'Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition': Is NBC's 'Loss' ABC's 'Biggest' Gain?

8:36 PM PST 05/30/2011 by THR staff
ABC/Greg Zabilski
James, right, is a former football player weighing 651 pounds.

Rejected reality contenders are put to the test in TV's newest diet and fitness challenge series.

ABC officially enters the weight-loss genre this week with its new reality series Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.

Fans of NBC's The Biggest Loser will be happy to know that the new show is from the same producers at 3 Ball Prods. But for those looking for something a bit different, 3 Ball CEOs J.D. Roth and Todd Nelson insist that this is a new take on weight loss.

PHOTOS: Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition

For starters, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition features participants who were actually rejected from Biggest Loser for weighing too much.

"Everything comes from an authentic place for us," Roth told The Hollywood Reporter. "So, you know, when you send a contestant home that's too fat to be on The Biggest Loser. It came out of passion. I can't do it. I can't send these people home to die. They're going to die. It's wrong. We got to do something for these people."

And that's where the idea for Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition was born.

"[We thought], well, let's create a show for them," Roth added. "That comes from an honest place. When things come from an honest place, something good usually happens."

The show, which premiered Monday night, features eight people -- including a former football player weighing 651 pounds -- who work with personal trainer Chris Powell to lose weight and get healthy. The reason they were rejected from Biggest Loser is because that show's workout regimen is believed to be too intense people at that kind of weight level.

Also unlike Biggest Loser, each episode focuses on a different participant as he or she works to lose weight and takes place over the course of an entire year.

It's not the first time 3 Ball has created a show around Biggest Loser rejects: The idea for the company's MTV series I Used to Be Fat was sparked by applicants who were too young to be on the NBC show.

Meanwhile, it seems that ABC has a lot of confidence in Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition: The network picked it up for a second season several months before launching the first.

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