Resplendent in our pink velvet onesie, we say a warm and slightly clammy howdy-do to Heidi Klum (right) and Project Runway, as the fashion-centric reality-television show returns to our screens for a can-it-really-be 13th series this week (TLC, Thursday at 10pm).

While not quite as sizzling as my core temperature, the heat is certainly on as 18 aspiring designers compete to make the cut each week and kick-start a career in the fickle world of fashion.

Mentored as always by creative guru Tim Gunn, the contestants will preen and prance around as if their first-world fashion problems are a matter of life and death, no doubt throwing more temper tantrums than a playgroup of toddlers with too few toys. Adding a little glamour to the panel this year will be guest judges Julie Bowen (Modern Family's Claire Dunphy), burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, Christian Siriano - Project Runway's youngest winner - and Mad Men actress Elisabeth Moss.

You know the drill: this week, Gunn will introduce us to the designers and explain how they were chosen from a nationwide casting call - but wait, there's a cheeky surprise, one of three designers from previous years, chosen by the fans, will be joining this season's competition.

Next week, TV presenter Amanda de Cadenet and Marie Claire editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider are the guest experts as the contestants arrive in New York only to learn that they must face another audition, after which three of them will be sent packing.

The most talented individuals will survive the roller-coaster runway ride and make it to the finale, in 14 weeks' time. The suspense will be unbearable!

Also making their timely return this week are husband-and-wife comedy screenwriters Sean and Beverly Lincoln (Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig), as they are dragged kicking and screaming back to Hollywood in series four of Episodes (Wednesday at 10pm on FX). Completing our trio of lovable protagonists is Matt LeBlanc, of Friends fame, playing, of course, Matt LeBlanc.

At the end of the last season, all three were relieved to have finally waved goodbye to their insufferable by-the-numbers sitcom Pucks!, with Sean and Bev eventually escaping the United States to return home to London. But happiness seems far off for the self-loathing Lincolns, as LeBlanc triggers a series of events that revives the near-dead TV show. We rejoin all three back on set, ready to make more of their "sh***y sitcom".

Episodes plays on the premise that it is art imitating real life, a clever send-up of an industry populated by unpleasant egotists making shows about unpleasant egotists. Where the underrated Episodes differs from the fictional trash of Pucks!, though, is that it's deserving of its extended shelf life.

LeBlanc continues to revel in playing a narcissistic, slowly fading version of himself, now with added financial worries, and all three actors deliver their acerbic barbs with wonderful comic timing.

Perhaps even more mysterious than the lives of Hollywood bigwigs are the marshes of Louisiana, which have been inhabited for centuries by creatures intent on causing devastation - or so some folk believe.

The destruction has increased in recent years. While some believe there are scientific explanations to the ecological changes, others think mythical creatures are to blame.

Among these beasties is the Parlangua, said to be a 10-foot-tall, green, scaly, bullet-proof bogeyman; half-human, half-alligator. The legend of the Altamaha-ha, meanwhile, has its roots in Native American tradition. It is believed to be a Loch Ness-type aquatic creature with the swimming skills of a seal. Unless you're carrying a beach ball and a bucket of kippers, wee Altie doesn't sound too dangerous, especially when compared with the werewolf that also terrorises the swamps. The Rougarou, as some Cajun folk tales tell, is a wolf-like beast that hunts down and kills Catholics who break the rules of Lent.

It seems unlikely we'll get to see any of these legendary creatures (my money's on science winning the day), but, to know for sure, you'll have to tune into Beasts of the Bayou (Animal Planet, Thursday at 10pm). Larger-than-life shrimper Timothy "Blimp" Cheramie leads the hunt through the thousands of square miles of swampland surrounding his home. Pitting his expert tracking skills and Cajun know-how against a team of scientists relying on logic and a lifetime of theoretical research to dispel the myths, fun-loving Cap'n Blimp begins his search in the murky waters of the Bayou as both sides seek to shed light on these timeless tales of ravaging beasts.

Legendary creatures or not, I fear Klum and her fashionista darlings would have a few choice words for Blimp and his dressed-down attire, should they ever bump into each other at a hog roast.