JD Roth has produced a fair share of weight loss shows (Biggest Loser and Extreme Weight Loss, to start), but never before has there been a show like Oxygen's My Big Fat Revenge! This time, women don't just lose weight, they get back on the ones who wronged them -- and revenge sure is sweet. We spoke to JD all about the empowering, heartfelt and totally satisfying new show premiering September 3 at 9/8c. Scroll down for the full Q&A!
Oxygen: What inspired you to create My Big Fat Revenge?
JD Roth: We basically invented weight loss for television (Biggest Loser, Extreme Weight Loss). It’s such a big part of my life. Watching people change right before my very eyes is part of my DNA now. And all this time, I’ve heard these great stories about men and women’s lives: now that they are skinny and how they would love to go back to their old boyfriends or teachers or coworkers and get back at them for making them feel bad. They always had a story. And I never knew what to do with them until the word Revenge popped up. I don’t think it’s a dirty or evil word, there’s all sorts of revenge that covers the gamut.
So, this isn’t just your average weight loss show!
I would consider it more about the thing you do after you’ve lost the weight. For some people it’s ‘I just wanna fit into these pair of jeans’ but for others it’s: ‘I wanna drive up to my mother’s house and show her that none of those mean things she said about me were true.’ And these girls on the show, they live very out loud! They’re big personalities, they’re strong personalities, very heavy-handed in their speech. They’re not shy, but when you look behind all that, there’s so much insecurity with how they look and feel. By losing the weight, they’re closing the book, and the cherry on top is that they have a chance to get back at the person who made them feel a certain way. It’s eye for an eye. It’s, ‘if you made me feel l this way, I’m gonna make you feel the same way.’
What is it about the weight loss on the show that empowers them?
I always say that our shows ‘unstick’ people. People get stuck. Along with getting stuck is that voice of shame, and as soon as that starts you say ‘I’m gonna eat the whole bag of cookies.’ The shows we do, they quiet that voice of shame. When you feel like the puppeteer instead of the puppet, life is always good. These women have felt like the puppet for so long. We turn them into the puppeteer and give them the strings. They get 90 days off camera to take their life back.
How about the revenge itself?
For some women it’s very empowering. They really wanted to get revenge and dress the best they’ve ever dressed in their life. I mean we all have someone we want revenge on. It’s not always weight related, but secretly, everyone can relate.
How about the people who were having revenge enacted on them? Did they learn anything? I shortened his answer a bit so we are not as revealing.
I was amazed. I figured in the end, no one would agree to be on the show. But in the end, they all did. More than 50 percent were like ‘oh my gosh, I had no idea I had hurt you like this, I have to be careful about what I say.’ I think everyone got something out of it, and the women got great vindication by hearing an apology. Most of the episodes feel like they’ve closed this chapter in a positive way, and if the goal is to ‘unstick’ people, we’re batting 100.
What will viewers get out of My Big Fat Revenge?
The viewers will root for these girls to be successful in their weight loss, and then when they hear the stories about why they want revenge, they’ll root for the revenge. It’s a secret pleasure to see someone get what they deserve, and to watch them squirm!
Executive Producer JD Roth, together with producing partner Todd A. Nelson, JD runs Eyeworks USA (formerly 3 Ball Productions), serving as CEO of the company. JD is executive producer of ABC’s hit series 'Extreme Weight Loss' (formerly titled 'Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition'), now in its third season. He also executive produces ABC’s celebrity diving competition show 'Splash', featuring diving legend Greg Louganis. JD is also known for producing the first 11 cycles of the powerhouse, award-winning franchise 'The Biggest Loser' for NBC. Other credits include: 'My Cat From Hell', 'Bar Rescue', and 'The Pick-Up Artist.'
Tune into 'My Big Fat Revenge' Tuesdays at 9/8c, beginning September 3!