The Biggest Loser finale to air as segment on Studio 10

The finale of Ten’s The Biggest Loser: Transformed – the 11th season of the embattled reality franchise – will now air as part of an extended episode of the network’s panel show Studio 10, Mumbrella can reveal.

The revamped version of the program hit screens earlier this year, promising a live finale complete with viewer voting and a $100,000 prize for the audience’s favourite contestant – but with the show since relegated to day-time television on the back of poor ratings, Ten has confirmed its plans have changed.

“The finale of The Biggest Loser: Transformed will be part of a special, extended edition of Studio 10,” a spokesperson told Mumbrella.

Season 11 of the franchise returned to screens on 14 March, averaging 450,000 metro viewers, making it the 17th most-watched program of the day, well below 2015’s debut of 647,000.

The transformed show was Ten’s attempt to reboot the franchise with a new cast of trainers, more ‘relatable’ contestants and a less aggressive tone.

“The Biggest Loser has changed,” veteran trainer and the only remaining original cast member Shannan Ponton told audiences in ads prior to the show’s launch. “This is the show I’ve always wanted to make.”

In an interview with Mumbrella following the 10th season, Ponton urged producers to make the show less dramatic and manipulative, and instead focus on the more positive elements of the contestants’ transformations.

“We saw what an amazing job they [Endemol Shine] did when Masterchef was reborn. They went back to basics with real food, real chefs and real cooking and it’s been a ratings bonanza. I’d love to see the same philosophy put back into Loser,” he said.

“You have to take your hat off [to the production team]. They have done an amazing job to nurture the show and in my wildest dreams I didn’t think we’d get anywhere near 10 years. But looking forward, my heart and head as a humble goat herder says we need to get back to content that shows the essence of weight loss.”

The gamble on changing the show’s format, however, did not pay off for Ten, with viewer numbers slipping to 275,000 after it was removed from the network’s Sunday night schedule, before being moved to lunchtimes in April.

Yesterday’s lunchtime episode of The Biggest Loser: Transformed did not rate in the top 100 programs.

Ten acknowledged the show didn’t go to plan, but said the network is preparing to move on.

“It is true that The Biggest Loser: Transformed did not resonate with viewers as we had hoped and we will fix that part of the schedule for 2018,” Ten’s chief content officer, Beverley McGarvey told Mumbrella earlier this month.

“The Biggest Loser: Transformed team did a great job but very occasionally these things don’t work. A variety of factors may have led to its performance, including the timing of the show, the strength of the competition and possibly a bit of brand fatigue.”

The network is hoping its fortunes turn around with the return of the popular Masterchef franchise.

“We are very confident in the quality, appeal and potential of our next round of programs. We have been challenged in the pre-Easter period a few times over the past few years and always ensure our audience know when Masterchef Australia is on. This year is no different. Of course this challenging ratings period is making us extremely diligent in how we communicate and market our shows, but that is true every year,” McGarvey said.

Studio 10: TBL Transformed Finale will go to air on Monday 1 May, Mumbrella understands.


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