After the expected, yet unexpected end of NBC’s Must See Thursday, NBC was gripping with the fear that none of their replacement hits would actually be hits in the Nielsen charts. JOEY turned out to be a huge disappointment; HAWAII and LAX were even worse than that, and the peacock network would slowly start to lose a lot of ground. They were promoting the hell out of their new Fall shows during the Summer Olympics, but the one show that proved to be a hit for NBC was not promoted at all. And most likely not even thought to be a bread winner.
THE BIGGEST LOSER started with a happy beginning, and its inaugural season ended with a happy ending. No one was expecting for the reality competition to win over audiences and even rise throughout the season, and no one expected for the show to air an entire season with expanded episodes. Every Tuesday, 90 minutes of THE BIGGEST LOSER entertained the audience, and gave NBC something to hope for: That at least one of their new shows would receive a second season, and not just because NBC needed to renew a first-season show.
At the end of the season, THE BIGGEST LOSER became the SURVIVOR of NBC – sort of. Not only were the third 30 minutes of the show constantly higher in the ratings than the hour before, but the ratings for the season finale climbed close to 19 percent in the target demo, which nearly guaranteed that America would love to see a second season. And so, a TV franchise was born.