ABC has done it again. They’ve renewed Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition for a third season — before the next season has even begun airing.
A reality show, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition documents makeovers of very overweight people. Trainer Chris Powell moves into their homes to help them change their attitude, nutrition, and exercise routine. When Powell leaves, he’s set them on the right course and keeps watching their progress via video chat updates. At the end of one year, the transformation is unveiled at a party attended by the person’s friends and family.
The series debuted last May to a 2.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 7.11 million total viewers. Over the course of the season, the ratings declined and the eight episodes ended up averaging a 2.1 in the demo with 6.02 million.
Some were concerned that the declining numbers would cause the show to be cancelled. However, because of the extended lead time needed to produce new episodes, ABC had already ordered a group of additional episodes in September 2010. Those eight installments will start airing as season two on Sunday, June 3rd.
Walmart has come on as a sponsor and this time around, the season two episodes with be 120 minutes each. JD Roth, the show’s executive producer, noted, “We can let the story breathe. There’s much more storytelling now.” Roth also said, “In my mind, this is a huge franchise that has been on the air for a while, but in reality, only eight episodes have aired so far.”
According to TV Guide, the network has now ordered a third season of 15 episodes — the show’s biggest season order yet.
In addition to Powell, some of the second season participants have signed on to be weight-loss “ambassadors” that will help new people reach their goals. One includes “Tony,” a man who’d grown to 400 pounds while working in a fast-food restaurant. He disappeared for a time during taping because he became homeless. Roth said, “He was worried that we’d kick him off the show if we knew.”
The 15 episodes of season three will begin airing in Summer 2013.
What do you think? Do you plan on watching Weight Loss Edition? Do you think the episodes should be expanded to two hours?