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Fat is the new black on primetime TV

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to stuff your child into the garage attic and phone 911 claiming the child is a stow-away in a runaway helium-filled weather balloon in order to get a primetime reality series these days.

You just need to be obese.

"Fat" is all the rage these days in the world of reality TV. Fat is the new singing competition. Fat is the new dance derby.

ABC has greenlit a reality series called "Obese" which will feature people who have become so overweight they can no longer squeeze into an airplane seat, tie their shoes, etc.

More aspirational than NBC's reality series "The Biggest Loser," there will be no competition and no one will get booted each week. This show is very simple: each lucky person picked will be given a personal trainer and will be documented becoming half the person they were over the course of a year. Each person will get their own episode and the network has ordered six.

Meanwhile, NBC has ordered a spinoff of "The Biggest Loser" called "Losing It with Jillian." It stars "BL" fitness expert Jillian Michaels who will hit the road to find fat people around the country, which will not be hard given the obesity rate in the United States. Each week she will teach someone new how how to shed the pounds. Think "What Not To Wear" meets "Biggest Loser." But instead of a celebrity hair dresser or makeup artist, Michaels will be joined by celebrity chef Curtis Stone, who will tell the lucky overweight person how to eat their way thinner.

Oh, and let's not forget this week's announcement about "Carnie Wilson: Unstapled" -- a new reality series in which the daughter of Brian Wilson, who has already turned her weight ups and downs into your viewing pleasure in the past, tries to lose 50 pounds of weight she put on when she was pregnant with newborn Luci.

That one's for the Game Show Network. Seriously. The new series' name is a play on Wilson's previous gastric-bypass surgery -- which can involve stomach stapling -- which was shown online back in '99.

These shows come on the heels of TCL's order for a reality series that chronicles the lives of a morbidly obese family. The first edition of "One Big Happy Family" showcases a clan that includes a 340-pound dad, his 400-pound wife, and their 300-ish pound teen-aged kids. The network has not yet announced a debut date.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  October 23, 2009; 12:31 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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Next: DeLay finds another "reality" with ABC


We have enough crap on TV as it is. NBC and ABC are not elevating their ratings with these reality shows. I can always use the clicker and move on, so that is what I do. I suppose that if "the baloon man doesn't face time in jail, he is the next idiot we will see on some channel. Was TV meant tao pump up those who commit crimes? Apparently the networks think so .

Posted by: janetb1 | October 24, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

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