Recently in Oprah's Big Give Category

The next Oprah spin-off: Nate Berkus

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Dr. Phil became a regular on Oprah, and he got his own show. Dr. Oz became a regular on Oprah, and he got his own show. Who's next? Looks like it's Nate Berkus, Oprah's go-to interior designer for doctoring a room. He was also host of "Oprah's Big Give."

Broadcasting & Cable reported on Tuesday that Harpo Productions is shopping a new daytime talk show centered around Berkus, and may even be close to finalizing a deal with Sony Pictures Television to syndicate the show next fall. Harpo and Sony also partnered to unleash Dr. Oz on the world.

Berkus currently hosts "The Nate Berkus Show" on XM's Oprah & Friends channel.

The New York Times reported this item and noted: "The plans for Mr. Berkus will probably heighten speculation about the future of Ms. Winfrey's own talk show, as her syndicator, CBS Television Distribution, said this month that negotiations about a new deal were continuing. Ms. Winfrey may change syndicators or move her show to her coming cable channel, OWN."

Oprah's Big Give canceled

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Despite solid ratings during it's 8-week run Sundays on ABC, "Oprah's Big Give" won't be back for another season.

The show was left off ABC's fall lineup -- which came out today -- because Oprah decided not to do it for another season.

"We loved that show and absolutely would have loved to bring it back," ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson said in a statement. "But it was something (Oprah) didn't want to do."

There were no losers Sunday on the final episode of ABC's "Oprah's Big Give." In a surprise ending even viewers didn't expect, everyone went home a winner.

Stephen Paletta, a 42-year-old contractor, took home the top prize of $1 million, keeping $500,000 and receiving another $500,000 to keep giving back to the community.

"I'm in shock," Paletta said. "It was such an incredible honor and privilege to be part of this show and to be chosen as the biggest giver with all these wonderful people."

Today's episode of the Oprah show -- at 9 a.m. and 11:05 p.m. on ABC in Chicago -- will have a complete wrap-up of the "Big Give" challenge.

Paletta and two other finalists helped raise more than $160,000 for the Chicago Hope Academy, a college prep school on the Near West Side. Chicago's Blue Man Group donated $100,000 of the money raised.

All seven of the show's eliminated contestants -- including Chicagoan Marlene Snipes -- returned for the final episode and took home $30,000 each.

After eight weeks of intense strategy and competition, one person is going to go home with $1 million -- $500,00 to give back, and $500,000 to take home -- and they didn't even know it.

But that's not all, the two running up contestants will get $100,000 to do with what they want.

In a quick ending to a the two-month series, episode front-runner Stephen just took home the top prize and was joined onstage by his family.

In her final thoughts, Oprah challenged everyone to try and give big in their own way and to continue following a cause dear to her heart.

Want to hear more from tonight's winners? They'll appear on tomorrow's episode of the Oprah Winfrey show, but in case you miss it, check here for a complete "Big Give" wrap up tomorrow.

They took on the challege of giving big, and getting nothing back. Now, the three remaining contestants are about to get a BIG surprise: the winner of the competition wins $1 million.

All of the seven eliminated candidates candidates from the show have returned to the stage for the final show, and for a big surprise.

Oprah friend and ever-so-poised Jennifer Aniston reveals to contestants the surprise ending to their eight-week journey ... they're all getting $30,000 for being on the show.

"It's such an amazing, fantastic thing," Aniston said. "Especially at a time right now where we could use something like this."

Oprah: In my mind, you all won weeks ago

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With mjust minutes before the winner of the "Big Give" is announced, Oprah and the judges drop in for the final critique of the contestants.

What have they learned?

Stephen thinks it isn't just about big giving, it's about big hearts. While Cameron says life gives to givers, and takes from the takers.

Up next: Jennifer Aniston with a "Big Give" surprise.

The big -- and little -- reveals

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It's time for the big reveal, but where are Brandi and Cameron?

The show's begun without the duo, who left Stephen to try and raise money for another cause.

As the show judges watch on, Blue Man Group donates $50,000 to the school and another $50,000 to the school's music and arts program.

Not really the most exciting revel we've seen this season, but the team (mainly Stephen) raised a significant amont of money in just two days.

With the Chicago Hope challenge behind them, the team banded together again to help the kids at Shriner's.

The executive chef of Rosebud not only showed up for a free cooking class for the kids, but agreed to keep doing it.

In the judges eyes, it's a gift that keeps on giving.

But who's the front runner? Stephen seems like the only one not bitter about the final challenge, other than that the disjunciton among the group inhibited doing more.

With only 24 hours left, what would you do?

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So far, Cameron's raised the money and performance from Blue Man Group. Stephen's raised a free lunch from Potbelly for students. But what about Brandi?

"The guys ideas suck," Brandi says, deviating away from the group and deciding to take on her own challenge.

Next thing you know, Cameon joins her (but for good?), leaving Stephen, who carries on and raises another $60,000 for the school.

Brandi's idea: To raise money for Shriner's Children's Hospital in Chicago -- providing free medical treatment for kids.

But look out, giver-turned-Diva Brandi has secured the top chef of Rosebud in Chicago to perform a cooking class for the kids at Shriner's.

Taping of the show moves to Blue Man's Briar Street Theater (which ironically I used to live next door to up until two months ago. How would that have been for a bird's eye view?)

Claws come our during final challenge

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With two and a half days left, no budget and no direction, the three candidates set out to make a difference.

The trio's last challenge will force them to work as a team, but to be judged individually.

At first, the team rallies behind Stephen's idea to raise money for the Chicago Hope Academy, but then Cameron and Brandi draw back from the idea.

Blue Man Group have agreed to a private performance for the kids of the Chicago Hope Academy -- as well as donating $100,000 to the cause of raising a new athletic field for the school

Brandi and Cameron have clearly formed an alliance in the last episode of the "Big Give." Who knew giving could be so cut throat?

Judges for Oprah's "Big Give" stunned the audience, contestants and even Oprah herself last

week, not eliminating a contestant and sending three people into the final round of

competition.

This week, Cameron, Brandi and Stephen face their biggest challenge ever: with no money,

they'll have to come up with a to give big. And what they don't know is the biggest giver

will become the biggest winner, winning a $1 million cash prize from Oprah herself.

The catch, none of the contestants knew about the $1 million prize when they signed up, and they won't find out until the end of tonight's episode.

The three remaining contestants joined Oprah in Chicago's Union Station in the opening segment of the show.

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And then there were three. Cameron, Brandy or Stephen will be one of the lucky three who'll go home tonight with an unexpected $1 million prize on the finale of ABC's "Oprah's Big Give." Who's it going to be? Jennifer Aniston, Blue Man Group and other surprise guest make appearances on the final show of Oprah's primetime show. Blog with us starting at 7 p.m. as the countown to finding out who the biggest giver begins.

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Click here to watch Sunday's episode

obg.jpg After seven weeks on the road, the remaining three contestants on Oprah's Big Give zipped to our town -- Chicago -- for their next challenge.

Shooting the opening scenes in the city's beautiful Grant Park, Oprah unveiled Cameron, Stephen and Brandi's newest challenge: they'd have to go home and give big.

For the first time in months, the remaining three would be reunited with their families -- and to make a difference in their community.

Three contestants. Four days. Each with $10,000.

TRAV.jpg In the end, the contest would end with a big twist -- not as big as the final $1 million giveaway from Oprah will cause -- but enough to make you tune in to see what happens next week.

Unable to make a decision as to who was the biggest giver, the show's judges didn't' send anyone home (Oprah pal John Travolta delivered the new after making a cameo appearance on the show) -- and all three contestants moved on to the final round.

Here's how it all played out:

Just minutes into the opening scenes, the trio was whisked off in an over-the-top departure in a helicopter flown by Nate Berkus (maybe he wasn't the one who actually was flying the copter, but is there anything dear Nate doesn't do?).

So how'd their homecomings and Big Gives go?

Brandi
She hit the ground running when she got back to her hometown of Sierra Vista -- focusing not on just one family, but trying to spread the money she was given among several families, including one with five autistic children. Her big give in the end was to a young girl named Aly Nelson, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

"The worst part of being sick is having to lie in bed, you can't go anywhere," the young girl said.

Being a former Miss Sierra Vista herself -- Brandi arranged for Aly to get the royal treatment for a day, parade and all.

The tissue factor: 3 out of 10. A great wish granted which brought a smile to a girl who definitely deserved it, but not the best give of the night.

Stephen
He says he strugged going home -- finding it hard to balance being with his family and dedicating time to giving big. With the help of his wife and other members of his community, he not only raised a year's worth of groceries for a women's shelter, but $43,000 in total. (Wow.)

The tissue factor: 6 out of 10. Stephen raised a lot of money for the shelter, but in the end dedicated a bouquet of flowers to his wife, calling her the biggest giver in her eyes. (Definitely an "aww" moment on the show.)

Cameron
Cameron was the biggest winner Sunday night, whose big give was reminiscent of a Ty Pennington "Extreme Home Makeover" moment. (I cried, I'll admit it).

He didn't raise the most money, but I thought his give was the best, having a significant impact on the life of Skylar Corvin.

Suffering from a playground injury, Skylar and her family found out she was suffering from bone cancer.

With hundreds of people gathered, Cameron presented Skylar with a new laptop -- and a newly designed Web site -- so she could have a diary to chronicle her life. The upbeat Skylar also saw her room -- and her family's living room -- decked out in brand new furniture.

That wasn't all.

The family was also given a brand new 2007 Ford Fusion (with a little help from Cameron's dad) and the whole check for $10,000 he was originally given).

'Big Give' nets estimates 15.7 million viewers

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Books, TV movies, a presidential candidate and now a philanthropic reality show. Maybe everything Oprah Winfrey touches really does turn to gold.

Sunday's premiere of "Oprah's Big Give" on ABC was seen by 15.7 million people, the largest audience in prime-time last week for any program not named "American Idol," according to Nielsen Media Research.
ABC also did well with Monday's prime-time remake of "A Raisin in the Sun," which finished in the top 10 with 12.7 million viewers. AP

Wedding bells for Drew Barrymore?

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While she shied away from saying she's ready to get married, viewers could read between the lines as Drew Barrymore talked about her ongoing relationship with actor Justin Long, hinting their relationship isn't going away any time soon.

Drew's beau showed plenty of face time during the opening of Monday's show, telling the audience she's beautiful, funny and the "most compassionate person" he'd ever met.

Long's famous for his roles in "Dodgeball," the television series "Ed" and most recently his role in the "Get a Mac" ad campaign from Apple (see below). He formerly dated Kaitlin Doubleday, his costar in the independent film "Waiting ..."

"I found a best friend," she said of Long. "At some point, you decide the person you want to become, you grow up and you make different choices and changes in your life. This relationship is great. It's healthy and productive and supportive and it's full of humor."

Barrymore said she and Long have been traveling a lot, partly because of her work on several documentaries and with a U.N. group aimed at providing food to starving children in Africa.

"When I hit 30 ... I wanted to do things that really spoke to my heart, I didn't want to just do for the said of doing," she said.

Barrymore -- in front of a audience who gave her a standing ovation -- announced that she was donating $1 million of her own money to the U.N. program, called the World Food Programme.

Fellow actress and friend Cameron Diaz -- who was filming in L.A. -- made a surprise call into the show to commend Barrymore's efforts.

"I've been listening to the show and I'm choked up," she said. "I'm so proud of Drew."

It's unprecedented where we're at in the world and how our children live, Diaz said.


Stay tuned ...

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Can't get enough "Big Give"?

Tune in as Oprah weighs in on the excitement from each week's episode of the "Big Give" the following day on her daytime talk show.

The challenge has just begun

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With nine contestants left and seven more shows lined up, we want to know, what did you think of Oprah's "Big Give"? Have a favorite contestant, tell us. Who do you think will win it all? Do you think whoever wins the "Big Give" will keep the million bucks they're given?

Share your thoughts on the show. In the coming days we'll profile who's left on the show and head back every Sunday as we blog what happens on the "Big Give."

One Chicagoan down, one left

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The judges send Marlene home -- because in the end she didn't even find one give.

With two left, who goes home?

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It's down to Marlene and Carlana. As much as I'm rooting for fellow Chicagoan Marlene to stay, I think she's outta there.

Who's gone?

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Each of the contestants were just given an envelope with a plane ticket -- or nothing -- inside. Whoever doesn't get a ticket goes home.

Communication breakdown?

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"I didn't see the partnership I had hope for" the judges tell Marlene and Kim, and question what contribution Marlene gave the team other than getting them lost.


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This page is a archive of recent entries in the Oprah's Big Give category.

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