The Biggest Loser: Transformed trainers Libby Babet and Shannan Ponton.
The Biggest Loser: Transformed trainers Libby Babet and Shannan Ponton.

TV Insider: The Biggest Loser loses out

THE Biggest Loser has been relegated to afternoons after shedding viewers, in their thousands, faster than its contestants are shedding kilos.

After a lacklustre debut against ratings juggernauts My Kitchen Rules and Married At First Sight, the revamped weight-loss show was booted from Sunday nights in a bid to make it more competitive on week nights.

But with metro viewership still slumping to the mid-200,000s, Channel 10 pulled the prime-time plug on the once popular franchise earlier this week.

So what went wrong?

After the show's attempt to whip an entire regional town into shape fizzled, it was clearly in need of a reboot.

When I visited the show's new Sydney set late last year, the cast and crew seemed energised about the new Transformed format.

It sounded good on paper: a more holistic approach, practical take-home information for viewers and no more counter-productive temptation challenges.

And surely viewers had had enough of the over-exposed fitness power couple Michelle Bridges and Steve "The Commando" Willis, whose body transformation programs and boot camps are promoted ad nauseum on our screens.

Even plucky new trainer Libby Babet was praised by critics.

The truth of The Biggest Loser: Transformed's failure is an uncomfortable one - we want to watch "fatties" struggle with even the most basic exercises rather than watch mums and dads like ourselves drop 10 to 20kg.

A more sensible weight-loss competition just looked too tame in comparison to MKR's sl*t-slurring Josh Meeuwissen and Married At First Sight's entire cast.

As much as we lament the sensationalism and manipulative editing of "reality TV", millions of us keep tuning in and so the commercial networks keep it coming.

Loser's Australian demise doesn't bode well for the franchise worldwide. During my set visit executive producer Paul Leadon proudly told me how the producers of The Biggest Loser overseas were waiting to see how the new Aussie series went.

It seems inevitable this will be the last season of The Biggest Loser, at least for a while, on Ten, following in the footsteps of The X Factor and Big Brother. At least we have the "drama" of The Bachelor to look forward to.



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