New website, TV show challenge: find a million dollars in ten weeks

(by Daily News)

 

Facing crushing debt, massive bills, rocketing costs and out-of-control spending, Canadians are being challenged by a new specialty TV series and companion microsite to tackle their financial problems – at home that is, not in government.

 

OWN Canada has launched an online contest to determine the most common type of spending personality in Canada, part of a new reality TV series airing on the Corus Entertainment-operated specialty channel.

 

Canadians are slipping further and further into personal indebtedness, according to a recent Statscan report. The ratio of debt to personal disposable income hit a high of 152.98 per cent in the third quarter from 150.57 per cent in the prior three months, it said.

 

As such, the new original series, called Million Dollar Neighbourhood, is as much a social experiment as a TV show.

 

Set in Aldergrove, British Columbia, 100 families will be given 10 weeks to raise their collective net worth by $1 million.

 

Produced by Force Four Entertainment Inc. in association with OWN (Canada), the series premieres Sunday, January 22.

 

Meanwhile, viewers are signing up online at Facebook to take their own ‘Million Dollar Neighbourhood Challenge’ by identifying their own financial personality at www.facebook.com/owncanada (open until Sunday, January 15).

 

Of course, weekly prizes are being given away – but so, too, tips and advice on how to better manage a personal or household budget.

 

The one-hour series is co-hosted by financial expert Bruce Sellery and clinical psychologist Dr. Joti Samra, who help the program participants address their personal and financial problems.

 

To reach the community’s million dollar goal, every family must see an average $1,000 net worth increase each week. To raise the stakes even higher, if the community makes their $1 million goal, they’ll choose one family to win the life-changing sum of $100,000.

 

“In Million Dollar Neighbourhood viewers will undoubtedly identify with the pitfalls that these families face, from mindless spending to letting back-taxes pile up, to overspending on daily necessities in favour of convenience,” said Vibika Bianchi, Vice President, Original Programming, Lifestyle, Reality, Factual Entertainment, Corus Entertainment. “Watching this community struggle to achieve this enormous goal will inspire Canadians and will compel everyone to look at money in a whole new way.”

 

OWN launched in Canada in March, 2011, on what was previously the VIVA channel. OWN is available in Canada through a license agreement with OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

 

Corus Entertainment’s multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon (Canada), W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada), CosmoTV, Sundance Channel (Canada), Movie Central, HBO Canada, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and radio stations including CKNW AM 980, 99.3 The FOX, Country 105, 630 CHED, Q107 and 102.1 the Edge.

 

Vancouver-based Force Four Entertainment began operations in 1983, has produced more than 300 hours of primetime broadcast programming, earning accolades on the national and international stage.

 

Force Four has been awarded the prestigious Peabody Award, 10 Gemini Awards and over 25 Gemini nominations, and is owned by President Rob Bromley, Executive Producer John Ritchie, and Director of Business Affairs Gillian Lowrey.

 

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