As makeover shows go, it’s pretty low-tech: A group of people loses weight and improves its collective appearance via diet and exercise, not massive amounts of cosmetic surgery.
But, as that’s the way most of the world is likely to go about it, even without cameras running, NBC figures it has a relatable unscripted show on its hands. And with “The Contender” pushed back to avoid association with FOX’s boxing bomb “The Next Great Champ,” the network needs something to open its Tuesday night when “Last Comic Standing” finishes its all-star throwdown in a few weeks.
Thus “The Biggest Loser,” hosted by comedian Caroline Rhea (“Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”), will hit the network’s schedule at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, Oct. 19.
The show will divide 12 overweight men and women into two teams that are roughly equal in their collective weight. “Celebrity fitness trainers” Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, who have toned a number of famous bodies, then take charge of each team, putting each contestant on a nutrition and fitness program.
Cameras will chronicle the participants’ daily routines, along with weekly challenges and, NBC says, “enticing temptations that sometimes prove too hard to resist.” Episodes culminate in a weekly weigh-in to determine which team has collectively dropped the most pounds. The losing team has to send someone home.
The person who sheds the most weight gets a $250,000 prize, plus improved health.
Rhea frequently jokes about her own weight in her stand-up act. In addition to “Sabrina,” Rhea has hosted a daytime talk show and appeared in the films “Man on the Moon” and “Christmas with the Kranks,” due for release in November.