Friends, Romans, Updaters! It's that time of year again. Temperatures are rising; Superheroes are taking over our theatres and a fresh group of wanna-be-cast in next summer's blockbuster fame-seekers are heading into voluntary confinement for our 24/7ish viewing diss-pleasure.

That's right! The reality show that started it all [well, for at least -ed] is back for another season of hilarious, back-stabbing, morning- workout, backgammon-playing fun.

So before we get too far along little doggies, it is time to ask yourself a very serious question. "Are you ready to spend the fourth consecutive summer of new millennium [kinda -ed.] with 13 mean, shrill, self-important poseurs - most of whom will become more reviled and spit upon than Saddam Hussein seat-cushions at the Superbowl?"

Good! I knew you were.

Strap on that keyboard, and let out a belt-hole or three. Another ass-expansive summer lies before us. Surrender all hope ye who eat Cheetos while feed- watching. Yes, it's true, couch potatoes have nothing on we of the Computer-chair keesters. Call your broker and have her buy shares in RealOne, Visine and Preparation H, because before the day is out, we're going to be updating every movement of the lucky 13, vigilantly recording every word and endlessly diliberating how gross it is to toss a sweaty shirt in the dryer with fresh laundry.

A Hamster's home is their castle - which may explain the moat now encircling the BB compound. Changes are not limited to the outdoor Fothcade, however. With an interior decorated loosely on an Austin Powers and Hildi Santo-Tomas shop at Target motif, the house has been revamped, remodeled and completely changed for this year...well, at least as much as a the $1000 CBS budget would allow.

Of course, the Big News(tm) this year is that the Hamsters all had to be under 39 years old, and be be able to find the casting calls in trade newspapers.

The Bigger News(tm) is that in addition to the current litter of 9 new hamsters (8! Eight new hamsters) new hamsters, The Prime Evil, Executive Producer Arnold Shapiro, and his right-winged henchwench Co-Exec Producer Allison "two-L's" Grodner has deigned to shove into the Habitrail 4 former lovers (5! Five former- lovers - ah-ah-ah!).

The Biggest News(tm) is that retired Agency spook Jack Mulder from Birmingham AL managed to uncover pictures of Arnold and Allison sacrificing virgins and drinking the blood of a satyr in unholy ratings rituals, and managed to leverage an exemption from the Big News(tm) for himself.

Yes, the 13 vile Hardy and Shannon wanna-be's are already snug in their cots, and we on the right Coast are less than a couple of hours from our first fix of the season. Yep, it is time to kiss your summer and your waistline goodbye, and wait for the answers to Reality TV's most important questions: Will we have bars separating the house into two sides? Will the ex's integrate, invigorate, denigrate or fornicate? Will the FOTH music be changed to Jane's Addiction's 'Been Caught Stealin' once the first Hamster mug-shot turns up on The Smoking Gun?

Tune in tonight - and every moment for the rest of the summer and beyond - to find out.

And tune in to after the season premier for Part II, when the Big Beaver goes rodento-a-rodento with each HG, dishing the dirt and slapping out first impressions of each Happy Hampster!