV production world, Magical Elves are responsible for a lot of other compelling series, from Bands on the Run (remember that?) to Top Chef. But they created a genre of reality television with Project Runway, and last fall, their show left their control as it moved to Lifetime.

A few days ago, I asked the Magical Elves–Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth–what they thought about the sixth season, which was produced by Bunim-Murray when the show switched networks.

“Honestly, I did not watch it,” Lipsitz told me. “It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, I’m not going to watch that show.’ There’s a part of me that couldn’t bring myself to watch it. At the same time, like Dan said, we’re overwhelmed with doing our own stuff. And at lot of time I actually gravitate toward watching dramas. We heard good things about it, and I think that we wish them well.”

Her producing partner did see some of the sixth season. “I actually watched the first episode,” Cutforth told me. “In fact, I had forgotten that it was on. Very unusually, my wife and kids were both away, and I literally was sitting on in my kitchen, having eaten my dinner, and I was just channel surfing, and there was the first episode of Project Runway. That’s a sign or something, I don’t know, so I watched it. I thought they did a great job with it. To me, it was the same old Runway. I didn’t watch any other episodes after that; that was enough for me.”

I pointed out that, for me, the show certainly looked good at first but eventually proved itself to be lifeless and empty, Lipsitz said, “We always like to hear that. We’re not going to lie. We like to think that we have our own sense of character and storytelling, and we hope that’s in our shows and other people bring something else to their own shows.”

What is that Magical Elves magic, for lack of a better term? I’ll have that answer and more of my conversation with them in the near future.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.