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‘Survivor’ goes to China, ‘Runway’ to return

Here's a list of fall premiere dates for upcoming reality shows. Plus: What about "Big Brother" promos and "Hell's Kitchen's" maitre'd?
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Wondering about how a certain reality show pulled something off? Have a question about a certain contestant?

Whether it's "Survivor," "American Idol," "The Apprentice," "Real World" or another show, . Gael Fashingbauer Cooper,'s Television Editor, and Andy Dehnart, creator of ,will try to answer them.

Before you send in your question, — you may be able to get your answer right away.

Readers have been writing in asking about the fall premiere dates of their favorite returning reality shows, and some new ones. Here's a schedule as best we've been able to piece together. I'm sure we're missing some shows, but some are missing for good reason -- they're either not fall shows, or the premiere date is still up in the air.

'Project Runway'While "Project Runway" has been renewed and will return, it won't be a regular fall premiere. We've heard that the show is more likely to return late in 2007. Things got interesting this week, though, when host Heidi Klum posted to her Web site that the show would return Nov. 14. I contacted Bravo for comment, and a spokeswoman replied "No, we have not locked a date. (Nov. 14) was posted to Heidi's Web site in error and has now been removed. Sorry for any confusion."

'Amazing Race'As , "Amazing Race" is also being held for midseason, likely January or February.

‘Rock Star’In case you haven't noticed, ‘Rock Star’ did not return to the summer slot it's had the last two years, and we've heard nothing about the show returning.

‘Apprentice’Donald Trump will be working with celebrities on the next “Apprentice,” which is scheduled for midseason, but has no premiere date, or official cast, just yet.

'American Idol'And just because someone will ask ... "American Idol" won't return until January, as always.

Sept. 4: "The Contender," 10 p.m., ESPN

Sept. 6: "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" season premiere, 8 p.m., Fox"Don't Forget the Lyrics" season premiere, 9 p.m., Fox"Tim Gunn's Guide to Style" premiere, 10 p.m., Bravo

Sept. 11: "Biggest Loser" season premiere, 8 p.m., NBC

Sept. 14: "Nashville," 9 p.m., Fox

Sept. 18: "Beauty and the Geek" season premiere, 8 p.m., CW

Sept. 19: "Kid Nation" series premiere, 8 p.m. CBS"America's Next Top Model" season premiere, 8 p.m., CW"Kitchen Nightmares," 9 p.m., Fox

Sept. 20: "Survivor China" season premiere, 8 p.m., CBS

Sept. 24: "Dancing With the Stars" season premiere, 8 p.m., ABC"The Bachelor" season premiere, 10 p.m., ABC

Sept. 25: "Singing Bee" season premiere, 8:30 p.m., NBC

Sept. 26: "Ultimate Fighter" season premiere, 10 p.m., Spike

Sept. 28: "Deal or No Deal" season premiere, 8 p.m., NBC

Oct. 7: "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" season premiere, 8 p.m., ABC

Oct. 13: "Search for the Next Elvira" series premiere, 9 p.m., Fox Reality

Oct. 19: "Search for the Next Great American Band," 8 p.m., Fox

Q: I was watching the first episode of “Big Brother 8” and they already had previews of things that haven't happened on the show yet. I thought the show was filmed in real time, so how do they already have clips from future shows?    —Laura, Buffalo

A: “Big Brother” is one of the few shows that does not conclude new episodes with previews of upcoming episodes, simply because it does air in real time. Well, sort of. First, the premiere episode airs several days after the houseguests have actually entered the house, so clips you saw on The Early Show or elsewhere came from those few days.

As to the rest of the season, the only places where you’ll see things happening in real time are on the live feeds online, or on the nightly three-hour “Big Brother After Dark” series on Showtime Too, which is essentially just a broadcast of the live feeds. In addition, the voting and eviction occurs live on Thursdays, as does the new HOH competition.

But after that, everything gets delayed. Viewers watch the food competition and nominations for eviction on Sunday nights, but those events both take place on Fridays, giving its editors a few days to work.

Even more incredibly, the “golden power of veto” competition doesn’t occur air until Tuesdays, but it generally takes place on Saturdays. The veto ceremony is shown on Tuesdays, too, suggesting that it comes shortly after the competition, but it doesn’t occur until a few days later, typically on Mondays.

Occasionally, the schedule varies, especially during the typical double-eviction week, but for the most part, the houseguests sit around from Mondays to Thursdays, waiting for the live eviction — and giving them plenty of time to generate drama from their boredom.    —A.D.

Q: "Hell's Kitchen," what is up with Jean Philippe? Twice this season the so-called French guy slipped into a British accent. Still entertaining though.    —Shelley, San Diego

A: The maitre d’ on “Hell’s Kitchen” is Jean-Philippe Susilovic, a real person who’s been working for Gordon Ramsay since 1995. He’s most recently been the , one of Ramsay’s restaurants in the UK.

Jean-Philippe is from Brussels, Belgium, as FOX’s web site notes, and people speak both Dutch and French in Belgium. Of course, he’s also lived and worked in the United Kingdom for some time, which might explain the accent that you assume is evidence that he’s some kind of fraud.

By the way, two years ago this month, Jean-Philippe “plunged 50 feet from his apartment building in a freak accident” that occurred when he “was trying to break into his flat,” as .  He was in a coma for a few days, but has since recovered.    —A.D.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is's Television Editor. is a writer and teacher who publishes , a daily summary of reality TV news.