Pivot president Evan Shapiro says his network’s rebooted talk show, “Take Part Live,” will be “everything Ronan Farrow’s show was supposed to be.” And it will be different from any news show, he adds, because the hosts will occasionally change their minds.
Pivot, the millennial-skewing network that Participant Media debuted last summer, relaunches its signature talk show Monday night to include progressive Republican Meghan McCain, whose Pivot documentary series was one of the network’s first cancellations.
Also joining the show is lawyer/hip-hop chef/hip-hop sneaker designer/first-generation American Eddie Huang. As you may have guessed, the show values diverse opinions.
“It’s everything Ronan Farrow’s show was supposed to be,” Shapiro told TheWrap. “It’s a shame but … we were promised a show about the millennial point of view from a millennial. It’s not really what paid off. This is a show by millennials for millennials.”
Like Farrow’s MSNBC show, “Take Part Live” aspires to in-depth discussions of topical issues, and suggests ways that viewers can take action. “Take Part Live” debuted last summer with host Jacob Soboroff, who remains, and Cara Santa Maria, who has left.
Pivot ended “Raising McCain” in January because the show’s documentary format didn’t play to her strengths, which include reacting to breaking news.
“As I was thinking about how to morph ‘TPL’ into something that was really urgent, it was clear that I wanted to put our biggest star, really, on the network every night. So then it became about building chemistry around her,” Shapiro said. “What I love about what we’ve built there is that there isn’t a place on television where you can get three wildly different points of view on a subject where people aren’t yelling at each other.”
One of the biggest differences between “Take Part Live” and other news shows is that the hosts will try to have conversations rather than arguments. Shapiro says Soboroff tends toward a civic-minded approach, McCain offers an unconventional twist on Republican politics, and Huang is all over the board: he’s a libertarian who is liberal on immigration (his parents were Taiwanese immigrants) but, as a small-business owner, has surprising opinions on the minimum wage.
“When you look at this blonde rebel Republican, this first-generation progressive immigrant chef hip-hop sneaker creator, and then this civics geek, you have three very disparate points of view,” Shapiro said. “And what’s magic about it is you’ll actually see them, once in a while, change their minds.”
“Take Part Live” airs Mondays at 10 p.m.