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Nine 9 (Countdown Numbers)

All this week, we're counting down the most anticipated series of the new year and telling you what to watch and what highlights to expect from 2010's top TV. Coming in at No. 9 is...

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains (CBS)

Premieres Feb. 11, 8 p.m.
Starring: Jeff Probst
Status: Returning for season 20

Is this face-off competition between white hats and black hats of Survivor series past going to be remarkable or a retread? Here's what we can tell you:

Survivor offers no rest for the wicked.

Less than two months after master manipulator Russell Hantz was denied victory by a bunch of crybabies the Samoa jury, the groundbreaking reality competition reinvents itself yet again with a theme that couldn't be more relevant after season 19's shocking outcome: heroes versus villains.

CBS is waiting until early January to announce its new contestants, but the blogosphere has been busy speculating for months, and a surprising consensus has been reached about the identities of the heroes and villains—all veterans from previous Survivor seasons.

Like its predecessor, season 20 was filmed in Samoa just after Russell and company returned home after the final vote. Word on the street is that Russell remained in Samoa for season 20, to continue his crusade of tyranny, especially since authorities rejected original evil mastermind/incarcerated Richard Hatch's early release plea to compete on the show.

The following lineup is mere conjecture based on savvy Survivor fans' detective skills (and Russell's surprisingly trim physique as of this past Sunday), but we will be veddy surprised if there are many changes to this list when CBS names the official Castaways in a few weeks.

Heroes Tribe

  • Amanda Kimmel, China and Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites
  • Candice Woodcock, Cook Islands
  • Cirie Fields, Exile Island and Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites
  • Colby Donaldson, Australian Outback and All-Stars
  • J.T. Thomas, Tocantins
  • James Clement, China and Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites
  • Rupert Boneham, Pearl Islands and All-Stars
  • Stephenie LaGrossa, Palau and Guatemala
  • "Sugar" Kiper, Gabon
  • Tom Westman, Palau

Villains Tribe

  • "Coach" Ben Wade, Tocantins
  • "Boston Rob" Mariano, Marquesas and All-Stars
  • Courtney Yates, China
  • Danielle DiLorenzo, Exile Island
  • Jerri Manthey, Australian Outback and All-Stars
  • Parvati Shallow, Cook Islands and Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites
  • Randy Bailey, Gabon
  • Russell Hantz, Samoa
  • Sandra Diaz-Twine, Pearl Islands
  • Tyson Apostol, Tocantins

Do those lineups include everyone you'd expect in a heroes versus villains face-off? Are you still enamored with Survivor after all these years?


Check out our winter premiere-dates calendar to find out when your fave series return!