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Monday, May 05, 2008

Magical Elves Sign Exclusive Deal With NBC/Universal

Big News!

The Magical Elves are working exclusively with NBC/Universal (which includes Bravo.) This seems to mean that they will not be producing Project Runway after Season Five.... Here is the entire Press Release:


Deal Includes Unscripted, Scripted, Digital, Wireless and Short-Form Projects for All NBC Universal Broadcast and Cable Platforms

BURBANK - May 5, 2008 - NBC Universal today announced its exclusive overall first look deal with the award-winning duo Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves, the production team behind the Emmy-nominated hit shows "Top Chef and "Project Runway." The announcement was made by Jeff Gaspin, President and Chief Operating Officer, Universal Television Group and Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.

"I've worked with Jane and Dan for over 10 years," said Gaspin. "They are great producers with original voices and a special knack for casting. Their track record of success speaks for itself and we're thrilled to have them here at NBC Universal."

"We are looking to build a bigger production capacity to feed our own and third-party distribution channels and platforms," said Silverman. "These Emmy-nominated producers consistently deliver quality programming and work brilliantly with advertisers."

The agreement provides NBC Universal's broadcast, all cable (Bravo, Oxygen, Sci-Fi and USA) digital and wireless properties an exclusive first look on all projects developed by Cutforth and Lipsitz. It also provides opportunities for Magical Elves to work on projects developed by the NBC Universal properties.

"This is an exciting milestone for our company and a chance to build on a relationship that has already borne a good deal of success," said Cutforth. "We have found NBC Universal to be great creative partners," said Lipsitz. "This deal represents amazing opportunities on multiple platforms, not just in unscripted television but in the scripted and digital spaces as well."

Magical Elves have been frequent collaborators with NBC Universal, producing four seasons of NBC's summer hit "Last Comic Standing" and "Treasure Hunters," and "Project Greenlight" and all four seasons of the Peabody Award winning "Project Runway" for Bravo. They are currently in pre-production with Bravo for "Project Runway 5." Cutforth and Lipsitz also produce the Emmy-nominated Bravo hit "Top Chef" - the number one food show on cable television - currently in its fifth and highest rated season to date.

Additionally, The Magical Elves developed and are producing Bravo's newest creative competition "Step It Up & Dance" and as previously announced, will produce the sophomore season of Bravo's "Top Design," and they have a pilot in production with Oxygen.

ETA: Bravo has confirmed with BPR that the Magical Elves will not produce Project Runway after Season 5 (see comments below). This challeges Lifetime's previous assertion that the show "...will look exactly the same" and that the Elves "would continue to produce the series under Lifetime's agreement with the show's owner, The Weinstein Co." after making the network switch.

With no new news on whether Nina Garcia and Michael Kors are on board and now the impending production change, we are officially concerned. What is our beloved PR going to look like?