NBC has announced the ninth season of Last Comic Standing will premiere Wednesday, July 22 from 9-11PM ET/PT

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Beginning July 29, Last Comic Standing's timeslot will shorten from 10-11 PM ET/PT.

Last Comic Standing will continue to search for the funniest comic in the country and feature a variety of surprise celebrity guests along the way.

The new season will begin with invitation-only auditions, and the Top 100 comics in America will vie for 20 spots. The talented 20 contestants will then compete in a semifinal round, with only the Top 10 moving forward into a new head-to-head round.

In the new head-to-head phase of the competition, the comics will be paired in a high stakes single-elimination round of stand-up standoffs.

The Top 5 comedians will then advance to the finals, and eventually one will be crowned the "Last Comic Standing" and receive a $250,000 prize package -- including a cash prize and development deal for his or her own television show.  

New judge Norm Macdonald will be joining returning judges and comedy icons Roseanne Barr and Keenen Ivory Wayans. Anthony Jeselnik, a Comedy Central roast veteran, will serve as the series' new host.

Last Comic Standing is produced by Universal Television and Push It Productions with Wanda Sykes, Page Hurwitz and Javier Winnik serving as executive producers.