'The Amazing Race' producers to helm Oprah's reality TV project
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/28/2007
If co-creators Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri think its difficult putting together a season of The Amazing Race, think of how much harder it would be if Oprah Winfrey was their boss.
Now it looks like van Munster and Doganieri will find out, as Winfrey's Harpo Productions has tabbed the duo to serve as executive producers for the popular but demanding talk show host's upcoming venture into the realm of reality television.
Doganieri and van Munster will executive produce Oprah Winfrey's The Big Give, one of two unscripted projects Harpo set-up with ABC in mid-December, Daily Varietyreported on Tuesday.
ABC has ordered eight episodes of The Big Give, which will follow 10 people who are given money and other resources before being challenged to find "dramatic and emotional" ways to spend it on others. One contestant will be eliminated each week with the winner ultimately receiving her or her own "wildest wish granted," according to Variety. The series is expected to air sometime this year.
"[Harpo is] delighted to be teaming up with [van Munster and Doganieri]," Harpo vice president of communications Lisa Halliday told Variety.
Despite the recent success of The Amazing Race -- which has won the Emmy for Outstanding Reality/Competition Program the past four years -- The Big Give represents the first competition-based reality show van Munster and Doganieri have produced since launching The Amazing Race for CBS in 2001. However van Munster has worked with ABC before, as he executive produced the documentary-style Tales from the Front Lines for the broadcast network in 2003. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the series documented the exploits of American forces serving in Afghanistan in 2002.