Friday, February 22, 2008

PAY IT FORWARD

It looks like the Writer's strike in Hollywood made room for yet another non-scripted show to take over the airwaves soon. And, with Oprah Winfrey behind it, chances are it'll be a huge hit.


Oprah's Big Give is set to hit the airwaves in a week or so on ABC. It's the kind of show that you'd expect from a big girl who has a really good habit of giving, big-time. Here's the deets from Entertainment Tonight:
OPRAH WINFREY is heading to primetime with a new concept in TV programming. Her show, "Oprah's Big Give," came from an idea that the talk show queen had about paying it forward. On an episode of her daytime program, Oprah tasked 349 people with taking a small amount of money, turning it into a larger amount and helping as many people as possible.

"I love giving," Oprah tells ET's JANN CARL. "I love the feeling that being generous gives to me. I wanted to share that with as many people as possible. Because people think it is the getting that is the great fun. It is the giving of it that is so great."

On the expanded eight one-hour episodes primetime version, a group of 10 people are challenged to change the lives of complete strangers by giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars. What they don't know is that at the end, they will be rewarded for their efforts.

"Everybody that was doing good had no idea that at the end I am going to do good back to them, so they were all just doing it because they wanted to do it. That is the real truth. Nobody ever in the whole eight weeks that we were working with them said: What do I get? They were into: What can I give? They were stunned when I gave away a million dollars to the person who gave the most. One million in cash, because I like cash. Cash is real. Otherwise you are just looking at numbers on a piece of paper."

"Oprah's Big Give," premiering Sunday, March 2, at 9 p.m. on ABC, is hosted by NATE BERKUS, who is joined by JAMIE OLIVER, TONY GONZALEZ and MALAAK COMPTON-ROCK serving as judges for the competition.

In addition, several of Oprah's celebrity friends will be dropping by to lend a hand, including JENNIFER ANISTON, JOHN TRAVOLTA, JADA PINKETT SMITH and EVA LONGORIA PARKER. And Lady O says it was easy to get them to come aboard.

"Everybody who has been given a lot knows what that is like to give back," she tells Jann. "[They said], 'I'm in. I want to be a part of a giving show.'"
Well, I like cash too, Oprah. And I know you've been hanging out lately with another billionaire, Vancouver's Jim Pattison, so why doncha pop over next time you're in town with all that cash and I'm, like, so sure we can come up with a way to help you get rid of it ;-).

But, as far as Oprah's Big Give goes, I don't think I believe that all your participants had no inclination there would be some kind of reward for them at the end of the task. Granted, I'm sure they are good people who participated for the goodness of giving but if that was me up there, well, you just have to know that if you're appearing on a show backed by the almighty O, there's bound to be a payoff in the end.

And the one thing that will get me watching at the least the first episode? Nate Berkus, who hasn't been looking as yummy lately as he is capable of, but who nonetheless merits a second glance.
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