Air Date: Sunday, March 02, 2008
Time Slot: 9:00 PM-10:02 PM EST on ABC
Episode Title: (#101) "Episode 101"
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]



Executive Producer Oprah Winfrey Makes Multiple Special Appearances and Surprises Contestants with New Game-Changing Twists and Turns

Multiple Emmy Award-Winning Harpo Productions Joins Forces with Producers/Creators of the Five-Time Emmy Award-Winning Series "The Amazing Race" as Executive Producers

Popular "Oprah" Show Regular Nate Berkus is Show Host; Panel of Expert Judges Includes Renowned "Naked" Chef Jamie Oliver, NFL Superstar Tony Gonzalez and Wife of Chris Rock and Charity Founder Malaak Compton-Rock

Ten Contestants Include an Iraq War Veteran, A former Male Model and International Disaster Relief Worker, a 22-year-old Dot-com Millionaire, a Former Girl Gang Member, a Paraplegic TV Producer and a Pageant Queen

"Oprah's Big Give�," the exciting and much-anticipated new primetime series that defies television convention with the bold idea of people competing to give rather than get, will premiere SUNDAY, MARCH 2 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

In eight one-hour episodes, a diverse, determined and competitive group of ten people are given the challenge of a lifetime -- to change the lives of complete strangers in the most creative and dramatic ways. In this intense competition, the contestants criss-cross the country, scrambling to find ways to impact the fates and fortunes of unsuspecting people who are in for the surprise of their lives. Lives will be changed in the blink of an eye as contestants race against time to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences and also give away hundreds of thousands of dollars. Who will be the lucky few to get a "Big Give"� and who will get all that cash?

The series premiere, "Episode 101," kicks off in Los Angeles, where Oprah hands ten contestants sealed envelopes with only a picture and the name of a complete stranger. Under intense pressure, they must give big to change this person's life in just five days. The contestants must use their creativity and resources to generate the most powerful and sensational ways to make a real difference, and with the clock ticking, the competition, drama and emotion mount and the contestants' stamina, creativity and drive are tested. This first dramatic challenge will send one person packing.

Throughout the episodes, Oprah makes multiple special appearances and turns up in various locations to surprise the contestants with dramatic new twists and turns. "The show is fun, entertaining and powerful television with a real heart," said Winfrey. "America will just love the heart of this show."

As the competition tightens, big Hollywood stars join "Oprah's Big Give," raising the stakes and turning up the heat. Celebrity guests include Jennifer Aniston, John Travolta and Jada Pinkett-Smith, tennis legend Andre Agassi, skateboarding idol Tony Hawk, racing star Danica Patrick, plus more.

The series' host is Nate Berkus, a popular television personality and frequent contributor to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and O, The Oprah Magazine, and one of the world's most recognized interior designers.

At the end of each hour, the contestants must face a panel of three expert judges who will judge them on their leadership, accomplishments, creativity and presentation. They include world-renowned "Naked" chef and philanthropist Jamie Oliver, NFL star, nine-time Pro Bowler and Boys & Girls Club Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, and wife of Chris Rock and charity founder Malaak Compton-Rock.

In the end, there is only one rule in "Oprah's Big Give": YOU EITHER GIVE BIG OR YOU GO HOME. In every episode, the contestants must each find innovative and ingenious ways to impact the lives of strangers, or they risk elimination at the hands of the judging panel.

As the episodes continue, the "gives" get even bigger, the guest stars get brighter and tensions mount, all culminating in the exciting series finale where The Biggest Giver will become the biggest winner. What the contestants don't know -- and only viewers do -- is that Oprah Winfrey will surprise The Biggest Giver with a whopping $1 million prize.

Thousands of hopefuls auditioned to compete in "Oprah's Big Give." The ten contestants were discovered in auditions held in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Nashville and represent all walks of life, from a pageant queen and a pre-med student to a paraplegic and a young dot-com millionaire. They include:

� Angelo, 30, a West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran from Ann Arbor, MI

� Brandi, 23, a pageant queen from Chicago, IL

� Cameron, 22, an entrepreneur and dot-com millionaire from Roanoke, VA

� Carlana, 38, a paraplegic, author and media executive from Glendale, CA

� Eric, 37, a former model who now works as a disaster relief worker from Boston, MA

� Kim, 39, an NFL marketing specialist from Brentwood, TN

� Marlene, 37, a train attendant from Chicago, IL

� Olussegun "Sheg", 23, a pre-med student from Nashville, TN

� Rachael, 31, a singer and actress from Los Angeles, CA

� Stephen, 43, a real estate developer from Bedford, NY

In addition to Los Angeles, other episodes were filmed in Denver, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, New York City and Chicago.

"Oprah's Big Give" is partnering with corporate sponsors to help the contestants with their acts of goodwill.

Target is the production's primary sponsor and major retail partner, providing key funds for the overall challenges, prizes, and helping people.

Ford, the show's official automotive partner, is providing a range of vehicles necessary for the contestants to complete their challenges.

And "Oprah's Big Give" competitors use product and services throughout the series from Sprint -- the exclusive communications partner -- as they find ways to solve their challenges and help others.

In addition, United Airlines is the official carrier for the series and The Hilton Family of Hotels is the official hotel for the series.

All sponsors and partners will be pitching in to "give big" throughout the series.

Executive Producers of "Oprah's Big Give" include: Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Rakieten and Harriet Seitler from Harpo Productions, and Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri -- the producers and creators of the five-time Emmy Award-winning series "The Amazing Race."

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