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Australia: ‘Celebrity Overhaul’

TOP 3 SHOWS
Desperate Housewives (drama) — Seven
Lost (drama) — Seven
Dancing With the Stars (reality) — Seven

Take seven celebs of varying ages and shapes, put them through a six-week course on how to exercise and eat sensibly — and start with an eight-day detox camp.

That’s the premise of “Celebrity Overhaul,” an Australian-created lifestyle/reality show that was the most successful Oz debut in the 2005 ratings season, which kicked off in February.

Aired at 6.30 p.m. Sundays on the Nine network, all five episodes won the time period, averaging 1.6 million viewers, against Ten’s “Charmed” and docs on Seven.

The show is the brainchild of Nine inhouse producers Julian Cress and David Barbour (who created the renovation series “The Block”), based on an idea from the web’s programming director Michael Healy.

The celebs, whose ages ranged from 22-57, included three actors, a former cricketer and a “Big Brother” winner. They were coached by a doctor (who devised a diet that stressed eating fruit and vegetables rather than cutting out lots of foods) and two fitness experts.

Unlike makeover series in which folks undergo surgery or are pressured into losing weight, “Celebrity Overhaul” had a positive message that aimed to give the celebs a healthy daily routine.

“We packed each episode with a lot of take-out information for the audience,” says Cress. Nine promptly greenlit a new season.

Southern Star will pitch the format and the completed episodes to buyers at Mip. As a how-to for those who aspire to having a healthy body, mind and lifestyle, the show relates to a general slice of the public, says Southern Star’s Cathy Payne.

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