Oprah Winfrey's Canadian Network Challenges 100 Families to Raise $1 Million

The OWN Canada reality show has battling neighbors collecting money through challenges to escape crippling debt and unemployment.

TORONTO - This captures the zeitgeist of hard times: OWN Canada has picked up a homegrown reality TV series that teaches competing families to raise money to get out of debt or unemployment.

Canada’s version of the Oprah Winfrey Network has ordered 13 episodes of Million Dollar Neighborhood, which challenges 100 families in suburban Vancouver to jointly save or earn $1 million in 10 weeks.

And here’s the kicker: should the community reach their $1 million goal to escape crushing debt or out-of-control spending patterns, one family will be chosen to receive a life-changing $100,000 pay-out.

Million Dollar Neighborhood is produced by indie producer Force Four Entertainment.

The debut episode features co-hosts Bruce Sellery and clinical psychologist Dr. Joti Samra drive into the bedroom community of Aldergrove in the back of an armoured truck to challenge neighbours to surrender their credit cards and turn their homes over to find hidden money, whether loose change of unrecovered tax rebates.

The brothers-keeper-themed TV show sees neighbors then compete over another nine one-hour episodes to collectively earn or save $100,000 a week through a series of challenges.

These include emptying basements for a giant garage sale, finding jobs for neighbors that are out of work or changing careers, or selling cars and finding cheaper ways to get around.

The overall aim: to boost the net worth of individual families, and Aldergrove's overall financial health.