New TV shows concentrate on helping others


POSTED: Friday, December 12, 2008

'Tis the season for television that focuses on helping people. Devastating economic times have inspired a new, perhaps gentler approach to (some) television, yielding three new shows coming to local stations this month.

“;Heart of Paradise”; is a reality show with a unique twist. It sets out to help people rather than eliminate them (not in the permanent sense, of course). Instead, KHON2 highlights island residents competing to help others in need. In the end, the team that wins gets to do the good deed. And no matter what, the people facing difficult times end up victorious. Basically, “;it shows real people making a difference in someone's life,”; KHON-Fox General Manager Joe McNamara said in a statement.

Executive producers Cynthia Lockhart and William Orihuela enlisted several show hosts, including Maleko, Antonia Aqui, Marlene Baldueza and “;American Idol”; contestant Jordan Segundo.

The Fox affiliate will premiere “;Heart of Paradise”; at 9 p.m. Wednesday. It reruns at 9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 22.

“;Detours: New Directions”; is a 30-minute reality-information show that aims to help people overcome loss and grief caused from sudden unemployment, long-term illness or drug use, for example. Each episode presents portraits of individuals who have struggled with a significant setback, and their journey to find strength and start over.

“;Through these personal stories of people right here in our community, you will see how they found their joy—found the road to happiness again,”; said spokeswoman Anita Hall.

A holiday special of “;Detours”; airs at 6:30 p.m. Sunday on KFVE. It repeats at 9:35 p.m. next Friday on KFVE and again at 8 p.m. Dec. 21 on KHNL-NBC. Producers hope it will evolve into a 13-week series.

Like “;Heart of Paradise”; but with a different approach, “;Hook It Up”; aims to fulfill the dreams of Hawaii residents. Hosted and produced by Shannon Scott, KCCN-FM radio personality and host of television's “;Hot Hawaiian Nights,”; each episode features a different recipient of the community's largesse.

“;I've been wanting to do this for a few years now, but it wasn't the right time,”; said Scott. The purpose is “;for me to give back to the community and have fun doing it.”;

Recipients get anything from makeovers to weekend getaways, construction assistance or cash. According to press materials, “;The recipient does not have to be in dire straits, just appreciative.”;

Scott said he already has sponsors on board for 2009, when the show is set to premiere in February.

Apply to become a recipient—or, better yet, nominate someone you care about—at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The Web site, still under development, is

A goal of the show is to create a network of business partners who want to contribute, essentially putting together willing sponsors with worthy beneficiaries. Learn more about the show during a Christmas special teaser at 7 p.m. on Christmas night. It reruns at noon on Dec. 28 on KFVE.