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American Idol  judge Simon Cowell
American Idol judge Simon Cowell

The 2010 reality TV season is kicking in, so here’s the newest reality TV news:

‘American Idol’

“American Idol” starts its new season on Tuesday, and there will be quite a few shake-ups for the Fox network show.

For starters, Simon Cowell hinted that this could be his last season on “American Idol.” The entertainment judge says the show would flourish with or without him, and he’s already gearing up some new reality projects.

Is that why Ellen DeGeneres was named the show’s newest judge?

The talk show host won’t make her “American Idol” debut until Feb. 3, but everyone’s already anticipating the verbal spars that will take place between Cowell and DeGeneres. That could translate into blockbuster ratings.

“American Idol” also has eliminated the quirky “Wild Card” round, and the show’s going back to 24 contestants for the semifinals.

This week, “AI” will feature its Boston and Atlanta auditions. We know that means the good, the bad and the ugly of this season’s talent pool.

‘Project Runway’

“Project Runway’s” 2009 season just wound down, but the show’s 2010 season debuts Thursday on Lifetime.

The 2009 edition didn’t live up to fan expectations, so execs really tweaked the fashion design show.

It looks like this season’s “Project Runway” will feature some very ambitious contestants and complex design contests.

Hopefully, those factors will breathe new life into this fashion competition.

New VH1 shows

VH1 came out blazing with a new set of reality shows for 2010.

Last Sunday, “Secrets of Aspen” made its VH1 debut. The show followed the non-stop partying of the town’s colorful residents, but it proved to be a boring screaming-and-scheming fest.

VH1 also debuted “Frank the Entertainer” for its Sunday lineup.

This quirky dating program features reality pro Frank Maresca, who lives in his parent’s basement. To throw a monkey wrench into the show, the bachelorettes also have to live in the house — with Frank’s over-protective Italian mother.

It’s not going to be pretty.

‘Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains’

“Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” doesn’t debut until Feb. 11, but the show just released the CBS cast roster.

The list of “heroes” includes Rupert Boneham and Colby Donaldson. Both players were good guys on earlier “Survivor” seasons.

The villain’s list includes 2009 baddies Russell Hantz and Benjamin “Coach” Wade, plus returning connivers Rob Mariano and Parvati Shallow. Oh yeah, she lives up to her name.