2nd season already for upcoming ABC skein

ABC’s upcoming reality series “Obese” has already been given a second-season order — and a super-sized title to boot.

Now known as “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition,” the reality docuseries has an order for six more one-hour episodes from the Alphabet.

Producers 3Ball Prods. have already cast the second season of “Weight Loss Edition” and will start production on that cycle (targeted for 2011-2012) shortly. 3Ball also continues to finish shooting and editing season one, which is set to air sometime in midseason, perhaps around March.

“It’s always a good sign to get a second season of a show order before the first even airs,” said 3Ball’s JD Roth, who serves as exec producer with Todd A. Nelson.

The early pickup was necessary for the producers given “Weight Loss Edition’s” extensive shooting schedule. Show follows morbidly obese individuals through a year of their life as they work to lose at least half of their body weight.

Trainer Chris Powell (TLC doc “The 650-Pound Virgin”) serves as their coach, moving into their homes with their families.

Each episode tells the entire yearlong story of one participant.

“It’s a unique way to tell a story,” Roth said. “No show has ever attempted to tell a 365-day story in 44 minutes,” Roth said.

Roth added that the producers have been forced to cut so much compelling footage in order to produce these hour-long segs that they’re pitching ABC on expanding some episodes to two hours (3Ball’s “The Biggest Loser” now airs two hours weekly, he notes.)

The producer said he’s also considering pitching the Alphabet on taking the extra footage and turning it into a stripped daytime series, perhaps to air on one of its sister cable nets.

As for the name change, idea came from ABC — but Roth embraced it, given the strong awareness among viewers for the “Extreme Makeover” brand. Although the original “Extreme Makeover” no longer airs, ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” continues as a Sunday night franchise.

“To be part of such a successful franchise name is great,” Roth said. “It adds credibility to what we’ve done. It also makes it easier to promote the show and get sampling.”

Roth said he’s pleased with the results on “Weight Loss Edition” so far. One participant lost 155 pounds in 90 days, while several women have lost at least 100 pounds int hat same time frame.

“What’s amazing is all their lives these people have been unsuccessful in multiple areas,” he said. “The fact that you can give somebody a little bit of help and believe that they can do it, then they can.”

Besides “The Biggest Loser,” 3Ball’s other credits include Fox’s “Masterchef,” which just wrapped season one, and E!’s “What’s Eating You.”

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