ABC has announced the premiere and cast of Fat March, a new reality competition series that will follow 12 overweight Americans as they trek across the northeastern portion of the country in an effort to shed pounds and take home a share of the $1.2 million grand prize.

Fat March -- an American adaptation of British reality series Too Big to Walk? -- is scheduled to premiere Tuesday, August 7 at 9PM ET on ABC.

Fat March begins with its 12 contestants embarking on their journey at the starting line for the 2007 Boston Marathon -- which took place on April 16 -- and it takes them on a timed, 570 mile walk through nine states with a finish line in Washington, DC.  Fat March is apparently no cake walk, as the contestants enjoy a diet of natural whole grains, lean poultry, fresh vegetable and fruits during their trek.  They also camp along the way and must battle the elements as well as deal with the physical difficulties of the competition.

While their personal goal is to lose as much of their excess weight as possible, the contestants will also partake in various "luxury reward challenges," which are geographically specific to the areas they are walking in.  For example, an exercise-based challenge during Fat March's premiere episode has the contestants harvesting cranberries in a flooded Massachusetts bog.

Through the challenges, an individual or team can win numerous incentives to help them on their journey, such as spa treatments to lower their stress; low-calorie gourmet meals to boost their energy; or deluxe accommodations in a hotel to receive a good night's sleep.  In addition, non-game related prizes are at stake during the challenges, including trips to Hawaii and Las Vegas.

At the conclusion of each leg of the walk, Fat March's contestants are able to eliminate participants they feel are holding them back in reaching their goal of making it to the show's finish line in the allotted time.  However eliminating a fellow walker isn't free -- every time a contestant is eliminated, $10,000 is deducted from each contestant's potential $100,000 prize.  According to ABC, the elimination penalty is intended to stress the importance of teamwork.

The six males and six females competing in Fat March range in age from 22- to 40-years-old, with all of them weighing in between 225 and 400 pounds before the start of the walk.  They'll be led on their journey by fitness trainers Steve Pfiester and Lorrie Henry.  Fat March is produced by Ricochet Television, with Nick Emerson serving as executive producer and Julie Laughlin and Kirsty Robson serving as co-executive producers.

The 12 contestants competing in Fat March --  as well as their ABC-supplied bios and their weights prior to the show's filming -- are:

- Chantal, a 35-year-old student and comedian from Brookline, MA who's 5'2" and weighs 250 pounds,

- Jami Lyn, a 30-year-old military wife and mother of three from Daleville, AL who's 5'9" and weighs 226 pounds

- Kimberly, a 39-year-old former rapper and current real-estate investor from Duluth, GA who's 5'5" and weighs 225 pounds

- Loralie, a 30-year-old marketing resources expert from Milwaukee, WI who's 5'3" and weighs 233 pounds
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- Shea, a 27-year-old former college softball player and current makeup/special effects artist from Indian Rocks Beach, FL who's 5'7" and weighs 280 pounds

- Wendy, a 40-year-old bookkeeper from La Canada, CA who's 5'6" and weighs 234 pounds

- Anthony, a currently unemployed 25-year-old from Addison, IL who's 6'3" and weighs 410 pounds

- Matt, a 36-year-old former professional wrestler and married father of two who's 6'3" and weighs 386 pounds

- Michael, a 41-year-old baseball coach, lab technician and married father of two from Elwood, IL who's 6'2" and weighs 330 pounds

- Sam, a 22-year-old certified massage therapist from Everett, MA who's 5'9" and weighs 371 pounds

- Shane, 34-year-old youth minister and married father from Mesquite, TX who's 6'0" and weighs 500 pounds

- Will, a 26-year-old competitive eater from Brooklyn, NY who's 6'2" and weighs 470 pounds