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'The Biggest Loser 4' and 'The Singing Bee' to air back-to-back this fall


By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 07/17/2007 

This fall's fourth season of The Biggest Loser will be permanently supersized.  And The Singing Bee will be flying along for the ride.

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NBC has announced it has tweaked its originally announced Fall 2007 primetime schedule and now plans to air 90-minute The Biggest Loser episodes and half-hour The Singing Bee episodes back-to-back on Tuesday nights beginning September 25.

When now-former NBC chief Kevin Reilly (and new Fox entertainment president) first unveiled the network's 2007-2008 schedule back in May, he had announced that The Singing Bee would premiere after the network's 1 vs. 100 game show finished an initial eight-week fall run in the Fridays at 8PM ET/PT time period. The Singing Bee and 1 vs. 100 were both going to be part of "Game Night," NBC's name for a new rotating block of reality TV and game show programming it planned to air in the Friday night time period. 

However NBC replaced Reilly with former reality TV -- including The Biggest Loser -- producer Ben Silverman only two weeks later, and when Fox announced plans to debut its own The Singing Bee-like Don't Forget the Lyrics game show on July 11, NBC suddenly changed course and announced that The Singing Bee would debut on July 10, the day before Fox's Lyrics premiere. 

The move seemingly worked well for NBC, which tabbed fourth-season Dancing with the Stars runner-up Joey Fatone to host the show.  The Singing Bee's July 10 premiere delivered the best ratings of any summer television series, scoring the highest ratings among both total viewers and the Adults 18-49 demographic of any summer series broadcast this summer.

Now NBC has decided to pull The Singing Bee out of its Friday night graveyard time period and will instead air new half-hour episodes of the show beginning Tuesday, September 25 at 9:30PM ET. 

The Biggest Loser's fourth season -- which will premiere with a two-hour special on Tuesday, September 11 at 8PM ET followed by another two-hour installment on September 18 -- will serve as a lead-in for The Singing BeeThe Biggest Loser 4 will air 90-minute episodes every week beginning Tuesday, September 25 at 8PM ET.

"On Tuesdays, the 90-minute The Biggest Loser has always performed well and will fit perfectly with our new summer hit The Singing Bee," said Silverman, now co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios.

Although NBC has previously broadcast expanded The Biggest Loser episodes -- typically as filler for failed early fall season sitcoms -- The Biggest Loser 4 will be the first edition to feature regularly scheduled 90-minute broadcasts throughout its run.

The network is also reportedly comfortable with the fact that Silverman -- who as part of his NBC hiring, agreed to move his Reveille production company stake into a blind trust and will no longer profit from any new Reveille projects -- decided to change NBC's fall schedule to include supersized broadcasts of Reveille's The Biggest Loser.

"GE is very stringent about conflict of interest-type issues," Marc Graboff, NBC Entertainment's other newly-named co-chairman, told reporters during a Television Critics Association summer press tour presentation on Monday, according to Daily Variety.  "Everybody at the company is comfortable with the conflict-of-interest procedure, when there is something that appears to be a conflict or is an actual conflict with a Reveille project."

In addition to its The Biggest Loser and The Singing Bee scheduling changes, NBC also announced that the Deal or No Deal's Monday night edition will move to Fridays and take over the 8-9PM ET/PT time period that was originally supposed to belong to "Game Night."  Deal or No Deal's move will put 1 vs. 100 on the shelf until midseason and free NBC's Mondays at 8PM ET/PT time period for Chuck, a new sci-fi action comedy that was originally scheduled to air in the Tuesdays at 9PM ET/PT time period that will now be filled by The Biggest Loser and The Singing Bee.

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