'Loser' gains fifth season


After a promising start to its fourth installment this month, NBC has picked up a fifth cycle of "The Biggest Loser."

The 14-episode new season of the weight-loss reality series will feature for the first time teams of two -- significant others, relatives, co-workers or best friends -- rather than individual contestants competing for a $250,000 grand prize.

Alison Sweeney is set to return as the host of the new installment, which is slated to begin production this fall for a midseason launch.

" 'The Biggest Loser' continues to be a top performer and important franchise for NBC, and Season 4 is already off to a great start," said Craig Plestis, NBC executive vp alternative programming, development and specials.

The fourth installment of "Loser" premiered with a 3.1 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 on Sept. 11 and grew to a 3.4/9 in its second episode Sept. 18.

The series is a produced by Reveille, 25/7 Prods. and 3Ball Prods. Ben Silverman, Dave Broome, J.D. Roth, Todd A. Nelson and Mark Koops executive produce.

"The fifth season pickup is a testament to the show's inspiring stories, and the best part is that it also inspires viewers at home to lead healthier lives," Koops said.