Last fall, ABC made plans to produce Obese, a show where overweight individuals would lose hundreds of pounds over the course of a year. (Sounds similar to a show over on NBC, no?) Eight one-hour episodes are scheduled to air in March 2011 — but now with a new, bigger name. Variety reported this morning the docu-series is now known as Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.
Additionally, the series got an early second-season order before the first episode even airs. The early pickup was necessary for their extensive shooting schedule. Each episode follows a participant for an entire year. “It’s a unique way to tell a story,” executive producer J.D. Roth told Variety. “No show has ever attempted to tell a 365-day story in 44 minutes.”
I often get sucked into reality weight loss shows (The Biggest Loser? Yes, please!), even though it means I’m sitting on the couch for two hours eating junk food instead of being active. So I’m thinking the new show might just find its way on to my regular TV schedule, especially since it sounds like The Biggest Loser, minus the competition and plus the emotional aspect that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition brings to the table. (I still cry Every. Single. Time. I watch that show.) That said, without the game element will the stories be compelling enough to warrant two seasons?
Sure, I think it’s great idea for people to make the effort to get in shape. And filming for an entire year is quite different from the lose-it-fast-and-quick mantra over at The Biggest Loser ranch. And yes, losing the weight should be a big enough prize for the participants. But what about the viewers? Is it a bad thing that I want to see target weights reached alongside an entertaining competition?
What do you think, PopWatchers? Will you be watching the new series come March? Or have you tired of the whole weight loss show genre?