• Publication date: July 22, 2011

Can They Turn 250 pounds into $250,000? The Biggest Loser: Now It's a Family Affair

The Biggest Loser has been a worldwide phenomenon, spawning countless clones in numerous languages and countries. Yet even a winning formula can benefit from reinvigoration, and so the show's producers have added a family element in season 6. If Bob and Jillian's aggressive approach to weight loss wasn't enough to motivate participants, contestants now have the support of a family member throughout the competition. 16 individuals will form 8 pairs of parent/sibling and husband/wife teams, all of whom have their eyes on the $250,000 grand prize. Ultimately, however, blood relations will be severed as teams are disbanded and individuals fend for themselves.

The Biggest Loser has been a worldwide phenomenon, spawning countless clones in numerous languages and countries. Yet even a winning formula can benefit from reinvigoration, and so the show's producers have added a family element in season 6. If Bob and Jillian's aggressive approach to weight loss wasn't enough to motivate participants, contestants now have the support of a family member throughout the competition. 16 individuals will form 8 pairs of parent/sibling and husband/wife teams, all of whom have their eyes on the $250,000 grand prize. Ultimately, however, blood relations will be severed as teams are disbanded and individuals fend for themselves.

But before one drop of sweat flows the men and women endure a 'scared straight' sort of presentation, emphasizing that shedding extra pounds should be more than just an aesthetic mission. Illustrations of fat literally choking the heart and lungs help to drive this point home.

More frightening, though, is the cast's realization that a mere excess of 50 pounds can accelerate one's aging process by nearly 15 years. Jerry, a 51-year-old cop with a plethora of weight-related diseases understands this first hand. His daughter Coleen is accompanying him to provide moral support, and possibly prevent the officer's untimely death.

The show's protocol in season 6 is generally the same as those before it. Each episode begins with a weigh-in where individuals monitor their progress, or lack thereof. Those who successfully meet their target weights are granted special privileges, such as a phone call home or free exercise equipment. Teams will eventually lose, and contestants will inevitably be sent home. That does not mean they are out of the game though: cast members can continue competing from home and potentially win $100,000 during the season finale.

The Biggest Loser continues to attract audiences and is currently in its eleventh season with a twelfth due to begin in 2011. It was nominated for both an Emmy and Teen Choice Award.

Year: 2008

Duration: 120 minutes

Genre: Game-Show, Reality-TV

Starring:

Bob Harper

Jillian Michaels

Created By: Dave Broome

Rating: TV-PG