'Biggest Loser' companion set at NBC

Jillian Michaels to host; eight episodes ordered

NBC has ordered a companion series to its reality hit "The Biggest Loser" starring tough-love trainer Jillian Michaels.

The network has picked up eight episodes of "Losing It With Jillian" from Reveille in association with Empowered Media. Michaels will travel the country showing weight-challenged Americans that they can get the same results as contestants on "The Biggest Loser" without attending the show's immersive fitness boot camp.

"We all have the demands of work, family and school," executive producer Mark Koops said. "Here's a chance to show the rest of America how to live healthier lives."

In each self-contained episode, Michaels will move into a family's home and give them a top-to-bottom fitness, nutrition and wellness makeover. Unlike "Loser," which is more strictly focused on shedding pounds, "Losing It" will take on multiple aspects of living a healthier lifestyle.

The show also will feature celebrity chef Curtis Stone, who will offer the families a nutritional plan and cooking tips.

Executive producers include Michaels and Giancarlo Chersich of Empowered Media; Koops and Howard Owens from Reveille; and Ellen Rakieten ("The Oprah Winfrey Show").

"In a way, it's a response to the comments we always get on 'Loser,' " Michaels said. "We always hear, 'It's so easy to lose weight when you move into the camp and you're living with trainers' and 'Would they really be able to lose the weight if there wasn't money on the line?' Here we're giving you realistic tools and a realistic environment to transform your life and the life of your family."

Although no airdate has been set, one possible strategy is to debut the show following the "Loser" finale in May and roll the episodes into the summer.

NBC executive vp alternative Paul Telegdy said "Losing" makes for a natural extension of "Loser," which managed impressive ratings growth in recent years -- even when airing against Fox's reality juggernaut "American Idol."

"Jillian is the world's leading lifestyle expert with a signature style all her own," Telegdy said. "She was very keen to do something else beyond 'The Biggest Loser' and has very strong opinions about nutrition and health. With 'Biggest Loser' reaching pre-eminence, it makes sense for us to go from strength to strength."

"She's a force of nature; she has her own distinctive tough-love approach to handling people who are in need of a life change," Rakieten said.

"Losing" is in production and marks the first series deal for Michaels and her partner Chersich's production company. The series also will show a more rounded side of the tough trainer.

"On 'Biggest Loser,' I play a character of sorts," she said. "This show is very different. I'm not going to scream at a 10-year-old. You're going to see different aspects of my personality, and it's more about the big picture and not just being skinny."