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ABC’s ‘The Revolution’ can’t replace ‘One Life to Live,’ hosts say

By Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times –

LOS ANGELES — “The Revolution” is a new one-hour daily talk show on ABC from the man behind NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”: J.D. Roth.

Not even on the air yet, the show already finds itself facing the same obstacle its sister show “The Chew” faced earlier this season — getting die-hard soap fans (those still up in arms over the cancellation of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” which these shows have replaced) to embrace it.

“One Life to Live” will end its run on Friday, clearing the time slot for “The Revolution’s” premiere Jan. 16. Featuring a gaggle of “lifestyle experts” — designer Ty Pennington (“Extreme Home Makeover”), style guru Tim Gunn, therapist Tiffanie Davis Henry, OB-GYN Jennifer Ashton and celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak — the show aims to transform the lives of guests and viewers. Hardly the campy goodness viewers have become accustomed to while watching the characters of Llanview — and its hosts are hoping people won’t hold that against them.

“We can’t replace (“One Life to Live),” Pennington said during a panel for the daytime show at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday. “What we offer is something different.”

“We’re a very different flavor,” Gunn said. “And we hope people will tune in and be inspired by the information that we give.”

Noting the cancellation of “Extreme Home Makeover,” Pennington’s other transformative show on the network, he emphasized the shifting nature of the broadcast landscape: “It’s about change. And ‘The Revolution’ is certainly about change.”

Each week will highlight one woman’s journey over the course of five months — viewers will be introduced to her on Monday and watch her transform, leading to her unveiling on Friday. Various other segments, not limited to weight loss, will also be featured.

But is it something viewers will tune in to? “The Chew,” which premiered in the fall, has averaged just over 2 million viewers, below what “All My Children” was delivering the season before.

But Roth is optimistic about “The Revolution’s” chances.

“A lot of people are on the hamster wheel of life, and they want to get off,” he said. “I think people want to be more connected. I believe this show, with simple change, is an opportunity to switch those switches back on.”

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