Idol Gives Back
Photo: Fox
"TV rots your brain." So said Grandma as she tried to tear you away from the boob tube long enough to join her in the garden or the knitting club. But the old adage hardly holds up these days. Do-gooder series like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and special episodes like American Idol's "Idol Gives Back" have turned cause-championing into successful television. Couch potatoes everywhere are being exposed to worthy causes in a meaningful, effective way as networks forge a connection between something viewers love (The Biggest Loser) and a corresponding organization (FilterForGood). If you're addicted to Survivor, perhaps you want to help the tsunami-ravaged island that serves as its latest home. Or maybe you can pause Tyce Diorio's heart-wrenching breast cancer dance on So You Think You Can Dance long enough to donate to the cause that inspired it. Luckily for us, giving back online is quick and simple—you'll be done by the end of the commercial break. Take that, Grandma. 

If you won't get off the couch for...
Ugly Betty 
So You Think You Can Dance 
Survivor
The Forgotten

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