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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Monroe Boy On "Oprah" Monday

Drew Friend, the 5-year-old boy Monroe boy who gave away his birthday gifts last Sunday, will be on the "Oprah Winfrey" show Monday (4 p.m., Channels 9, 2).

A crew from Oprah's Harpo Productions filmed Drew giving away gifts last Sunday for a show about people inspired by Winfrey’s "Oprah’s Big Give" reality show on ABC. With the help of Royal Redeemer Lutheran Church members in Liberty Township, the boy gathered enough toys, gift cards, clothes, and furniture to five families.

Here's our Monday story:

Here's the Drew's Big Give site, with info on how you can still donate. His mom, Shannon Friend, has decided to continue the charity as long as people donate money or items:

The show will air live from Chicago with others who did "inspiring big gives from the around the country," says Don Halcombe, Winfrey spokesman. The rare live "Oprah" show also will feature the three finalists from the "Oprah’s Big Give" season finale Sunday (8-9 p.m., Channels 9, 22).

The eight-week reality series ends with the three contestants creating "Big Gives" with no money and very little time. If you haven’t been following the show – and I dropped out after the first 2-3 episodes -- the three finalists are:
--Brandi, 23, a pageant queen from Sierra Vista, AZ
--Cameron, 22, entrepreneur and dot-com millionaire from Roanoke, VA
--Stephen, 43, a contractor from Bedford, NY

ABC says: "Jennifer Aniston makes a special appearance and delivers big news. Who will win and be named Oprah's Biggest Giver? A last unexpected twist makes for a series conclusion that will have everyone talking."

I'm guessing Oprah will give substantial amounts to all three finalists. (Before the premiere, ABC said Oprah would give $1 million to the biggest giver.) From the ratings, it's clear that I'm not the only one who stopped watching. (For me, the running around to arrange all the big gives was too much like "The Apprentice" tasks.) Her show drew 3.1 million last Sunday, down from the 3.9-million season average. But it ranks No. 31 for the year, so I'm also guessing it will be back next season.

Did you watch? Did you enjoy? And isn't it nice to see some positive national attention for Drew, his family, and all who gave to his cause?


at 4/16/2008 12:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

filmed? Really? The harpo crew or freelancers shot on film? Or was it tape? Are you sure it wasnt solid state or hard drive or disk?

Sorry just a personal beef of mine, saying filmed is like confusing someone who was stabbed instead of shot with a gun... Its a big difference.

at 4/16/2008 1:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that was 10 on the "petty things" scale.

Oprah uses this to show us that there is good all around us, but think about all the people you share the road with on the way to work each AM. All of us driving along at 70 MPH in big steel weapons, it's the ultimate in mutual trust.

Good for Drew, but hey we are a pretty good bunch all in all.
John in Hebron.

at 4/16/2008 1:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, filmed, taped to recorded... that guy must be really bored and need to feel superior to somebody.

I say Super Glue sometimes when I mean industrial glue, Kleenex then I'm using a facial tissue of another brand, sometimes even Band-Aid when I mean strip of tape to stop the bleeding. (I'm bleeding 'cause I got stabbed in the head with a bullet)

at 4/16/2008 1:27 PM Blogger House of Cards said...

GO NITPICK ABOUT CHANNEL 5, 12:18.!! Sheesh.

at 4/16/2008 2:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I preface this remark by saying that I am just exhausted by reality TV contests. I cannot take another, of any sort, for any reason. I hate the ones I currently watch.

That being said, the Big Give is a good idea made into bad reality TV. The "voted off each week" is soooo played out. I feel the same way about the Newlyweds. Just keep them around for the season, keep tabs on how they do from week to week, and then bring in a new cast next season. American is tired of the "who will get voted off this week" storyline ... at least that is what I keep telling myself in the hope that it is true.

at 4/16/2008 5:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

nit pick maybe but when it is your job to write about television, I expect them to get it right. Its like confusing rain and snow... They are both precipitation so it doesn't matter right? Its a matter of credibility.

Record is always factually correct.

at 4/17/2008 3:13 PM Blogger House of Cards said...

5:27, you would be right, if the reader could tell the difference between "filmed", "taped", "solid state", etc like they can between SNOW and RAIN. Go spend an additional five minutes on doing whatever it is you do next time. If you were any good at it, someone would have noticed by now.

at 4/21/2008 6:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:18 is completely over the top, but i will agree that a so-called "tv critic" should be able to tell the difference between film and tape (or digital) as easily as the difference between snow and rain.
it really should be unmistakeable for anyone who's going to claim to know what they're talking about.

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