NBC has picked up eight episodes of a new reality series starring famed life strategist Tony Robbins.
Show, from “The Biggest Loser” producer Reveille, reps the first major unscripted series at the net greenlighted by new Peacock alternative chief Paul Telegdy.
In joining NBC at the start of the year, Telegdy zeroed in on the success of “Loser,” which is one of the few reality franchises currently exhibiting ratings growth.
“This was one of the first things I was pitched,” Telegdy said. “We were looking for shows complementary of each other, and this fit in thematically with ‘Biggest Loser.’
The as-yet untitled show (tentative title: “Breakthrough with Tony Robbins”) will follow Robbins as he takes participants and helps them face personal challenges; the pilot, for example, focused on someone who was a lifelong stutterer — and who, by the end of the episode, was speaking in front of a public audience.
For each segment, Robbins will create a 30-day program for the individual to get their life back on track. Cameras will capture that evolution throughout the month, documentary-style.
“My goal is to not make this the Tony show, but to put the focus on the people who are transforming,” Robbins said.
Segments will also feature some of Robbins’ friends, such as Quincy Jones and Donna Karan, as they spend time mentoring people.
Robbins said he had been pitched several TV ideas through the years, but most were of the daytime TV talk variety. When Reveille came calling, the company’s success with “Biggest Loser” gave him hope that there was an audience for something more life-affirming.
“I want to do something that has impact, something real and raw,” he said.
Robbins noted that some auds know him because of his infomericals — and that “you’re known by the company you keep, and I’m next to the spray-on tan guy.” As a result, Reveille and NBC are making sure that the primetime show will look “radically different,” Telegdy added.
“This is not an infomercial for any of Tony’s methodologies,” Telegdy said. “But the reason why Tony makes a lot of money is the tools he sells are good, and he’s going to be unpacking a lot of those skills in broadcast TV for free.”
Robbins will exec produce along with Reveille’s Howard T. Owens, and Mark Koops. Bruce Beresford-Redman is also an EP. Meanwhile, Robbins said his regular business and foundation work will continue.