Up Next

Get Lifted

Blair Underwood takes on new role, philanthropy in new series

‘GIVE’ shines a bright light on small charities through the help of celebrity philanthropy

Blair Underwood is best known for his versatile roles. Whether playing a villain in a thriller or a suave ladies’ man, Underwood has proven throughout his 30-plus years of acting that he can do it all.

Now, the 52-year-old actor and producer has taken on a more charitable role and is receiving some shine for his philanthropic work in his new series, GIVE. The program is a 30-minute NBC series executive-produced by Underwood that premiered Oct. 1. The show features the philanthropic efforts of actors, athletes and a host of other celebrities who “visit two charities that use innovation, best practices and dedication for change in their communities and the world,” according to the site.

“We see the work the charities are doing, where they may have a need, and by the end of the show we give them some assistance,” Underwood recently told Yahoo. “[Founder of UNICEF’s Next Generation] Jenna Bush Hager is hosting it for us. She’s in every episode. I’ll do at least three episodes as a celebrity ambassador, and I’ll come back and do some deliberations.”

According to Underwood, the idea came about after he spoke with his business partner Gary Reeves. The two took the idea to Anthony Melikhov, founder of a company called Unite4 Good, which aims to spread good around the word while using technology to build a social good movement. Once Melikhov heard the show’s concept, he quickly hopped on board and even volunteered to finance the project. The small crew pitched the developing project around until they were able to secure a home on its current network.

“It’s one of those projects that is a win-win-win situation for everybody involved,” Underwood said. “At the very least, they all get some financial benefit, and the exposure is a win for the foundation and the charities.”

Catch the show every Saturday on NBC.

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.