OWN docuseries “Operation Change” gets June airdate

U.S. net OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is to unite celebrities and philanthropists in 10-part docuseries Operation Change, premiering June 23. (Pictured: philanthropist Bill Austin)
April 1, 2014

U.S. net OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is to unite celebrities and philanthropists in 10-part docuseries Operation Change, premiering June 23 at 10 p.m. EST/PST.

The series follows Starkey Hearing Foundation philanthropists Bill (pictured) and Tani Austin and their son Steven Sawalich – whose prodco Articulus Entertainment is producing the show – as they team up with famous supporters such as President Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson and Sir Elton John. Together, they visit poverty-stricken areas in Haiti, India and South Africa, among others, and work on sustainable projects for the communities.

“Working with this family and supporting their efforts through the Starkey Hearing Foundation has been an incredibly uplifting experience for me,” said John in a statement. “When people are cared for and not forgotten, their human spirit comes alive, and that’s why when they approached me, I had to be a part of Operation Change.

Steven Sawalich, of Starkey Hearing Foundation and CEO and president of Articulus Entertainment, added: “Through our charitable efforts, we have seen firsthand the needs and challenges people face all over the world. With the help of some of our celebrity supporters and local partners, Operation Change chronicles how together we can make a difference in the lives of people around the globe.”

Operation Change is executive produced by Sawalich, Natalee Watts and Teri Weinberg. Melinda Cea is co-executive producer.

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Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.