What's up in business books, magazines, TV in December

"Most of the millionaires went above and beyond (the minimum $100,000 commitment), were incredibly generous, not only financially, but just in terms of spirit and time and services and continuing to return to the communities that they visited," Goldman said.

In one of Wednesday's back-to-back premiere episodes, millionaire Todd Graves, who founded a chicken-finger restaurant chain in Baton Rouge, and his wife go undercover in a Louisiana community still reeling from Hurricane Katrina. After filming, Graves said, "The three people we gifted to lived in FEMA trailers for, like, 2½ years after the storm while they were building things for other people: community centers, volunteer centers, houses," Graves said. "That was such a humbling experience."

The Money Chase

Inside Harvard Business School CNBC, Dec. 17, 10 p.m. ET

What makes Harvard Business School so special? A book out last summer by an alumnus chronicled life as an HBS MBA candidate, and now CNBC's Carl Quintanilla takes a camera crew into the venerable, 100-year-old program. He follows a first-year candidate (one of the fortunate 900 accepted out of 8,600 applicants) on her first day as she expresses concern about finding balance. "They say out of work, sleep and play, you have to pick two," she says with a nervous laugh.

Quintanilla also interviews HBS dean Jay Light and several high-profile alumni, including General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman and Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore, among others.

Life a House Built

The 25th Anniversary of the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project PBS, Dec. 22, 9 p.m. ET; repeats Dec. 25 10 p.m. ET (check local listings or pbs.org)

This documentary about Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter's association with Habitat for Humanity puts the holiday season in perspective. Filmed in 2008 — when hundreds of Gulf Coast homes were built or restored — the show also revisits the first Carter Work Project in New York.

Antiques Roadshow: Trash to Treasure

PBS, Dec. 15, 8 p.m. ET (check local listings or pbs.org)

In this, the season of family gatherings, it's always nice to have something on the TV in the background like Antiques Roadshow, where experts assess the value of objects brought in by everyday Americans. The show wraps up its 12th season with a series of specials, including this one featuring items that were almost thrown out.

On DVD ...

A Hole in a Fence

First Run Features, Dec. 9, $19.95

In 2006, director D.W. Young originally set out to make a documentary about an abandoned lot in gritty Red Hook, a Brooklyn "residustrial" neighborhood that juts into New York Harbor. Though rusty metal fencing cloaked the lot from the street, Young could access the lot by the titular hole in the fence, unveiling a vast space that was once a haven for graffiti artists, the homeless, decaying shipping containers and, improbably, a Cornell architecture student.

Thought-provoking interviews with Red Hook residents, artists and preservationists — including those angling to save a doomed dry dock — highlight the price of progress, for better or worse.

By Michelle Archer, Special for USA TODAY


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