"20/20" PREMIERES AT NEW TIME, 8:00 P.M., ET, WITH A PROVACATIVE HOUR
-- "HOW YOUNG IS TOO YOUNG?" -- FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12 ON ABC
How young is too young to pursue your dreams when those dreams are full of risk? Would you let your child fly a plane or become a bullfighter or a stock car racer? How about letting your child become a star or even a child prodigy? "How Young Is Too Young?" airs on "20/20," FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12 at its new time (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Reports include:
* Daring Kids: Jessica Dubroff was a seven-year-old pilot trainee who attempted to become the youngest person to fly an airplane across the United States in 1996. Because of her young age and daring attitude, she became an instant media celebrity. But 24 hours into Jessica's journey, her aircraft crashed after takeoff in a sudden storm in Cheyenne, Wyo., killing her, her father and her instructor. "20/20" spoke with Jessica's mother, Lisa Blair Hathaway, who was criticized by many parents when this happened 11 years ago. She still feels strongly that she would never have wanted to take away the happiness her daughter felt when she flew. Jim Avila reports.
* Child Preachers: They look like average schoolboys, but Samuel Boutwell, seven, and Terry Durham, nine, might be the youngest preachers in America. In fact many people flock to church on Sundays to hear them preach the gospel. "I feel a different mood come over me, and that's how I know it's God talking to me," says Terry. Samuel also preaches on public streets and sometimes outside abortion clinics. JuJu Chang reports.
* Young Boxers: In some ways Stam and Nom Pet are regular young girls who love to spend time with their parents and play with toys. But their lives are far from normal. Every day Stam, eight, and Nom, nine, train for hours to become fierce Muay Thai prize fighters and earn money in the ring to support their parents. "20/20" examines the hidden world of child boxing in rural Thailand and talks to director Todd Kellstein, whose documentary, "Raised in the Ring," chronicles the two girls' emotional, often heartbreaking journey. Elizabeth Vargas reports.
* Child Stars: At 15 years old, Emily Osment is juggling her role playing "Hannah Montana's" best friend in the top-rated cable TV series, is about to start filming a starring movie role, and is sitting for photo shoots and walking the red carpet. It sounds like a lot for a teenager, until you consider that her brother, Haley Joel Osment, was nominated for an Oscar when he was only 11. How young is too young to be a star? Chris Connelly reports.
* Genius Toddlers: How young is too young to start teaching your children to memorize the U.S. presidents or world capitals? When can parents see that a child is gifted, and what should they do to encourage their children's intellectual development without pushing them too far? "20/20" reports on the phenomenon of child prodigies, introduces viewers to three highly intelligent kids, and talks to an expert about what qualifies as extraordinary development. Bill Ritter reports.
"20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and John Stossel. David Sloan is executive producer.