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Grant just loves granting wishes

"Three Wishes" host Amy Grant, center, with the folks in Cedar City.
"Three Wishes" host Amy Grant, center, with the folks in Cedar City.
Steve Wilson, NBC Universal

CENTURY CITY, Calif. — Amy Grant wasn't looking to do a TV show, but she's more than glad that one found her.

"I'm not much of a TV watcher because my job is usually at night, so I don't know what shows are on what nights," Grant said. "My management company has never really pursued TV for me, but they heard about ('Three Wishes') when there was sort of an all-points bulletin looking for hosts. And, without my knowing it, they sent a press kit to (executive producer) Andrew (Glassman)."

Which isn't quite the way Glassman remembers it. According to him, he pursued Grant. "We had your picture up on the wall two weeks before we even called," he said. To which Grant could only respond, "You're kidding."

A five-time Grammy-winner who has sold more than 25 million albums, Grant may not have seemed the natural choice to host "Three Wishes." But, both on the show and in person, she's utterly and completely charming, like an old, dear friend you're catching up with.

"It turned out great for me," she said, laughing about it later. "I love doing this show."

A "reality" show in the style of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," NBC's "Three Wishes" visits a different small town every week. The cast — Grant, Carter Oosterhouse, Eric Stromer and Diane Mizota — and crew set about granting three (or more) wishes to deserving people.

This week's episode (Friday, 8 p.m., Ch. 5) visits Utah. Cedar City, to be exact. Without giving too much away, a local girl's wish makes dreams come true for the fire department; a young woman gets help dealing with her sudden blindness from Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man to climb Mount Everest; and a retired couple who have devoted their efforts to underprivileged kids get some help.

It's the sort of thing Grant gets to participate in every week.

"Who wouldn't love it?" she said. "We're not just making a TV show, we're helping people.

"I get to meet a lot of people when I tour but not like this. This is really getting close to people who need our help and deserve our help."

After a slow start, "Three Wishes" is picking up some steam in the ratings. It's the sort of feel-good TV that builds on word of mouth.

Grant's biggest problem may be that she doesn't know when — or how — to quit. She remains in contact with a lot of the people she's met while taping the show. "Sometimes (producers) tell me not to get too involved. That there's not going to be enough time in the day. But I don't know how to do that.

"These people become like family to us in just a few days."


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com