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‘Runway’ will strut its stuff this summer

Plus: ‘Laguna Beach’ spin-off; fake skulls on ‘Survivor’
/ Source: msnbc.com

Wondering whatever happened to "The Mole," or how you can audition for shows? Check our for the answers to these and dozens of other queries.

Q: Will there be a “Project Runway 3,” and if so when will it air?    —Lori, Toronto

A: Two days before the finale of “Project Runway 2” aired on Bravo, the network renewed the series. That was a no-brainer, considering the amazing ratings and buzz the show has earned.

Casting began immediately after the second season ended, and concluded at the end of March. That was unusual, since last year, casting took place nearly a month later, in April.

The bigger news, however, is that “Project Runway 3” will be debuting this summer. That’s a first for the series, which usually kicks off in December, concluding just after the finalists show their collections at spring Fashion Week.

Bravo that the show will debut this summer. An ad in an industry magazine was more specific, saying the show will kick off July 12. While there’s no confirmation of this, the early start date suggests that the finalists for season three will show their collections at fall Fashion Week. In any case, there’s one thing we now for sure: Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum, and the whole gang will be back on our TV screens much sooner.    —A.D.

Q: When will the "Laguna Beach" spin-off "The Hills" start? I'm dying to watch it!    —Kaitlyn

A: According to MTV, "The Hills" premieres May 31 at 10 p.m. ET. Some fans are confused because the date given on star is May 24, but the show was pushed back a week since Conrad updated her site.

An MTV release notes "‘The Hills’ picks up where ‘Laguna Beach’ left off, following Lauren as she heads off to live on her own, attend fashion school and hold down an internship at Teen Vogue and presumably break away from Stephen, Kristin and the rest of the Laguna crowd."    —G.F.C.

Q: On one of Survivor’s challenges this season, they were breaking open “skulls”. Please verify that these were not real human skulls that are being desecrated.      —Gary, Illinois

A: Although it’d give extra-special meaning to the show’s title, the skulls smashed on “Survivor” were not human skulls. Instead—like nearly everything else used during challenges—they were produced by the show’s art department.

In a recent interview with TV Guide, Jeff Probst confirmed that the skulls were “props,” adding, “Killing each other was a big part of what they did -- skulls washed up on shore. So it was our way of referencing that culture.” But he said that concern over the skulls “is a fair criticism” and noted that “feedback we get from questions like these go directly from me to our executive producers.”

The creator of the skulls, the art department, is also responsible for constructing the sets, whether it’s the Tribal Council set or a challenge. This season, we’ve seen colorful banners at challenges, in addition to skulls and fiery torches, and they created it all. The Tribal Council sets are perhaps their biggest achievement every year, as they’re usually constructed from nothing. The awe-inspiring, canyon-like set on the edge of a waterfall in Australia was entirely constructed out of fake rocks, although the set used on “Survivor Guatemala” has a bit of help from the Mayans, whose ruins framed the Tribal Council area.    —A.D.

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