• Category: T-Z

Show Guide: 'TakePart Live'

Synopsis: Jacob Soboroff and Cara Santa Maria have been named first co-hosts of Pivot's new, interactive late night series, "TakePart Live."  In addition, Jim Downs has been tapped as showrunner and executive producer for the topical hour-long program set to premiere Thursday, August 1 at 12am ET/11 pm CT. Airing live Monday through Thursday with a “best of” installment on Fridays, hosts Soboroff and Santa Maria will, along with varying experts and contributors from their Los Angeles studio, go beyond the headlines and hashtags to address the stories that matter to Millennials.

Equal parts serious discussion and comedic take, "TakePart Live" will bring celebrities, activists, newsmakers and viewers together to discuss the events that make up the fabric of daily life and how to act on the stories that move us.  The nightly show will also feature live interaction via polling, social media sharing and more. Specifically, during the show, viewers will be invited to join the conversation on Twitter or on TakePart.com, where they can access articles and specific ways to take action on the issues discussed. The show will put a spotlight on what our audience is talking about today but more importantly, what they will be talking about tomorrow – from Presidential speeches to subversive ad campaigns to viral videos and memes clogging up your Facebook feeds and inboxes.

At the top of the show, the "Decoder" segment will mine news and social feeds to breakdown and demystify what's true or, in some cases, not true, about the news of the day. The last story featured in the "Decoder" is picked up in the next segment – a panel discussion with our hosts, promo guests, invited experts – and our audience.  In the "Newsville" segment, outrageous headlines will be presented to the panel to test their knowledge of fact vs. fiction.

In the recurring segment "Eight Days," we challenge one of our hosts to make a lifestyle change for eight days. For example give up caffeine, go vegan, feed yourself for $3 dollars a day, give up their car, etc.  Their daily activities will be documented on video and put on display for viewers to see what they are doing, how they are feeling, and eight days later, report back on what the experience was like.

Soboroff, who PAPER Magazine called "the media world’s new favorite nerd-hunk," joins Pivot from "HuffPost Live," where he served as host and producer interviewing a range of newsmakers and celebrities and co-anchored coverage of Hurricane Sandy, the Newtown, Connecticut mass shooting, and special broadcasts following the 2012 presidential debates. In 2012, he contributed to MTV’s election coverage and previously worked with Participant Media as host of the web series Civics In A Minute, a Webby Award honoree. That same year, his TED Talk about American voter participation was featured on the main stage of the prestigious conference. After the election of Barack Obama, Jacob developed a documentary for Participant Media about voting in America. He has also co-hosted and/or contributed to CNN, NPR’s Weekend Edition, the PBS series WIRED Science, NBC’s, "School Pride" and KCET’s "SoCal Wanderer." While a student at NYU, Jacob was an advance man to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and presidential candidate Howard Dean.

Santa Maria, also a Huffington Post veteran, served as Senior Science correspondent for the online network, writing, producing and hosting their science web series, "Talk Nerdy to Me." Most recently, she co-hosted the Weather Channel’s original series/specials "Hacking the Planet" and "The Truth About Twisters" and was a host on The Young Turks Networks. From 2004 until 2009, Cara taught biology and psychology courses to high school students and college undergraduates in Texas and New York. It is her mission to make the fascination she feels for the natural world accessible to as many people as possible. At the age of 20, Cara graduated with honors from the University of North Texas, where she studied psychology and philosophy and went on to earn her M.S. in neurobiology in 2007.

Downs has extensive experience in both interactive media and broadcast TV. Prior to this role, Jim was Vice President, SpinMedia (formerly BuzzMedia) where he designed and built video production studios, and led the development and production of original video for the company's digital properties.  Before that, he was Vice President, Production Operations for Ustream Inc., where he headed up the video production division creating live, online original content for national brands, film and TV studios, and served as Executive Producer of the live, global streaming and televised broadcast event “24 Hours of Reality” with Former Vice President Al Gore and the Climate Reality Project. In 2009, Jim founded Litterbox Entertainment Inc., specializing in live multi-camera HD broadcast and digital production. In 2000, Jim helped launch G4 TV where over his eight years at the network he co-created and executive produced the iconic Attack of the Show and headed up the network’s major tent pole live programming events at E3 and Comic-Con. (Courtesy Pivot, 2013)