Reality skein may win 'Contender' slot

NBC has scheduled its diet reality skein “The Biggest Loser” for a mid-October bow — a move that raises questions about a planned November bow for “The Contender.”

“Loser,” an unscripted battle of the bulge in which a group of 12 overweight contestants compete to see who can achieve the most spectacular physical transformation (Daily Variety, May 25), will premiere at 8 p.m. Oct. 19. Skein replaces “Last Comic Standing,” which will have ended its run by then.

Ben Silverman, John Foy, David Broome, Todd Nelson and J.D. Roth are exec producing the skein via Reveille, NBC U Television and 3 Ball Prods. Roth and 3 Ball are also exec producing a new WB reality skein with Katalyst.

In July, NBC said “Last Comic Standing’s” 8 p.m. Tuesday slot would be filled by the net’s high-profile Mark Burnett/DreamWorks boxing skein “The Contender.” But with Fox’s “Next Great Champ” failing to score a knockout punch with viewers, there’s been speculation in recent days that NBC might delay “Contender” to January, as Variety.com reported Sunday.

Peacock execs still aren’t commenting on scheduling for “Contender.” “Loser” was given an eight-episode order last spring, which means it’s unlikely “Contender” will air Tuesdays at 8 in November.

However, NBC could decide to shift “Loser” to another night and still bow “Contender” in the Tuesday slot. Net could also premiere “Contender” on another night in November, particularly if “Hawaii” doesn’t start perking up at 8 p.m. Wednesdays.

Another possibility for Wednesday nights is “Medium,” a psychic cop drama that’s building buzz within NBC’s exec suites.

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