Talking with J.D. Roth: Extreme Weight Loss Season 4 Premiere

While on one of my recent trips to LA, I had the opportunity to meet with J.D. Roth, the executive producer of ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss.  Entering into it’s 4th season, this show prides upon inspiring America to get healthy.


Extreme Weight Loss is a unique undertaking that’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen TV. The show documents the amazing makeover of eight courageous, obese individuals who set out to safely lose half of their body weight over the course of a year. The metamorphosis is truly amazing. Trainer/transformation specialist Chris Powell (The 650-Pound Virgin) guides each of the eight participants through the process after moving into their homes. He’s there to make sure the participants get the proper nourishment and exercise movement. Chris provides a fresh perspective to individuals whose lives have become unmanageable because of their weight.

With the new season starting tonight, J.D. spoke with us about the importance of eating less and moving more.  He feels that we as an overweight society rely to much on a magic pill, but that isn’t what works.  With this show, that takes place over 365 days in the participants homes, is different.

“The first step to changing some systemic problem in society is awareness and I think (weight) awareness is at an all-time high,” that is how J.D. believes in the success of this show by proving it is possible for anyone to get healthy.

Chris-Heidi-Powell Photo Credit: ABC/Rick Rowell

With an awesome duo on the side of the participants, this season is going to be inspiring.  They will be working with them for the first 90 days at the renowned University of Colorado’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center (AHWC) in Aurora, CO.


Here are the 17 remarkable participants whose one-year weight loss journey will be documented (their full bios are at

  • Charita & Ty (Colorado Springs, CO; Oklahoma City, OK) – Charita/310 lbs., a mother of three who wants to be able to dance again, & Ty/480 lbs., a baseball prospect who could get a professional contract if he can get under 300 lbs. (This will be the first time in the show’s history that the participants go head-to-head, with only one in this episode making it to the final weigh-in.)
    Kathie & Josh (Charlotte, NC) – Single mother/255 lbs. & her 21-year-old son/345 lbs., who lives at home.
  • Bruce (Salt Lake City, UT) – Football coach/382 lbs., who wants to confront his imprisoned father, a convicted child molester, for what he says happened to him during his childhood.
  • Jeff & Juliana (Denver, CO) – Father/423 lbs. & his 15-year-old daughter/265 lbs., who have a strained relationship.
  • Jayce (Nashville, TN) – Country songwriter/417 lbs., who wants to be a performer.
  • Melissa (Shadyside, OH) – Widow/301 lbs. who was married to an Afghanistan war veteran until he committed suicide as a result of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
  • David (St. Louis, MO) – Gourmet chef/413 lbs. who can’t overcome the guilt he feels about his brother & sister’s deaths.
  • Brandi (Atlanta, GA) – Former Pageant Queen/329 lbs. who wants to be pretty again.
  • Georgeanna (Tulsa, OK) – Pastor’s wife/315 lbs. who was a former gymnast & cheerleader, but stopped pursuing both to become a mom.
  • Sara (Owensboro, KY) – The first “little person”/245 lbs. ever on the show.
  • Cassie (Milwaukee, WI) – Mother/347 lbs. who wants to get healthy to meet the son she gave up for adoption 18 years ago.
  • Rod (Tallahassee, FL) – Drama teacher/448 lbs., who wants to come out as being gay and then pursue his dream of becoming an actor.
  • Christy & Kenny (Las Vegas, NV; Oklahoma City, OK) – Christy/380 lbs., who tried to commit suicide after experiencing teenage bullying, & Kenny/410 lbs., a former Marine who wants to make his kids proud. (Their head-to-head episode is not to be missed; only one of them will make it to the final weigh-in, while the other is the first participant ever to be kicked off the show for bad behavior.)

I am looking forward to following the success and failures of these people as they get to their goals.

Tune into the Season 4 Premiere of Extreme Weight Loss at 8 PM ET on Tuesday, May 27th!

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