NBC admits show lied about Dane running a full marathon, will take “corrective action”

NBC has announced that it is investigating the deceptive where-are-they-now segment on last night’s Biggest Loser, during which Dane Patterson claimed to have run a full marathon even though he didn’t finish it.

The segment actually fictionalized Dane and his wife Carli’s finish time, as they were shown completing the race after three hours and 53 minutes, an impressive time that means they would have run under a nine-minute mile for the entire 26.2 miles. However, vans actually transported them to the finish line, as Dane’s wife admitted in a comment on the blog that outed them. Another person who ran the race wrote on TV Barn that he Dane and his wife “were reported to the race director and disqualified” and were “not … honest about it.”

Thursday afternoon, NBC cancelled a conference call with Dane at the last minute, which seems like a transparent attempt to avoid having to deal with questions about it. But late Thursday, NBC sent Aaron Barnhart this statement:

In the final segment of last night’s episode of “The Biggest Loser,” which updated viewers on the status of an eliminated contestant, the former contestant was shown running a marathon in his home state of Arizona. NBC today learned that the contestant did not, in fact, run the entire marathon as depicted in the segment. Because the segment as aired was contrary to NBC policy, we are working with the program producers to determine how this occurred, and to ensure that corrective action is taken.

“The Biggest Loser” — or is that “Biggest Liar”? — fabricates account of contestant finishing marathon [TV Barn]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.