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Too Big To Walk?


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ABC Brings 'Big' Weight Loss to U.S.

by Josef Adalian

ABC is readying its own twist on "The Biggest Loser," joining forces with "Supernanny" producer Ricochet to adapt the British format, "Too Big to Walk?" The original series, which will get a new title in the United States, aired last fall.

The show assembled a group of eight overweight people and followed them as they marched 500 miles over eight weeks, from the south coast of England to Edinburgh. ABC's version will be a "bigger, bolder show," according to executive producer Nick Emerson.

"The American format is going to have a lot more game play to it," Emerson said. "The British version was very observational. We want to maintain that documentary feel in some ways, but we're going to make the experience for the participants and the viewer much bigger."

That means regular reality show challenges and "tens of thousands of dollars in prize money," Emerson said. "We think it's the boldest weight-loss show to hit America," he added. "It feels very fresh and different. It's not about being kept away from food and the rest of the world with a personal trainer and spending hours in the gym. It's a bigger, more positive show."

Emerson was a bit coy about just how much of the U.S. adaptation of 'Too Big' will focus on contestants walking across America, saying only that "walking will be involved." He also called the show "at its heart an epic journey," perhaps a hint that contestants will travel beyond the U.S. in their quest for fitness.

"Extreme Makeover's" Julie Laughlin has been tapped co-executive producer for the ABC series. Casting has been under way for several weeks now, with lensing expected to begin in April. No decision yet on an airdate, but the show will likely be available to ABC to air as soon as this summer.

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