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The mystery of Alison Sweeney’s exit as Biggest Loser host

The mystery of Alison Sweeney’s exit as Biggest Loser host
The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney, back before she was no longer host. (Photo by Justin Lubin/NBC)

Alison Sweeney, who has hosted of NBC’s The Biggest Loser since season four, is leaving the show after eight years of watching that fake scale. (Sweeney replaced Caroline Rhea, who hosted seasons one to three.)

NBC’s brief statement, delivered via its tabloid newsmagazine Access Hollywood, said only:

“After an incredible run together, Alison Sweeney will not be returning as host of ‘The Biggest Loser’ next season.”

That is all we know, and that is why every single media outlet has written basically the same story, as I just did.

But why is she exiting? Clearly, no one knows anything right now. I’m wondering:

  • Is the show even returning? Yes—probably? While the last two seasons debuted in October (season 15) and September (season 16), there’s no debut date now, and no word from NBC. However, earlier seasons aired in the spring, so that may be a possibility this year. And producers have been casting this summer, and will tape the show from September through March, according to the show’s casting web site.
  • Was it her choice? In May 2014, she left Days of Our Lives, and said it was to spend time with her family. But she hasn’t left acting, as she’s appearing in Hallmark movies such as “Love on the Air” this September, which she stars in and produced, and this Christmas’ “Murder She Baked,” which is a real title.
  • Is NBC responding to falling ratings by cleaning house and/or going in a different direction? The Biggest Loser was down about 30 percent in the ratings last season.
  • Will Jillian Michaels return to host? I mean, while she quit for the third time recently, she came back after quitting two other times, so it wouldn’t be that shocking for her to return again.
  • Who’s the biggest loser in this deal? The show? NBC? Viewers? Alison? Or me for writing a few hundred more words of speculation even though I have no more information than everyone else?

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


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