Premiere: Sept. 10, 8 p.m., NBC
Executive Producer: Mark Burnett
Stars: Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Blake Shelton
What To Expect This Season: Season 3 brings 12 hours of blind auditions, as well as new mentors Mary J. Blige, Michael Bublé, Rob Thomas, and Billie Joe Armstrong. The biggest shake-up? Coaches can now steal up to two contestants from opposing teams.
Levine says: ”Christina and I are no longer bickering like brother and sister.” —Stephan Lee
The X Factor
Premiere: Sept. 12, 8 p.m., Fox
Executive Producers: Simon Cowell, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Siobhan Greene, Richard Holloway, Andrew Llinares, Rob Wade
Stars: Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, L.A. Reid
What To Expect This Season: Gone are wishy-washy judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger; taking their place are (hopefully more opinionated) pop stars Britney and Demi. And will Cowell mentor the dreaded group category?
Cowell says: ”It’s going to be hard to win with the category I’ve got [this year]. If I get somebody into the final, I’ve done a good job.” —Dave Karger
Premiere: Sept. 14, 8 p.m., ABC
Executive Producers: Mark Burnett, Clay Newbill, Phil Gurin
Stars: Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary
What To Expect This Season: More episodes than last season, increased arguing among the always-contentious Sharks, better pitches, and appearances by celebs like Seth MacFarlane.
Cuban says: ”People don’t realize, when the entrepreneur walks in the door we only know one thing about them, and that’s their first name. What is on TV for four or five minutes usually takes an hour to an hour and a half on the set. And because of that, between the entrepreneur being really intent on trying to get a deal, the importance of the investment to the entrepreneur, and all the competition between the sharks, it gets intense. It gets angry. It’s all happening in real time.” —Rob Brunner
Premiere: Sept. 19, 8 p.m., CBS
Executive Producer: Mark Burnett
Host: Jeff Probst
What To Expect This Season: Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel and baseball MVP Jeff Kent are among the 15 new contestants who will be joined by previously injured players Mike Skupin. Russell Swan, and Jonathan Penner.
Whelchel says: ”I will win Survivor because I genuinely like people. Even though you have to vote people off, you first have to connect with them enough for them to trust you and get the numbers, and that won’t be something I have to work at. The initial connection will be easy for me.” —Dalton Ross
Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars
Premiere: Sept. 24, 8 p.m., ABC
Executive Producer: Conrad Green
Stars: Kirstie Alley, Emmitt Smith, Apolo Anton Ohno, Gilles Marini
What To Expect This Season: The Dance Duel is gone, but 13 familiar faces return for the first-ever All-Star season. We’ve got winners and runners-up, original partners and some all-new pairs — and even more former contestants will perform on the Tuesday results shows.
Green says: ”We’ll probably try to change up the competition slightly to reflect the fact that all of our stars have done this before — so we’ll try and make the game a little bit harder, or get a little more bold with the celebrities at times. We’re going to try to make the whole season a celebration of the past.” —Annie Barrett
The Amazing Race
Premiere: Sept. 30, 8 p.m., CBS
Executive Producer: Bertram van Munster
Host: Phil Keoghan
What To Expect This Season: The stakes are higher; the winning team could take home $2 million, instead of $1 million. Contestants include The Fabulous Beekman Boys‘ Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brett Ridge along with Chippendales dancers and a former Megadeth bassist.
Keoghan says: ”We’re always looking to do something different without diverting too far from the format.” —Jessica Shaw
Premiere: Oct. 4, 10 p.m., MTV
Executive Producer: SallyAnn Salsano
Stars: Nicole ”Snooki” Polizzi, Mike ”The Situation” Sorrentino, Jenni ”J-Woww” Farley, Pauly ”DJ Pauly D” Delvecchio
What To Expect This Season: Snooki’s pregnant and engaged, and The Situation is fresh out of rehab, but that doesn’t stop the two from brawling just as fiercely as they did for the past two seasons. Elsewhere, Sitch joins Pauly and Vinny in pursuit of Seaside’s own Holy Grail — the ”triple play, triple lay.”
Salsano says: ”The first night [of the series], Mike and Snooki were the two people that were so drunk…and now here they are, the pillars of responsibility. It’s kind of funny, but I wouldn’t say that there were any less hijinks than there have ever been. I actually enjoyed this season way more than season 5, personally. It was more fun, more ridiculous…. The audience is going to laugh a lot more, and I don’t think there was a shortage of drama.” —Lanford Beard