Project Runway moving back to Bravo as Real Housewives head to Lifetime

This satirical, fictional story is part of the April 1, 2010, edition of reality blurred. Happy April Fool’s Day.

Project Runway is heading back to Bravo after its second season on Lifetime, but the Real Housewives franchise will be moved to Lifetime, the networks announced yesterday.

“We have no idea why moving the show across the country, removing two of the favorite cast members, and having the people who produce The Real World copy someone else’s format didn’t work out. But just no one seems to care about Project Runway any more, including us,” a Lifetime exec said. “This also prevents us from having to try other marketing strategies, such as starting a viral campaign to get the Tea Baggers to direct their unbridled hatred and anger at their general powerlessness toward our show by pretending it represented a government takeover of the fashion industry. We also considered hiring Joan Rivers as Tim Gunn’s sidekick, which wasn’t going to work because we couldn’t coordinate the schedule around Melissa’s breast feeding sessions.”

The Real Housewives fits with Lifetime’s “Television for Women and Gay Men” strategy, which worked up until it dropped reruns of The Golden Girls and thus lost half of that audience. “We cannot allow Oxygen to own the batshit women space, so we’re looking forward to more insanity. Of course, we’re going to replace all of the women and get new producers, but we’re confident it’ll still be a hit,” the source said.

Bravo immediately announced that it was canceling production on second seasons of The Fashion Show and Launch My Line. A Bravo source said, “This is a great relief. We were getting worried about liability, because our strategy for these shows was to get our interns blind drunk while they watched old episodes of Runway. Then, they’d call their parents. After years of doting on, hovering over, babying, and doing everything for their college-aged kids, their parents were lost and thus coked up on prescription meds. Anyway, we’d record their under-the-influence conversations about the episodes, and we’d use that incoherent babble as a template for challenges on our 15 Project Runway clones. They were just different enough to not be direct copies, and just zany enough to be considered creative.”

Bravo also won’t proceed on developing Project Funway, which was described in a press release as “a show that’s nothing at all like Project Runway, but instead will feature designers creating clothes and presenting them on a runway that’s actually a slip ‘n’ slide coated with sweat that dripped from Andy Cohen’s chest.”

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.