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'Biggest Loser,' 'Minute to Win It' on TV swag train

June 11, 2010 |  3:16 pm
Minute Friday mind bender: When is a TV show not just a TV show? Answer: When it's a potential licensing behemoth. 

Maybe that wasn't so tough to figure out, especially in the days of the 12,000-square-foot "CSI: The Experience" in Las Vegas and "The Simpsons" Fromage Frais in the U.K. (That's cheese, right?) 

Anyway, there's always a quirky piece of news or two that comes out of the annual Licensing International Expo. (It happened this week in Vegas). Among those of note this year: "The Biggest Loser," which melts pounds off its contestants but keeps bulking up on the swag, is opening a second resort and weight loss spa. 

The first location in southern Utah proved a hit, as has much of the "Biggest Loser"-branded gear, so now there's a new slimming getaway destination (don't call it a fat farm!) with a snotty Malibu address scheduled to open in the fall. Boot camp is still boot camp, but The Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge sits on 160 acres near the Pacific. So at least the scenery's awesome. Another NBC show, "Minute to Win It," will spawn Mattel games this fall that promise to make you look just as ridiculous as the series' contestants. What do you expect if you're competing in challenges called Hanky Panky (take tissues out of a box -- quickly!) and Junk in the Trunk (do you really want to know?). At least your attempts will be confined to the privacy of your own home, if you value your self respect. Video games and lottery tickets are also in the works.

Adult-targeted series on Showtime will launch into the world of swag via a representation deal with sister network division CBS Consumer Products. It's too early to know exactly what kind of merchandise to expect, but there's a wealth of possibilities here. "Tudors"-branded turkey legs? "Nurse Jackie" pill dispensers? "Californication" condoms? Croquet mallets and onesies with the "Weeds" logo? Just spit-balling. As Show Tracker reported earlier this week, Fox's hit "Glee" will unleash its first wave of product this fall, in time for back-to-school shopping. Expect to see everything from novels and night lights to trivia games and tattoos. The CW's "90210" has a fashion line coming with retailer bebe, and HGTV will shill furniture, flooring, bedding and bath mats.

And just in case you don't believe any of this is a good idea, here's a licensing milestone: "CSI: The Experience," by the time the week's done, will have hit 100,000 visitors. The autopsy-curious person who buys that 100,000th ticket gets a "CSI Gear Package," according to the interactive exhibit's promoter. Dead body not included. -- T.L. Stanley

Photo: "Minute to Win It" host Guy Fieri. Credit: Paul Drinkwater / NBC.
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