January 09, 2012 2:00pm PT by Michael O'Connell
TCA: ABC's 'Revolution' Cast Sympathizes With Soaps, Promises One-Stop Shopping
Four months after the debut of The Chew, ABC launches its second post-soap series, The Revolution, on Jan. 16 at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Instead of just focusing on food, however, the lifestyles series will cover different facets of healthy living for women, with therapist Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry, style guru Tim Gunn, home design specialist Ty Pennington, OB-GYN Dr. Jennifer Ashton and trainer Harley Pasternak representing their own fields.
But at the series' Television Critics Association winter press tour panel, the first question naturally focused to the demise of the network's soap operas -- particularly One Life to Live, which airs its final episode this Friday before making room for The Revolution.
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"We can't replace that show. What we offer is something different," said Pennington. "I come from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. That show got canceled too, and that's something that's very very special to me."
The reality series' recent demise might not directly compare to the nearly 44-year run of One Life to Live, but Pennington said he understood what those involved were going through.
Executive producer JD Roth and the cast didn't seem keen to dwell on their outgoing predecessor, so they spent the bulk of the panel trying to explain the series' unique format while being mindful to use the word "revolution" more times than easily counted.
"We're trying to show people how to make changes in their lives, how to connect in different ways," said Roth, confirming that each week will include the narrative of a different woman trying to better her life. "Over the course of five days, you see five months of her journey. By Friday, you get to see the end of her five-month transformation. And the next week you get to see another story."
Those stories will be anchored by segments from the different co-hosts, focusing on their own area of expertise, translating methods used by the highlighted women to the viewer.
Five different experts in different fields in one place is something Roth said similar lifestyles programs couldn't offer.
And at the very least, there's always Tim Gunn. Most of his co-hosts, at one point or another, pointed to the appeal and authority of the Project Runway mentor and former fashion chair at Parsons School for Design as the real hook of the show.
Henry seemed to sum up their sentiments, telling reporters that "Tim Gunn in a three-piece suit is reason enough to tune in."