Rachel Zoe Returns to TV ‘Fashionably Late’: Can She Rescue Fashion TV’s Slump?

Interest in fashion television ebbs and flows with viewers as each year passes on. From earlier obsessions with TLC’s What Not to Wear to the backstage frenzy of Project Runway, fashion-related programming gives viewers a glimpse into the industry's many facets --  spanning not-so-model behavior, to the daily struggles of being a designer. Amidst recent reports declaring the death of fashion TV, networks continue to revive programming with most shows (Fashion Star, The Fashion Show, House of Style) rarely surviving past two seasons, and cancellations hitting as quick as the blink of an eye.  

  Amongst small survivors include Project Runway (pictured above) and America’s Next Top Model, but even these fashion faves have charted a dip in overall ratings. Despite it all, Lifetime TV continues its run of style-related programming, especially now with the anticipated inclusion of one of the industry’s most revered stylists, Rachel Zoe -- as she makes a comeback to TV with her new show Fashionably Late with Rachel Zoe, set to premiere on September 24th. Notably one of the more successful fashion reality shows, Bravo’s The Rachel Zoe Project, achieved widespread success from its run on the airwaves from 2008 to 2013. America fell in love with the celebrity stylist, ultimately sky-rocketing her brand to uncanny levels right at the peak of her exit from network programming. Despite time off the telly, the demand to bring Zoe back onto TV persisted – but is it enough to survive what is being coined as the fashion TV slump?  

  Zoe took to her personal blog The Zoe Report on July 15 to announce her return to TV, and to give a brief glimpse into the show’s premise. “I am beyond happy to share this exciting news with you,” writes the celebrity stylist. “The show will take a look at my weekly fashion and pop culture obsessions – and a few things I’m kind of over. In other words, it will be like a typical day at my Los Angeles office – only with slightly better lighting. Joining me…will be my dear friend, fashion insider Derek Blasberg, my one-and-only Rodger, and a super fashionable weekly guest, who I know you’ll fall in love with. It’s basically like the most glamorous cocktail party with the chicest guests ever – and we’ll be looking to you to join in on the excitement.” Sounds like a spin-off of Fashion Police to us, but only time will tell if fashion’s sweetheart can keep the viewers engaged past a season or two. Fashionably Late with Rachel Zoe premieres September 24th at 10:30pm ET/PT on Lifetime, following Project Runway. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on this newest addition to fashion TV – will it survive the storm?    

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