The Detroit News reports that Ford is following the lead of rival GM and will likewise be bringing joy into the lives of the lucky recipients of car giveaways on TV.

But, the report says, unlike GM, which last month awarded 276 new cars at once during Oprah Winfrey’s talk show, Ford will dole out its prizes one and two at a time on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

Ford debuts Sunday as a partner in the production that rewards families with major home renovations.

Ford spokesman Jon Harmon told the Detroit News that the six families featured in this season’s episodes will receive one of the automaker’s marquee vehicles for the 2005 model year – a Five Hundred sedan, Mustang sports coupe, Super Duty pickup, Escape Hybrid SUV or a Freestyle crossover vehicle.

The Super Duty, F-150 pickup and other vehicles from Ford’s line-up will also be featured during the broadcasts, with “Extreme Makeover” cast members behind the wheel.

“We’re finding ourselves, more and more, trying to align ourselves with various programming as a strategy,” said Steve Lyons, Ford Division president. Television commercial time will be bought by closely matching a product’s demographics to a show’s target audience, he added.

Next year, for the third time, Ford will be a major sponsor of “American Idol,” the Fox networks’ top-rated talent show, the report added.