I have seen The Biggest Loser once in my life. I won’t say that I was turned off or that no good can come of being berated in the manner of the gym teacher on Beavis and Butthead by a tyrannical vixen with scuplted abs, but it’s clear that these programs are for the benefit of the networks who produce and air them, the advertisers whose products are featured in concert with them, the viewers at home who are simultaneously mortified and amused by them, and bloggers who find reason to mock them. This is true of virtually all television programming, of course, but bears repeating since people seem inclined to ignore the fact that in the end, whatever fitness, sobriety, sartorial or other benefits participants accrue do not endure in the majority of cases, just as in real life.
Given both the popularity and the lack of efficacy of these programs, I think that TV executives need to put their heads together and get all of the "petting-zoo" brand of reality shows ("Ooooh, look at them tubbagoos! Aaaah, look at that boozy bastard!") into one tent. Just have an entire channel called the Schadenfreude Network (SCHN) that shows the same guy 24/7 being followed around by cameras that document his simultaneous and horrific struggles with alcohol, prescription drugs, compulsive overeating, Internet porn, a bad taste in clothes, awful haircuts, backne, erectile dysfunction, marital discord, childhood sexual abuse, chronic unemployment, workaholism, fuck-it-all-ism and a chronically unwashed taint. On top of this, he's palpably bigoted in some way (thinks all women are cunts; doesn't like ass-pirates; loathes camel-jockeys; uses these terms as if he has no idea they're derogatory, as I just feigned doing) but in a manner that doesn't turn viewers against him, as if his upbringing or sad history has left his soul no choice but to be as bereft of values as his body is of health. To increase viewers' tendency to become emotionally involved, he is involved in some kind of community service project, such as volunteering at an animal shelter; these enterprises are thrown into tumult when his excesses get the best of him again and he say, eats or tries to have sex with one or more of the animals. When he eventually dies from one of his excesses or six weeks pass, whichever comes first, he is replaced by a woman with the same toxic spectrum.
Half of the show's proceeds could go to some charity so that the producers could justify its existence, while the other half could go toward ensuring a steady flow of participants and the means to support their various habits.