If you're a fan of Project Runway, then you know the addictive reality show centered on fashion designers recently jumped ship from Bravo and headed to rival Lifetime. While you wait for the new Runway to debut in August, you can check out Bravo's "we-didn't-need-you-anyway" knockoff, The Fashion Show, airing at 10 p.m. Thursdays.

If you're a fan of Project Runway, then you know the addictive reality show centered on fashion designers recently jumped ship from Bravo and headed to rival Lifetime. While you wait for the new Runway to debut in August, you can check out Bravo's "we-didn't-need-you-anyway" knockoff, The Fashion Show, airing at 10 p.m. Thursdays.

The hosts

Runway: It's impossible to understate the effortless appeal of the charming Heidi Klum and the sage Tim Gunn. They're likable and serve up endless wise fashion advice. Plus, they seem genuinely fond of each other. Joining Klum as judges are elegantly critical designer Michael Kors and often-acerbic Elle editor Nina Garcia.

Fashion: Filling Klum's shoes is former Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland, whose only qualification appears to be sitting in the front row at lots of fashion shows. She did little besides making a few catty put-downs during the premiere. Flamboyant co-host Isaac Mizrahi is better, offering even harsher criticism than Runway's Kors.

The contestants

Runway: The outrageous yet talented contestants were what always set Runway above the reality competition. Memorable veterans include fabulously dramatic Austin Scarlett, plus-size drag-wear designer Chris March and neck-tattooed rocker Jeffrey Sebelia.

Fashion: The producers admirably try to provide a breakout star by packing Season 1 with colorful characters. Front-runners appear to be Andrew, who's dubbed himself "The PantyChrist," pink-haired diva troublemaker Kristin and a suitably strange man named Merlin.

The challenges

Runway: Runway is known for its innovative challenges, which ask contestants to create runway-ready looks in a short amount of time from unconventional materials like grocery-store purchases, flowers or the clothes off their own backs.

Fashion: In the premiere, groups of contestants created five looks around the same "must-have" piece. It felt closer to a real fashion show than Runway ever comes, but it may be tough to maintain such cohesive challenges in future episodes.

The prizes

Runway: Klum, Kors, Garcia and a guest judge choose the winners, who have gone home with $100,000 to start their own fashion line and a feature in Elle magazine.

Fashion: The audience will vote for their favorite from the group of finalists; the winner gets $125,000 and a chance to sell their clothes on BravoTV.com.

The catchphrases

Runway: Project Runway's spawned a number of catchphrases, from Christian Siriano's "fierce" to Gunn's "make it work" to Klum's "auf Wiedersehen" send-off.

Fashion: Mizrahi's send-off: "We're just not buying it. Goodbye, darling." Well, it's not as bad as Top Design judge Todd Oldham's "See ya later, decorator."

The verdict

Runway: This is the real deal. Grade: A

Fashion: All the appeal of a designer knockoff. Grade: B-