NBC Nabs New Fitness Competition From 'Biggest Loser' Creator (Exclusive)

Alternative chief Paul Telegdy describes the new series as "a show that [will] get people ready to be a contestant on 'American Ninja Warrior.' "
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Folks doing Crossfit

NBC is looking to beef up its unscripted roster. The network has ordered a new fitness-focused reality series from Biggest Loser creator Dave Broome, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Unlike his previous effort, this one will follow six men and six women looking to reach their full potential by getting fit, not losing weight. The title for the 10-episode order, S.T.R.O.N.G. (Start to Realize Our Natural Greatness), is a bit of a mouthful — though it is very much in line with the mantras echoed in the halls of Crossfit boxes, SoulCycles and yoga studios across the country.

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"There's a monumental shift in the world of health and fitness," explains Broome, who had interest from multiple networks. "We've seen this interviewing trainers over the years. We've gone away from 'thin' and 'skinny' and into fit and strong."

Produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with 25/7 Productions, the series will be casting everyday people looking to get into better shape. And though there are shades The Biggest Loser in its premise, NBC interest actually started with another series on its roster: American Ninja Warrior.

"Dave crossed the finish line on a creative challenge I'd thrown to several producers," says NBC president of alternative and late-night programming Paul Telegdy. "If there was a show that would get people ready to be a contestant on American Ninja Warrior, what would it be? Multiple people came in with pitches, and he blew them away."

Not unlike its Biggest Loser predecessor, STRONG will eliminate one contestant every week. Each of the 12 contestants will be paired with their own trainer — also six men and six women — creating mixed-gender teams of two. (It's the kind of dynamic that's worked well for ABC's Dancing With the Stars.)

Physical transformations don't happen overnight, so production is expected to last about three months, with a premiere likely happening sometime in the next year.

STRONG is certainly in line with the recent unscripted and alternative push for more aspirational fare. Fox is reviving the feel-good Are You Smarter than a Sixth Grader? and ABC just started airing the good-natured hidden-cam show Repeat After Me.

"Everything should be a kind of show you'd want to go on," adds Telegdy of his own roster, though he cop to some nostalgia for the snarky reality series of yore. "The Voice, American Ninja Warrior, America's Got Talent ... they're relentlessly positive in their outlook. And I think there's a very big place for that right now."

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