CALIFORNIA RESIDENT RYAN BENSON WEIGHS IN AS THE WINNER IN SEASON FINALE OF NBC�S �THE BIGGEST LOSER�
Caroline Rhea Also Named to Continue as Host When Popular Series Returns Later This Year
BURBANK, Calif. -� January 11, 2005 �- In the season finale last night, NBC crowned the biggest winner of "The Biggest Loser" (Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. ET) in 35-year-old Ryan Benson while the unscripted series also has renewed host Caroline Rhea ("Sabrina, the Teenage Witch") to continue in the second season set to return in Spring or Summer of 2005.
The popular and compelling weight-loss drama included two celebrity fitness trainers who join with top health experts to help overweight contestants transform their bodies, health -- and ultimately, their lives � all within safe health guidelines. Two competing teams followed comprehensive diet and exercise plans to undergo radical physical makeovers.
Benson, who is employed by DVD Production in Van Nuys, California, described himself as the "life of the party." He started every morning with at least two doughnuts -- and couldn't seem to shake that habit. The charismatic Benson has a wonderful wife and earlier indicated that he wants to be healthy enough to have kids.
Benson emerged triumphant last night from among two other semi-finalists, Kelly Minner and Gary Deckman.
Since premiering October 19, "The Biggest Loser" has lifted NBC 48 percent above its Tuesday 8-9:30 p.m. season average among adults 18-49 prior to "The Biggest Loser's" arrival. The January 4 telecast matched NBC's highest 18-49 rating in the time period in nearly two years, since February. 4, 2003 (excluding live news and sports). Through January 4, 2005, "The Biggest Loser" was averaging a 4.2 rating, 11 share among adults 18-49 and 10.1 million viewers overall.
"The Biggest Loser" is a production of Reveille, 25/7 Productions, 3 Ball Productions and NBC Universal Television Studio. Ben Silverman (NBC's "The Restaurant," "The Office: An American Workplace"), Dave Broome ("Jingle Ball Rock"), J.D. Roth ("NBC's "For Love or Money," "Endurance"), John Foy ("For Love or Money," "Endurance") and Todd A. Nelson ("For Love or Money," "Endurance") are the executive producers.