The most successful reality shows are those that connect with or exploit tensions in the larger society. If nothing else, Secret Millionaire, a new Fox series debuting tonight, certainly scores on that count.
The series, which some Baltimore viewers have surely heard about because area resident Molly Shattuck is a participant, speaks to the nation's economic crisis and the social-class tensions connected with thoughts of who caused the problems and who will suffer most.
The premise takes a millionaire out of his or her world of privilege each week and places each undercover in situations of economic distress and hardship. Shattuck, the wife of Constellation Energy CEO Mayo Shattuck III, for example, spends a week in a mining community in Pennsylvania that has seen better days.
Each week, the millionaire will reveal himself or herself at the end of the segment and give at least $100,000 to one of the people encountered during the week.
Executive producer Greg Goldman says Shattuck's segment will air next week. (8 p.m, WBFF-Channel 45).
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