“The Biggest Loser” carries some weight emotionally

Back in May 2004 when Daily Variety first broke the news about NBC’s planned weight-loss reality show “The Biggest Loser” I remember thinking it would just be a cheap way to make fun of overweight folks, despite producer J.D. Roth’s assertion that “You’ll see a bigger transformation of the person from the inside out rather than the outside in.” I chose not to watch.

TrainersWell, the show was a hit for the Peacock. The sixth season of the competition bowed last night. The trainers, Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper have become celebrities in their own right. And countless contestants have slimmed down and reportedly kept it off.

I waded into the show slowly last season (“Biggest Loser: Couples”), usually tuning in for just the last 10 minutes (the weigh-in and elimination) and I became hooked. I found it touching, inspiring and, at times, heart-wrenching. They really do teach people a healthier approach to eating, instill in them an appreciation for exercise and, in the process, change lives. Roth was right.

So I’ve set a season pass for this season’s edition — “The Biggest Loser: Families” — where Bob shepherds spouses and Jillian oversees teams comprised of a parent and adult offspring.

(At left, host Alison Sweeney, Bob and Jillian)