Variety has reported that Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri, the creators and executive producers of The Amazing Race
, will be helming a new reality program for ABC from the mind of Oprah Winfrey. The show, entitled “The Big Give”, will allow Oprah to continue her campaign of charity work on a grand level. The show is a reality competition program (so, not of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
variety) and follows ten teams as they're given cash and resources and told to make people's lives better in unique and drastic ways. Teams are eliminated one by one until the champions are crowned, who are rewarded with the granting of their wildest wish.
The show sounds interesting enough, but it's kind of a rip-off.
Dave Eggers' novel “You Shall Know Our Velocity” (or, as it's also known, “Sacrament”) follows two friends who go on a week-long, world-wide trip, giving away money in creative ways. Which sounds exactly like the premise to “The Big Give”. Maybe Oprah will give proper credit to Eggers, but I doubt it. I can't imagine the impetus for the show's premise wasn't “You Shall Know Our Velocity”, mostly because it's such a weird and unique concept. For Oprah, it feels a little gimmicky given her track record of upstanding and honorable citizenship. Then again, I'm not all that familiar with Oprah, so I may be completely wrong about my expectations of what her reality show would be.
Regardless, I think it's a great idea for a show. Anything that can be entertaining, profitable, and make people's lives better is okay by me. And, in the hands of reality experts like Doganieri and Van Munster, I can't fathom that the show will be anything less than expertly done.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of MSN)