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Sartorial Snag: Could Tim Gunn Not Be Back for "Project Runway"?

Say it ain't so. Could Tim Gunn not be back for the next installment of Project Runway?

It's a chilling thought and, while it might pale in comparison to the real troubles of the world today, it's one that gives this Runway obsessive a bit of a difficulty breathing. (Rest assured, Heidi Klum, Michael Kors, and--say it with me--Nina Garcia are all locks for next season.)

This week's edition of industry bible Entertainment Weekly has the story. According to the article's writer Nisha Gopalan, Bravo--the style-hungry network behind Project Runway--is champing at the bit to get started on the fourth season of the sartorial challenge. One speed bump in the road to Season Four just happens to be Tim Gunn himself.

Whah? You'd be right to ask that, especially given that I can't imagine a single episode of Runway sans Gunn, much less an entire season. While Gunn's not commenting one way or another, he's a busy guy as the chair of the fashion design department of the prestigious Parsons School of Design. Previous seasons have been filmed around Gunn's schedule, most notably during the breaks between semesters. (No school vacation for him.)

But waiting for Gunn to become available would mean pushing the start of production to sometime in May 2007. And that would mean waiting for a summer premiere of Season 4, quite a long wait for Runway devotees. For me, Gunn is the heart and soul of Runway and I'd rather wait even a full calendar year for another season of the show with walking lexicon Gunn intact than get a Runway with someone else as the host. (I hear Katie Lee Joel is available.) In all seriousness, it's Gunn's reserved but complimentary approach to mentoring the designers that gives the show its depth and personality. Who else would get all choked up right before the end of the season and the Bryant Park fashion shows?

A spokesperson for The Weinstein Company, the studio behind Project Runway, made the following statement: "As we have in past seasons, we will find a way to work around everyone's schedules, and are confident the team will be back."

Hmmmm. Let just hope that they're able, in the words of guru Tim Gunn himself, to make it work.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (CBS); 1 vs. 100 (NBC); WWE Friday Night SmackDown (CW; 8-10 pm); America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC); Justice (FOX); Wicked Wicked Games (MyNet)

9 pm: Frosty the Snowman/Frosty Returns (CBS); Las Vegas (NBC); Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy (FOX); Watch Over Me (MyNet)

10 pm: NUMB3RS (CBS); Law & Order (NBC); 20/20 (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Doctor Who on Sci Fi.

It's the second season of Doctor Who, with the latest incarnation of the Doctor played by the talented David Tennant. On tonight's episode ("Love & Monsters"), an ordinary man becomes obsessed with Rose and the Doctor, putting his life and countless others at risk.

8 pm: Hardware on BBC America (11 pm EST).

It's the US premiere of Britcom Hardware, starring Martin Freeman of the original UK version of The Office, taking place at a small (you guessed it!) hardware store. On tonight's episode ("Naked"), Mike is annoyed by the new staff uniforms and must fight off his girlfriend's mother's, er, advances when she comes to visit.

8:30 pm: Black Books on BBC America (11:30 pm EST).

It's the third season of the scathingly sarcastic Black Books, one of my favorite Britcoms. On tonight's episode ("Elephants and Hens"), Bernard and Manny decide to write their own classic children's book while Fran spends a hen party weekend with some friends from school and must try her best not to fight with them. This being Fran Katzenjammer we're talking about, that's a rather pretty high request.

9 pm: Battlestar Galactica on Sci Fi.

On tonight's episode ("The Passage"), Baltar discovers what D'Anna is really doing with the Cylon resurrection technology while the Colonial Fleet faces starvation when their food-processing machinery is contaminated. But wait, what's on that planet over there?

9 pm: Spaced on BBC America (Midnight EST).

If you missed it the first time around (and I don't know why you would do that to yourselves), BBC America is giving you another shot at catching the first brilliant and hysterical season of Spaced, written by and starring Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson as Tim and Daisy, two 20-somethings so down on their luck that they pretend to be a couple in order to rent a flat... On tonight's episode ("Gatherings"),
Daisy and Tim decide to host a party a their new flat... only to have to compete with a much better party going on upstairs. Well, Dais, you really weren't going to win anyone over with that homemade tinfoil mirrorball.

9:30 pm: Peep Show on BBC America (12:30 am EST).

Starting tonight, BBC America is reairing the second season of the so-painful-it's-hysterical Britcom Peep Show. On tonight's episode,
Mark, still despondent over losing Sophie, makes a new friend at the office, while Jeremy meets an old friend, one he used to bully, who invites him to work on his latest indie film.


Anonymous said…
Oh no! I would be so sad if Tim didn't return. I love both him and Heidi and it wouldn't be the same without either one of them. Hopefully, they'll be able to work around his schedule.
Anonymous said…
Goddamn, that's a lot of good television for a Friday night. Thanks for the head's-up on HARDWARE -- I hadn't even heard that the Original Jim was back on the tube. Sweet!
Anonymous said…
Make it work!!!

I do not want a Gunn-less season.

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