NBC is expanding its “Biggest Loser” franchise, ordering a spinoff skein in which various groups of people compete against each other to shed pounds.
Unlike the original “Loser,” new skein will feature self-contained episodes, allowing viewers to drop in and out of the action, a la NBC’s “Fear Factor” or ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Episodes — which could be expanded to 90 minutes or more — are expected to pit families, towns, brides, co-workers and other groups against one another.
Production on the new show is already under way. It’s undecided when the spinoff will bow, although episodes could be ready for air sometime this season.
“The possible combinations of contestant teams for the new spinoff are practically endless,” said executive producer Dave Broome. “Among the other combinations we are prepping are teachers vs. students, doctors vs. nurses, in-laws vs. in-laws, best friends vs. best friends and firefighters vs. police squads.”
The “Loser” production team of Reveille, 25/7 Prods., 3 Ball Prods. and NBC Universal Television Studio are reuniting for the spinoff. Ben Silverman and Broome are the executive producers along with J.D. Roth, John Foy and Todd A. Nelson.
Silverman said “Loser’s” first season “showed that aspirational and positive television can deliver huge audiences,” while Roth believes that bringing “teams of closely bonded individuals together to lose weight … will add a new dimension” to the show.
To differentiate the new “Loser” from the first edition, producers will find a new host and trainers. But while segs will be self-contained, producers are expected to shoot each team for several months, allowing time for real weight loss that’s been medically supervised.
NBC is still planning another cycle of classic “Loser” for this summer.
Meanwhile, CBS has decided to move unscripted series “Wickedly Perfect” to Saturday nights a bit earlier than planned.
Skein will move to 8 p.m. Saturdays this weekend. Repeats of “CSI” and “Without a Trace” will fill the 8 p.m. Thursday slot for the next three weeks until “Survivor” returns Feb. 17.