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For years, it was hard to find host Mike Rowe on TV without his face covered in soot or his hair matted down with grossness, and the former Dirty Jobs frontman has thankfully found other gigs since that've kept him slightly more comfortable and couch-friendly. Rowe, who still serves as a narrator for several of Discovery's still-airing series, has landed a new show called Returning the Favor that aims to inspire and bring together audiences that have been split by the recent social climate.
Fans of Mike Rowe loyally follow the entertainer on social media, which should help out in terms of promotion, since Returning the Favor is one of the more marquee unscripted projects being developed by Facebook in the company's push to create more original video programming. And this sounds like just the kind of show that could create an endless line of heartwarming viral vids for people to pass around to loved ones in need of hope-filled stories.
Returning the Favor will follow Mike Rowe as he goes around the country seeking out regular, everyday American citizens who give back to their communities by putting the lives of others ahead of their own. What's more, the show will also do something just as thoughtful and life-affirming for those deserving of the attention. At a time when non-entertainment social media posts are so frequently used to attack others and their ideas, Returning the Favor will shine its spotlight on the concept of community to prove that when politics and technology aren't involved, we're all in this thing together.
News broke this week about the project, and Mike Rowe (understandably) took to his Facebook page to offer his own explanation on what audiences can expect, while also being frank about the project not being completely fine-tuned just yet.
All I can tell you for now is that this is a non-traditional show, on a very large platform, inspired by a very simple idea -- to introduce America to regular people who are doing something decent, and then, do something decent for them in return. In other words, it's a show that rewards the kind of behavior I think we'd all like to see more of. Conceptually, it's a bit more earnest than crawling through sewers and violating barnyard animals - both of which I still hold in high regard. However -- when the country's divided and the news feels fake and no one knows what to believe anymore -- maybe a little earnestness is just what the doctor ordered?
At this point, most of the release-centered details about Returning the Favor are still up in the air, as it's not known how many episodes will be produced, nor when Facebook is planning on debuting the series. But I'm guessing a good way to get updates will be to keep social tabs on Mike Rowe, who followed up his Dirty Jobs stint by hosting Bering Sea Gold and CNN's Somebody's Gotta Do It, among other things.
While waiting to hear more info about the release date for Returning the Favor, head to our summer TV premiere schedule to see all the other shows the small screen has to offer in the near future.