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ABC adapting Britain's 'Too Big to Walk?' weight-loss reality series

By Christopher Rocchio, 03/01/2007 

Hoping to cash-in on the success of other weight-loss competition series, such as NBC's The Biggest Loser and VH1's Celebrity Fit Club, ABC has reportedly signed a deal for an American version of Too Big to Walk?, a British reality series.

Produced by Ricochet Television, the production company behind ABC's Supernanny series (another British import), Too Big to Walk? premiered on the U.K.'s Channel 4 last November and followed a group of eight overweight people as they walked from England's southern coast to the city of Edinburgh -- 500 miles -- in eight weeks.  According to Daily Variety, the ABC adaptation will feature both a new title and additional competitive elements.

"The American format is going to have a lot more game play to it," Too Big to Walk? executive producer Nick Emerson told Variety. "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."

In addition to helping the contestants lose weight, Emerson told Variety that the American version will offer "tens of thousands of dollars in prize money" and explained that while "walking will be involved," challenges similar to those featured on other reality competition series will also be included.  Emerson did not specifically mention whether the contestants would hoof it across America.

"At its heart [it's] an epic journey," Emerson told Variety.

Casting for the American version of Too Big to Walk? has been underway for several weeks, according to Variety, with filming expected to begin in April.  While no decision has been made on when it will air, Variety reported it should be ready to premiere "as soon as this summer."  Julie Laughlin will serve as co-executive producer with Emerson.

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