Bravo has announced that Queer Eye's final ten episodes -- which, back in January, the network had previously announced would air this past summer -- will finally premiere with back-to-back new episodes on Tuesday, October 2 at 9PM ET/PT.

Similar to the show's earlier seasons, the final episodes -- dubbed Queer Eye: The Final Season and apparently filmed more than a year ago -- will chronicle now-disbanded former "Fab Five" members Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia, Carson Kressley and Jai Rodriguez's last attempts to "make-better" some needy subjects.

The first episode -- a 100th episode spectacular that sounds like it could very well have also served the series finale -- will feature Queer Eye makeover subjects from previous seasons competing in a "Straight Guy Pageant" hosted by soap-opera star Susan Lucci.  Immediately after the first episode, Bravo will air another new Queer Eye episode at 10PM ET/PT, which will follow the "Fab Five" as they makeover a small-town guy going to meet a big-city gal he had been dating for six months via the Internet and phone calls. 

Additional makeover participants featured on Queer Eye's final episodes will include a warring artsy family, a monster truck-loving clutter bug and a divorced biker dad.

Although the decision to shelve Queer Eye's final episodes for so long would seem to represent a strange way to show its appreciation, Bravo claims to recognize of the key role that the one-time pop-culture phenomenon played in reinventing the previously struggling film and performing arts network.

"Queer Eye refashioned Bravo when it premiered four years ago, and the Fab Five's areas of expertise are now the tentpoles of Bravo's programming: fashion, food, beauty, design and pop culture," said Frances Berwick, Bravo's executive vice president of programming and production.

Queer Eye -- originally called Queer Eye for the Straight Guy -- rewrote Bravo's ratings record books when it first premiered in July 2003.  When NBC aired a special episode of the series later that month, it drew 6.7 million viewers. 

From there, the show quickly established itself as a pop-culture phenomenon, resulting in book deals, product placements, overseas editions, a 2004 Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality Program, a short-lived Queer Eye for the Straight Girl spinoff, and even a makeover of members of the 2004 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. 

When its third season debuted in June 2005, Bravo shorted the show's title to Queer Eye.  "The new abbreviated title for the series is a nod to the show's status in the world of pop culture," Bravo president Lauren Zalaznick said at the time.  "Queer Eye has become part of our everyday vernacular."

Last August,  Rodriguez had stated the series had been canceled, however Bravo denied the report and claimed Rodriguez had been misquoted.  Four months later, the network formally announced Queer Eye's cancellation.

Several former "Fab Five" members have since moved on to new television projects.  Allen, the group's food and wine connoisseur, has joined the judging panel of Top Chef, Bravo's reality cooking competition series.  Filicia, the group's design expert, currently hosts Dress My Nest, a new Style Network series that premiered earlier this year.  Kressley, the group's fashion savant, recently signed a deal to serve as the host of How to Look Good Naked, a new Lifetime series that will premiere in January.