Makeover shows are undeniably rich territory for Lifetime, and now the network will up the ante by squeezing a year’s worth of transformation into a few minutes.
This Time Next Year, hosted by Cat Deeley and based on the UK show of the same name, challenges people to change their lives and achieve a self-declared goal in the space of a year. Some examples are to lose weight, have a baby or overcome illness.
The show brings contestants through one door at the start of the show, then minutes later viewers see them re-enter through a second door transformed — in what is actually a year later in real time.
“I think it’s an exciting new twist on a way to show a makeover story,” EP Laurie Giron said at TCA on Sunday. “You literally become fascinated by these two doors on our set, one is this time, and the other is next year. What’s a few seconds for you and I, is a year for them.”
“It’s a bit like Back to the Future, but without the flux capacitor,” Deeley added.
“There are six people on each episode that we focus on,” said Deeley. In the intervening year, subjects would record their own experiences as they progressed. “All of our participants had to do a lot of diary cams,” she said. “The producers would check in with them once a week, or twice a week.”
The success rate for the participants was pretty high, according to Girion. “We had 113 people come in initially, and we are proud to say 70 of them came back at the end of the year with a greater [success] rate than not.”
As Deeley said, 100% success is not always possible. “This is real life. sometimes you can try your hardest and maybe it doesn’t happen.”
But Lifetime has found the show to be promising, as Liz Gately EVP Head of programming said, “We’re so invested in the show we’re already going another season.”