The Journal Gazette
Monday, July 26, 2021 1:00 am

Morning-show vet Roberts to host program on Disney+

Jay Bobbin | Zap2it

Robin Roberts gets to do many things on “Good Morning America,” but she's doing her own talk show very much her way.

The much-honored ABC morning-program veteran gathers groups of three notable women for wide-ranging, in-depth conversations on “Turning the Tables With Robin Roberts,” which Disney+ begins streaming Wednesday. Also executive-producing the series along with Los Angeles Lakers icon LeBron James, Roberts gets quite personal herself during the interview process with her guests. They include Debbie Allen, Sofia Carson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jenna Dewan, Billie Jean King, Tig Notaro, Raven-Symone and Josie Totah.

“We wanted to show that on the surface, (the guests) may seem different, but at the end of the day, we have more similarities than differences,” the warm and friendly Roberts says, explaining each episode combines “people who maybe hadn't met each other. Tig Notaro had been at a dinner where she mentioned Sheila E. and how cool she thought it would be to meet her. Then, boom! There she was, sitting next to her here. And Raven-Symone got to tell Tig how she had seen her stand-up (comedy) and how much it helped her.

“And it was a no-judgment zone,” adds Roberts. “They felt safe to be vulnerable, and I really appreciated how much they opened up and shared. Many of them I knew, some I didn't, and it was a real lovefest. 'Good Morning America' is usually talking to someone about their book or movie. That's why they're on that program, but I'm a journalist at heart and I'm curious. I want to know about more than the particular project they're working on. And they were curious about me.”

Noting she has “shared my health concerns and other aspects of my life,” Roberts allows “it was different this time. I had to catch myself and realize I was sharing more than I normally would, but I also felt safe to reveal more of myself. I was very grateful that (the guests) put me at such ease.”

With “Turning the Tables” having great diversity behind and in front of the cameras, Roberts says James “is a great example of someone who has used his platform. Yes, he's a great basketball player, but he uses that to do more. It's not often I can say I'm a teammate of LeBron's.”

Also one of this summer's “Jeopardy!” guest hosts and an executive producer of such other projects as Lifetime's “Robin Roberts Presents” movie franchise, Roberts confirms that she'd like to be “Turning the Tables” more: “I'm hoping that when people see these four episodes, more women will want to step up and be a part of it.”

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