Category: Biggest Loser

'Modern Family,' 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and cable dramas top DGA noms

Curb Your Enthusiasm nabs multiple DGA noms
Will "Modern Family" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" cancel each other out?

The comedies received double nominations in the comedy category when the Director's Guild of America's television and commercial nominations were announced Tuesday. The final slot went to NBC's "30 Rock."

Cable dominated in the drama field, with individual episodes of "Game of Thrones" (HBO), "Homeland" (Showtime), "The Killing" (AMC), "Breaking Bad" (AMC) and "Friday Night Lights" (101 Network) in the running.

Competition-based shows governed the reality front. NBC's "The Biggest Loser" and "Fear Factor" are up against CBS' "The Amazing Race," Fox's "Master Chef" and Food Network's "The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs."

In the daytime serials category, ABC's "All My Children," which ended its run in September after a 41-year run, earned two nominations, as did the network's other sudser "General Hospital." They'll compete against ABC's other canceled soap, "One Life To Live" -- which ends its run this week to make way for the lifestyle show "The Revolution" -- and CBS' "The Young and the Restless," and "The Bold and the Beautiful."

The winners will be announced at the 64th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Jan. 28 in Los Angeles.

Here's a full list of DGA nominees.

 -- Yvonne Villarreal 

Photo: "Curb Your Enthusiam's"Larry David. Credit: HBO

'X Factor,' 'Idol,' 'Biggest Loser' lead in product placement

XFactor-EpParty-Pepsi_ScBTS_0009[1]Reality shows like "The X Factor," "American Idol" and "The Biggest Loser" may lead the way in product placement on television in terms of dollars, but, according to a study, scripted shows generate far more memorable moments.

For instance, it doesn’t take a house to fall on Tessa Altman for her to know that her new life in the burbs is nothing like her old one in New York City. But it did take a can of sugar-free Red Bull to hit her in the head to drive the point home to viewers.

At least, that’s one scene that stuck out to the audience of “Suburgatory,” making the integration of the energy drink into the ABC sitcom one of the most memorable product placements of the year.

The finding is part of an annual study from Nielsen, a research firm that tracks brands that pop up, either paid or unpaid, in TV shows, and rates the impression of those on-air mentions and placements on the audience. Red Bull in “Suburgatory” was second in viewer recall only to Sheldon on CBS’ hit “The Big Bang Theory” using Purell after handling a live snake.

Among the other well-recalled placements: Det. Beckett (Stana Katic) tools around in a Ferrari on ABC’s cop drama “Castle,” characters play Hasbro board games Scrabble and Monopoly on “Desperate Housewives,” and Subway sandwiches make a high-profile appearance on NBC’s “Chuck.”

For this particular data grab, Nielsen considered only the brands that were both seen and mentioned on network TV shows between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30 of this year. Scores come from the percentage of viewers who could recall, within 24 hours, which products they saw while watching TV shows (excluding the ads).

The industry numbers cruncher also rates the “top 10 prime-time programs with product placement.” Most of those shows — “American Idol,” “The Biggest Loser,” “The X Factor” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” — have multi-year, multimillion-dollar deals in place that include star treatment for sponsor brands.

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GOP debate beats 'Biggest Loser' in ratings

CNN hosted the latest Republican presidential debate Tuesday. At it Mitt Romney and rivals gathered to sling mud at one another.

An average of 5.6 million viewers tuned in, according to Nielsen, which was a little soft considering that CNN put its prime-time star Anderson Cooper front and center at the event. The Sept. 22 debate on Fox News attracted 6.1 million, although it's possible -- just possible -- that the Fox News audience might be more willing to hear Republican talking points rehashed again. 

But here's a fun fact! This seventh in a series of GOP debates this year actually beat NBC's "The Biggest Loser" (5.2 million) in head-to-head competition in much of the country.

The awesome ratings power of political debate, proven yet again. OK, maybe not (CBS' "NCIS" gathered almost three times as many viewers, after all). What the comparison actually shows is how desperately NBC's prime-time lineup continues to struggle this season. And "Biggest Loser" is supposed to be one of the network's bright spots.

When more viewers would rather listen to an argument over whom Romney hired to take care of his lawn than watch your entertainment show, it might be time to order new entertainment shows.

What did you think of the GOP debates? Or did you watch "Biggest Loser"?


'Biggest Loser' recap

The last-minute twist to 'X Factor'

Carson Kressley heads home on 'Dancing With the Stars'

-- Scott Collins

Photo: Mitt Romney, left, and Rick Perry square off at Tuesday's GOP debate in Las Vegas. Credit: Steve Marcus / Reuters


Ellen Degeneres' campaign against 'Celebrity Apprentice' and other supersized reality shows

It’s the silent epidemic. But Ellen DeGeneres is finally lending her star power to put an end to it.

Reality shows, watch out. You know who you are. You’re the ones who think so much of yourself that you clock in at 120 minutes.

“I’m talking to you, ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ ” she says in her mock public service announcement. “You’ve assembled the craziest cast ever, but what’s crazier than that is making me spend two hours of my Sunday watching your show ….”

The Biggest Loser” and “Survivor” are also called out in her crusade against two-hour reality shows.

But why stop there? We'd like for Ms. Degeneres to consider adding those three-part Bravo reunion specials to her campaign against the unnecessarily overinflated programming.

Show Trackers, do you join Ellen in this campaign? Or do you like the supersized versions of your favorite reality shows?

— Yvonne Villarreal

Video credit: "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"

NBC gives early pick-ups to 'Biggest Loser,' 'Sing-Off' and 'Who Do You Think You Are'

Biggestloser NBC has just renewed three reality series for the 2011-12 season: "The Biggest Loser," "The Sing-Off" and the new celebrity genealogy series, "Who Do You Think You Are?"

"Biggest Loser," the weight-loss contest currently in its 11th cycle, is a bulwark of NBC's Tuesday lineup, averaging 9 million viewers this winter, according to the Nielsen Co.

The network seems to be hoping that "The Sing-Off" is a builder, or at least a solid piece of filler that can be quickly inserted when a new show doesn't pan out. The a capella singing contest, hosted by Nick Lachey of the old boy band 98 Degrees, averaged 9.2 million total viewers with the most recent cycle, which wrapped in December.

Then there's "Who Do You Think You Are," which has averaged 7 million viewers -- not an impressive tally, but NBC says it's the network's most-watched Friday show this season.

The pickups are among the first for next season from new NBC programming honcho Bob Greenblatt, best-known for overseeing Showtime's successful slate in recent years.

"Alternative series such as these three bona fide hits are important not only to their loyal audiences but also as strong components of the NBC schedule," Greenblatt said in a statement.  “They are each unique, attention-getting shows with terrific producing and talent auspices, and we're proud to be associated with them."

What do you think of these shows?

-- Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Hannah Curlee and Jesse Wornum on NBC's "The Biggest Loser." Credit: Bret Hartman / NBC 



'The Biggest Loser': Paying it forward in Season 10

Trio Has it been really been 10 seasons already?

Season 10 of "The Biggest Loser" gets underway on NBC Sept. 21. Many of this season's 21 contestants say The Biggest Loser Ranch located outside L.A. is truly their last-ditch effort to lose weight because they already tried and failed with another extreme -- weight-loss surgery. The theme for this season is "paying it forward," and trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels hope to encourage the players to take all they learn at the ranch back home with them in an effort to inspire their own communities.

As expected, there are twists and turns galore. In the first episode alone, Bob, Jillian and host Alison Sweeney, at right, travel to seven cities with a variety of fitness challenges, including a one-mile run and a 500 step-up competition. Hopefuls who finish first are guaranteed a spot in the ranch. As for the rest....

Click here to see a photo gallery profiling most of the competitors -- we're still awaiting a few more photos from NBC, so check back for the rest.

-- Rene Lynch

Photo: Alison Sweeney, left, Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels. Credit: Mitchell Haaseth / Associated Press

Dress yourself in ‘Glee’: TV shows go licensing crazy

GL4-Bleachers_2122_lyF Rabid "Glee" fans out there have been snapping up any product related to the hit Fox show, but there hasn't been much, mostly CDs and digital downloads of the cast's cover versions of classic pop and rock songs.

That's about to change.

By fall, Gleeks and those who want to make them happy will be able to shop for as many as 100 "Glee"-branded products like karaoke machines, musical greeting cards, pajamas, games, books, bedding and cosmetics. How about a Cheerios Halloween costume? Not out of the question.

20th Century Fox's licensing division, which controls the deals to make tchotchkes based on the popular show, has agreements in place for "Glee" clothing to be sold at Macy's and accessories at mall chain Claire's. The merchandise, including Hallmark cards and Mattel games, will hit stores during back-to-school, a busy buying time for teens and their wallet-wielding parents.

Fox executives said it was important to hold back rather than flood the market with "Glee" swag the moment the musical dramedy took off last fall. Robert Marick, executive vice president of Fox Licensing, said he and his team wanted to gauge demand from fans and pick the right partnerships and product categories before moving forward.

"We didn't want to just slap a 'Glee' logo on a shirt," Marick said. "The product has to reflect the creativity of the show."

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Upfronts: Scripted shows on NBC - a reversal of fortune

Gaspin!! NBC has fallen in love with scripted shows again.

In a bid to slash costs last year, the beleaguered network put a record-low seven hours of scripted programming on its weekly prime-time schedule. Nearly one-quarter of the lineup was devoted to an ill-fated and now-defunct 10 p.m. talk show with Jay Leno.

But after a bruising year of low ratings and bad headlines, NBC has raced back to traditional dramas and comedies with a lineup that executives in New York officially released on Sunday. The network is nearly doubling down on scripted formats, which will now occupy 12 hours a week (out of a total of 22) on the schedule. Among the eight new shows slated for fall are splashy action hours from star producers Jerry Bruckheimer and J.J. Abrams and a legal drama starring Jimmy Smits.

"This new schedule brings NBC back to basics with its commitment to quality scripted programming," Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment, said in a statement.

It’s a near-complete reversal from last year, when NBC insisted that the new economic model required  slashing program costs by scheduling cheaper alternatives, such as Leno’s show.

"One thing we learned from this year: If you’re going to compete at 10 o’clock, you have to put your very best content on," Gaspin told reporters in a Sunday conference call. "There’s just too much competition from cable and DVRs."

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'The Biggest Loser': '1-2-3, beat the black team'

Stephanie The thinning of the herd begins.

O'Neal emerged as a leader last night, and put it all on the table. Literally. Overjoyed to see his daughter, Sunshine, walk through the door, safe, having survived last week's elimination, the big man found himself with a new goal: to protect his daughter, himself and their team at all costs. He likened the blue team members to the individual fingers on his hand -- ultimately, everyone is in it for themselves -- but fingers on the hand come together as a fist. "1-2-3, beat the black team" was their rallying cry.

First up, the blue team beat black in this week's challenge, pulling a semi-truck (I know I saw it with my own two eyes but it still sounds insane), putting together a milk-crate puzzle and winning a year's worth of groceries.

With victory under their belt, the teams had a "work" week. Meaning, they had a taste of what life will be like back in the real world, when work and a commute compete with gym time and the need to prepare healthy meals. (I liked the "Groundhog Day"-esque editing involved there as the teams were up with the chickens, hit the gym, took a bus to work, put in some solids, and then did it all in reverse.) The message: If you could lose weight this week, you could lose weight at home.

Best of all: great insight into hunger in America, as the competitors worked for a Los Angeles food bank. Makes you want to volunteer for your local food bank, write a check for $5 or $10, and clean out the cupboard of stuff you know you won't eat but someone else will, right? Then, just do it.

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'The Biggest Loser': Danny plans to stay brown, go shopping -- and get back in the gym

The-new-danny There is a moment in Danny Cahill's tryout tape where he looks directly into the camera and promises NBC that if he's chosen for "The Biggest Loser" he won't just win the title -- he vows to become "The Biggest Loser" ever.

See kids, that's called goal setting. And Danny said it was crucial to his win Tuesday night when he swept the Season 8 title and set an all-time record for the show by losing 239 pounds, or 55.58% of his body weight, more than any other contestant has ever done.

Below, you'll find highlights from Danny's conference call with the media this morning, during which he busted Jillian for eating cheesecake, discussed his plans for indulging over the holidays, and revealed how he feels about his newly brown hair.

But before we get to that: In a cruel twist of the numbers Tuesday night, it appeared that Rudy lost out on $100,000. After all, he lost 234 pounds, or 52.94% of his body weight, and while that wasn't enough to beat Danny, it would have been more than enough to beat Rebecca. (She won the $100,000 "at home" prize by losing 139 pounds, or 49.82% of her body weight.) But, this just in from the show: Rudy gets $50,000 for his second-place finish, and Amanda will get $25,000. 

Now, back to Danny: 

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'Biggest Loser': There are three winners in the house, and a question is popped

Winning Danny Cahill, the former rock 'n' roller who felt like he woke up one day and found himself weighing 430 pounds, won $250,000 and the Season 8 title of "Biggest Loser" after losing 239 pounds -- or 55.58% of his body weight.

The happy-go-lucky Danny, who was a rock of support to Liz and other contestants this season, was virtually unrecognizable in his new, trim body. He handily edged out his next closest competitor, Rudy, who started at 442 pounds and ended up losing 234 pounds, or 52.94% of his body weight.

The third berth in the finale went to Amanda: Once again, fans of the show voted her into the final weigh-in for the grand prize, just as they telephoned their support to give her a spot at the ranch in this season that was all about second chances. Pretty in pink -- in keeping with her team's color -- Amanda was glowing at 163 pounds. She started at 250 pounds and lost 87, or 34.80% of her body weight. And she didn't really care that she wasn't really in the running for the grand prize. She got something better, she said: I got my life back.

The at-home winner turned out to be Rebecca, who looked completely transformed thanks to a sleek new physique -- and a short-cropped blonde 'do. She started at 279 pounds, and lost 139 pounds, or 49.82% of her body weight. For her troubles, she won $100,000. Asked how she felt, she quipped: "I feel like $100,000" and did a little jig.

But there was a third check tonight, for fan favorite Shay, a 30-year-old Newport Beach social worker who arrived at the ranch at 476 pounds -- more than any other contestant, man or woman -- lost 172 pounds, pleasing Bob and Jillian, who more than once voiced concerns about her morbid obesity. It wasn't enough to come close to winning the money. But Shay's bright eyes and kind demeanor, untarnished by an abusive upbringing at the hands of a homeless, drug-addicted mother, also caught the eye of show sponsor Subway. In a surprise move, the health-oriented fast food chain has offered to pay Shay $1,000 for every pound she loses between now and the Season 9 finale in May.

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'The Biggest Loser': Liz or Amanda, Amanda or Liz.....

Who's it going to be, America?

Rudy and Danny snagged the top two spots in next week's finale of this season of "The Biggest Loser" by going home for 60 days and continuing to drop poundage. Rudy lost 43 pounds. Not too shabby, considering the pressures he faced there with family, work and what sounded like a horrible commute. But Danny lost a jaw-dropping 59 pounds -- basically a pound a day. (I know he still has unhealthy weight to lose, but boy do his shoulders look skinny.)

Liz and Amanda didn't do so well, both losing just 16 pounds apiece during that same time away from the ranch. As a result, they are in competition for that coveted third spot in the finale -- and a shot at $250,000 and all sorts of endorsement possibilities. It will be up to voters to choose. But how to choose? It would be fitting for Amanda to get it -- she was voted onto this season of second chances by the show fans and repaid them by fighting her way into the finals. As Bob puts it, Amanda has an "it" factor -- a sweet, good-natured way about her. But she is up against the plucky 49-year-old Liz -- who finally has said "enough" to being the good Southern woman who takes care of everyone else and is putting herself first. Moreover, she would be the oldest woman ever to be in the finals, which gives us the possibility of the oldest-ever female winner.

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