Oprah gives back with new game
Published: Saturday, March 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 29, 2008 at 9:34 p.m.
You just weren't generous enough, so ... you're fired!
Give it up for "Oprah's Big Give,'' a sort of altruistic twist on "The Apprentice'' that sends competing do-gooders on missions to surprise needy people with help. And get it done in only five days.
At the end of each episode, the contestants are judged on how well they pulled off that week's assignment. The one who comes up short gets sent home.
Then, at the end of the eight-week series, there'll be the biggest surprise of all: The contestant deemed the "biggest giver'' will be shocked to receive a $1 million prize.
"The biggest giver becomes the biggest winner,'' explains Oprah.
"Oprah Winfrey Show'' regular Nate Berkus is host. The panel of "expert judges'' consists of "Naked Chef'' Jamie Oliver, NFL superstar Tony Gonzalez, and Malaak Compton-Rock, wife of comedian Chris Rock who's involved in humanitarian work.
The 10 contestants at the start of the series include a U.S. veteran of the Iraq War, a 22-year-old dot-com millionaire, a former girl-gang member, a TV producer who's a paraplegic, and a beauty pageant queen.
How successfully will they help someone in need, and on deadline? "Oprah's Big Give'' gives you the answer when it premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on ABC.
Other shows to look out for:
Fun facts about your body: It can withstand six times its weight when running and 12 times its weight when squatting. The human rib cage is built so tough that it can support half a ton while still protecting vital organs. For more cool facts, catch a four-hour miniseries, "Human Body: Pushing the Limits,'' which explores physical and mental feats of the body under the most challenging circumstances. In the first two hours, airing Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on Discovery Channel, human muscles, ligaments, joints and bones are seen at work as a man survives the fury of a tornado, or is pinned beneath a half-ton boulder. Then the power of sight gets a close look, with a lifeguard capable of spotting someone in trouble among thousands, and a firefighter battling thick black smoke to see his way to safety. The concluding two parts air March 9.
Courteney Cox is back spilling "Dirt'' as Lucy Spiller, the unrelenting editor-in-chief of an L.A. celebrity tabloid named Dirt Now, as this FX drama starts its second season of guilty pleasures. Picking up where it left off, "Dirt'' finds Lucy bleeding and unconscious after an attack by actress Julia Mallory (Laura Allen), whose career was destroyed by the magazine. Primo paparazzo Don Konkey (Ian Hart) struggles to overcome his schizophrenia through medication as he reels from news of best friend Lucy's assault. Holt McLaren (Josh Stewart) ascends to A-list stardom after ditching Julia. And Willa McPherson (Alexandra Breckenridge) ends her affair with Dirt Now publisher Brent Barrow (Jeffrey Nordling) as a sadder-but-wiser reporter on Lucy's staff. It's dog-eat-dog fun or a rare breed, airing Sunday at 10 p.m.
Many homemakers long for some other career, maybe as a professional chef, a fashion designer, a homicide detective, and anything else that would pay and get them out of the house. "The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom'' is a new reality series that takes stay-at-home moms and, for a week, lets them sample a career they dreamed about. At week's end, Mom can either choose to live the dual life of raising her family plus having a career, or stick with the status quo, her curiosity satisfied. It's a chance for her to learn what sacrifices and rewards would await her in juggling family and career. "The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom'' premieres Monday at 10 p.m. on cable's TLC.
It's easier to recommend than accurately describe. "Terminal City'' is a wonderfully human, often darkly funny drama about a wife and mother who gets a lump in her breast - and, just as inadvertently, becomes host of a hospital-based TV reality show. Katie Sampson is beautiful, outspoken and in control of her upscale world, where she enjoys a loving husband, a rebellious daughter, a precocious teenage son, a 7-year-old who's obsessed with God and death, and a pretty good golf game. Then God plays a couple of sick jokes on her: first cancer, then unsought fame. Katie may not get the last laugh, but she can still smile at the perversity of it all. So will viewers. This Canadian-produced series stars the wonderfully commanding Maria Del Mar as Katie, and Gil Bellows ("Ally McBeal'') as her husband. It begins on Sundance Channel at 9 p.m. Thursday.
He flies through the air with the greatest of ease - well, actually, Spider-Man is more of a swinger. And now he's swinging into a new animated series, "The Spectacular Spider-Man,'' premiering Saturday at 10 a.m. on the Kids' WB network (aired on the CW). Promising a new and fresh world for Peter Parker, this series finds the young hero in school as he struggles with the issues of any 16-year-old, like money, love and adolescence. On top of that, he faces the particular challenge of his amazing newfound powers, and what to do with them. Voice talent includes Josh Keaton as Spidey/Peter Parker, Alan Rachins as Norman Osborn, Peter MacNicol as Doc Oc, Clancy Brown as Rhino, and Robert Englund as Vulture/Adiran Toomes.
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