New E! reality show has folks asking celebs for cash

A new reality show from E! and Ryan Seacrest Prods. gives ordinary people the chance to plead for money from rich celebrities and moguls.

In "Bank of Hollywood," a panel of notable names takes pitches from Americans in need of cash. The proposals range from a do-gooder raising money for charity to a grad student who can't afford a ring to propose to his girlfriend.

"The idea's simple," Seacrest said. "We are giving away tons of money to everyday people to alleviate the stress of today's climate and have fun."

Panelists include author and entrepreneur Candy Spelling, French-American poker player Vanessa Rousso, Wilhelmina Models president Sean Patterson and Pussycat Dolls singer Melody Thornton. Panelists give away their own money; amounts start at $2,000.

"This series is centered on the concept of innovative philanthropy," said Lisa Berger, executive vp programming at E! "We're giving real people the opportunity to garner life-changing sums of money and, at the same time, fulfilling our judges' desire to make a difference in the lives of others -- one person at a time.

"The panelists' big personalities and strong opinions, on top of requests that run the gamut from heartwarming to downright peculiar, are sure to keep things heated and always unpredictable."

The eight-episode series debuts at 10 p.m. Dec. 14.

"Bank" is from Ryan Seacrest Prods. in association with Fever Media and BBC and is based on the U.K. series "Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway." It's hosted by comedian Bryan Callen.

The series marks Seacrest's latest addition to E!'s reality slate. The "American Idol" host also produces "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" and "Denise Richards: It's Complicated."
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