[01/24/05 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Orders Spin-Off of Its Hit Reality Franchise 'The Biggest Loser' with New Stand-Alone Episodes Featuring Intriguing Team Themes

[via press release from NBC]


Episodes Extend the Original Series' Life-altering Challenges By Pitting Unique Teams Against Each Other Such as Town vs. Town or Family vs. Family -- and More

BURBANK, Calif. -- January 24, 2005 -- America's battle of the waistline will continue as NBC announced a new spin-off of its hit reality series "The Biggest Loser" which will feature themed stand-alone episodes pitting town vs. town, family vs. family, bride vs. bride, co-workers vs. co-workers and more.

The title of the new series will incorporate the original series' name, and each week will specify the individual episode's match up, such as "The Biggest Loser: Town vs. Town."

In making the announcement, Craig Plestis, NBC Senior Vice President of Alternative Programs and Development, said, "The success of the first 'Biggest Loser' competition proved that viewers are hungry for original and emotional storytelling. Likewise, the unique format of our new series' themed and closed-ended episodes will help us cast a wider net to reach a more diverse group of people."

Ben Silverman (NBC's "The Office," "The Restaurant"), Executive Producer and CEO Reveille, will bring back the original production team for both the new "Loser" season and the special stand-alone episodes. Said Silverman: "Reveille is thrilled to be expanding "The Biggest Loser" franchise. Our first season showed that 'aspirational' and positive television can deliver huge audiences. We believe both season two and this new extension of the franchise will allow for great emotional storytelling and encouraging everyday people across America to tackle the very real problem of obesity."

Executive producer JD Roth ("For Love or Money," "Endurance") with 3 Ball Productions concurred and added, "In the new series we will bring teams of closely bonded individuals together to lose weight, which will add new dimension to our already powerful brand. We want to motivate America to get healthy."

"The possible combinations of contestant teams for the new spin-off are practically endless," said Executive Producer Dave Broome ("Tsunami Aid: a Concert of Hope"). "Among the other combinations we are prepping are teachers vs. students, doctors vs. nurses, co-workers vs. co-workers, in-laws vs. in-laws, best friends vs. best friends, and firefighters vs. police squads."

As previously announced, the popular series, hosted by Caroline Rhea ("Sabrina the Teenage Witch"), will return in the summer. The series challenges and encourages overweight contestants to undergo radical physical makeovers in a safe and recommended manner through comprehensive diet and exercise.

"The Biggest Loser" premiered October 19, 2004, and the January 11, 2005 finale became a ratings heavyweight, scoring NBC's highest rating in the time period in nearly three years, according to Nielsen Media Research. "The Biggest Loser" finale more than doubled the rating in adults 18-49 that NBC had been averaging in the time period prior to the arrival of "Loser."

Rhea and the two fitness experts -- Jillian Michaels (known to viewers as the trainer for the "red" team) and Bob Harper (the trainer for the "blue" team) -- currently are involved in "The Biggest Loser 2"; a different host and trainers will be announced for the special stand-alone episodes.

"The Biggest Loser" is a production of Reveille, 25/7 Productions, 3 Ball Productions and NBC Universal Television Studio. Silverman and Broome are the executive producers along with J.D. Roth ("NBC's "For Love or Money," "Endurance"), John Foy ("For Love or Money," "Endurance") and Todd A. Nelson ("For Love or Money," "Endurance").

  [january 2005]  


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