Amy "Grants" Three
By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com Daily Life Producer
If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
That’s the question NBC is asking people across America
as it debuts its newest reality show, “Three Wishes.”
The unscripted series is hosted by five-time Grammy winner Amy
Grant, along with Carter Oosterhouse (NBC’s “Today,”
“Trading Spaces”), Eric Stromer (“Clean Sweep”)
and Diane Mizota (“Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls”).
The show is the brainchild of former journalists Andrew Glassman
and Jason Raff who produced NBC’s hit-series “Average
Each one-hour episode takes the show’s hosts to various
towns where they spend one week working to bring to life the hopes
and dreams of people they meet there. In each new town crowds
of people stand in line for hours to explain their wishes to the
hosts, with the hope that they will be chosen.
only three large wishes (and a few smaller ones) are chosen to
be granted, Grant said the show’s presence in a town often
causes a “ripple effect” of people pitching in to
help their friends and neighbors.
“Things happen in the town that sometimes are filmed, but
do not make it on the television show, and things also happen
in the town because people get involved and do things for each
other,” Grant said.
She said she hopes the show will serve as a “teaching tool”
to encourage people to seek ways they can reinvest in their communities.
“We live in an age where people are not connecting the
way they used to, not meeting each others’ needs on a basic
level,” Grant said.
The pilot episode is set in Senora, Calif., where Grant and crew
aid a family whose young daughter needs facial reconstruction
after an accident, help a boy pay tribute to his stepfather, and
honor a high school coach by granting the wish she has for her
The role of philanthropist fits Grant well. She said her work
with charities such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation, St. Jude Children’s
Hospital, and Habitat for Humanity gave her first-hand experiences
with helping people realize their dreams and also prepared her
for the highly emotional nature of the show.
Executive producer Glassman said Grant was the only person they
approached for the job.
was our first choice on our first day,” Glassman said. “I
just thought, ‘Whose public persona fits the values and
the character of the show that we are trying to create?’
and I literally thought of Amy’s name first.”
After he had the opportunity to meet her in person, he said his
first impressions about the artist were confirmed. “The
warmth and compassion that she has for other people is so genuine
and so real that it strikes you in the room on a personal level,
and it carries right through the screen.”
Glimpses of Grant’s faith also come through the screen.
She said originally she wondered how big a role her faith could
play in the network series. She found her answer after expressing
concern for one of the families featured on the show telling them
that they would be in her “thoughts and prayers.”
No one made a fuss about the comment.
“I remember a little part of me saying, ‘Oh, good,
we can say that,’” Grant said. “We all get to
Indeed, the show’s true value stems from its quality of
realness and the fact that everyone involved with the show is
“All we are trying to do is let people tell their stories,”
Grant said. “We’re not trying to slant it one way
or another, we are just trying to give people the opportunity
to tell their story and have their wish granted.”
Unlike other reality shows, on which several of "Three Wishes’"
crew members have worked previously, the situations and emotions
are not contrived, said Glassman.
“This show is much different,” he said. “These
are not generally people who are seeking to be on television.
They are just people who are caught in an emotional crossroads
in their lives and they are genuinely asking for a little help.”
It’s a job that, at the end of each long week of wish-granting
and production duties, leaves the entire cast and crew –
as well as the viewers at home -- feeling good about what they
“There are no fingers crossed behind anybody’s back,
and there’s not another foot waiting to fall on this show.
It is exactly what it is,” Grant said. “It’s
an amazing use of network dollars to pay and sponsorship money
to do amazing, philanthropic things in people’s lives.”
The show premieres tonight on NBC at 9 p.m. EST/ 8 p.m. CST.
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