Lifetime has announced Project Runway's ninth season will premiere Thursday, July 28 at 9PM ET/PT.

Like last summer's eighth season, Project Runway's ninth season will consist of 90-minute episodes.

Filmed in New York, the ninth season will begin with 20 designers attempting to convince Project Runway host Heidi Klum, mentor Tim Gunn and judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia why they deserve one of the 16 spots in the competition. 

Then, shortly after the 16 designers settle into their Project Runway housing, they will receive an early-morning wakeup for what Lifetime is calling "one of the toughest first challenges in the series' history."

Similar to prior seasons, Project Runway's ninth season will end with a finale show at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week.  The winning designer will receive a grand-prize package featuring an editorial feature in an upcoming issue of Marie Claire magazine, the opportunity to sell their exclusive collection on, a $50,000 HP and Intel technology suite to help them run a business, and a cash prize of $100,000 to help them start a fashion line.

The model paired with Project Runway's winner will also appear in the designer's Marie Claire editorial feature and receive $25,000.

The ninth season -- which Lifetime is marketing with an advertising campaign featuring a naked Klum -- is the fourth Project Runway edition produced under a five-year, 10-season deal Lifetime Networks and The Weinstein Company inked in April 2008 to bring the former Bravo series to Lifetime.

Bravo's NBC Universal parent company subsequently sued Lifetime and The Weinstein Company, causing the broadcast of Project Runway's first Lifetime edition to be delayed until August 2009.
About The Author: Steven Rogers
Steven Rogers is a senior entertainment reporter for Reality TV World and been covering the reality TV genre for two decades.