Just when you thought "Survivor" was becoming old hat, Mark Burnett, Jeff Probst, et al manage to garner headlines again, with the announcement that the show would feature four tribes, divided by race.
Of course, veteran viewers know that if this is anything like the last time "Survivor" used differences (then, it was age and gender) to divvy up the teams, it will last all of about four seconds.
"Survivor" premieres this week, on Sept. 14, but it's not the first big reality show premiere of the week. "Dancing With the Stars" beats "Survivor" to the punch with a Tuesday premiere.
Have a question about reality TV? Check to see if we've already answered it. If not, go ahead and .
Q: After each episode of Project Runway, all of the designer’s outfits are auctioned off on their website. Where does this money go? —Anonymous
A: The garments that we see created each week are auctioned off by a site that sells products from TV and film. The garments from each show go up for auction after that episode airs. For example, Jeffrey’s jetsetting outfit that he wore on the flight to Paris sold online for $505, while the garment that led to Angela’s elimination became someone’s property for $180.
During the first season of the show, similar auctions too place, and we learned that “proceeds from the auction will go to Dress For Success, a not-for-profit organization that helps low-income women make tailored transitions into the workforce,” according to a press release sent out at the time. Right now, however, the site doesn’t mention where the proceeds from the auctions are going.
A spokesperson for Seen On! told us that the money from all the “Project Runway 3” garment auctions will also go to a charity organization, but that “charity hasn’t been decided yet.”
Q: What happened to "Starting Over"? There seems to be no information about its return in the fall of 2006. —Leslie, North Carolina
What are the chances of "Starting Over" season 1 being released on DVD for those fans including myself who are still devoted fans? I schedule my activities around that show. —Christie Lou, Texas
A: Andy says: Bad news: After three seasons, the “Starting Over” life coaches have helped their last woman. The Emmy award-winning syndicated daytime reality show has officially has been cancelled.
Late last spring, NBC (which distributed the show) told reporter no decision had been made, but industry publications reported that NBC would be replacing the series with a new program, iVillage Live. That show has not yet debuted.
Just to be sure, we checked with NBC, and a spokesperson confirmed that the show has been cancelled and will not be returning.
Gael says: You'll find no bigger "Starting Over' fanatic than me. I loved that show, except when I had to cringe and turn away, as when they dressed up spoiled brat Lisa as a baby, or made Christina lie to people on the street for money, then made her give it back. I was sad to hear it won't be returning. Rumor has it the show was just too expensive to produce. Not sure if that refers to the mansion they lived in, the salaries of the life coaches and Dr. Stan Katz, or just the price of having someone around with cameras following multiple women almost all day long.
As for the chances of the show hitting DVD, I really, really doubt it. There were so many episodes (the show aired five days a week) that it wouldn't be practical to do a full season; they'd likely need to do highlights, and as much as Christie Lou and I would buy copies, I don't think it would be a big seller otherwise.
Also, those of us who loved the show should take heart, and hang in there till the end of the year: Oxygen is whipping up a series called "The Bad Girls' Club" that sounds strangely familiar. Bunim-Murray, the most famous name in reality soaps or whatever you want to call "The Real World," is behind it. A message on that discusses casting says the show "will bring together six bad girls from across the country. The girls will live in a house in Los Angeles and work with each other to tackle aspects of their personalities that, while making them fabulous, often tend to hold them back from success in relationships and careers."
That show will debut in December. YES!
Q: Will there be a second season of Bravo’s “Top Chef”? I loved the first season and hope there will be more to come! —Becky
A: Yes, the second season of Bravo's cooking competition show begins immediately after the "Project Runway" finale ends on Oct. 18 — a fitting placement, since the two shows follow a very similar format. Both are reality shows that actually take talented people pursuing a career and allow them to show their stuff, without the external distractions of live audiences and telephone voting. (We're looking at you, "American Idol.")
As Andy reports on his , the number of contestants has been increased from 12 to 15, the show has moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and annoying host Katie Lee Joel is gone (hooray!), replaced by Padma Lakshmi, an Indian-American cookbook author and model who's married to Salman Rushdie.
Bravo's official site for "Top Chef 2" is . —G.F.C.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is MSNBC.com's Television Editor. is a writer and teacher who publishes , a daily summary of reality TV news.