12/20/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

"Project Runway" Frozen On Catwalk Amid Legal Tangle

LOS ANGELES -- At a time when audiences are shrinking for almost every type of television program, it stands to reason that producers and network executives would do almost anything to keep on the air a series whose audience is actually growing.

Which makes it all the more perplexing that "Project Runway," the popular reality competition in which aspiring fashion designers face off with their clothing creations, should be stuck in a legal quagmire that threatens to keep the show off the air indefinitely. In its first five seasons on the Bravo cable channel, "Project Runway" increased its average audience to 4 million viewers an episode from 1 million an episode, making the most recent season its biggest ever.

But while producers of the show have already shot the design competitions that will make up most of the series's sixth season, those new episodes are unlikely to see the light of day for several months, according to people involved in the case.

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