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this years MDA telethon to be 2 hours on ABC TV

Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:00 am

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv ... 1839.story

MDA Telethon reduced to two-hour ABC special -- with no Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis announces the amount raised during the MDA Telethon. (Eric McCandless / Associated Press / September 6, 2010)

By Greg Braxton
June 17, 2013, 12:25 p.m.

In recent years, the Muscular Dystrophy Assn.'s annual telethon has undergone dramatic transformations from its early days as a live Labor Day weekend broadcast spanning almost two days with an endless parade of stars, pleas for charity and the anything-goes antics of host Jerry Lewis.

The hours were gradually reduced, and the most jarring change came in 2011 when the MDA abruptly ousted Lewis as host and national chairman without much explanation.

The event continued without him, airing on local and cable stations, but lost much of its entertainment value, which had been tied to Lewis' unpredictable persona.

This year, the MDA's telethon will face its latest change: Instead of lasting several hours over Labor Day weekend, it will become a two-hour special airing on ABC on Sept. 1.

The "MDA Show of Strength Telethon," like previous telethons, will raise funds and awareness to support the MDA's mission to help children and adults afflicted by progressive and often fatal muscle diseases.

And no, Lewis will not be a part of the new-format telethon.

The special will mark the first time since the 1966 launch of the telethon that the event will air on a single broadcast network. The MDA had previously partnered with an ad-hoc lineup of network affiliates in markets throughout the U.S. In recent years, the majority of those stations have been ABC affiliates.

The association said it is in the process of booking artists for the telethon (all performers donate their time). The telethon, as always, will also include real-life stories of survival and hope in profiles of afflicted children and adults.

Re: this years MDA telethon to be 2 hours on ABC TV

Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:58 am

I'm not sure why they're even making the pretense. I could understand, to an extent, if they went to a different model: say, through the 'net, with a simulcast through various social networks. They could do that all day and night, Labor Day, and it would be no big deal. But that's not what's happening, clearly. A TV Special? Now, THAT is an outdated concept!

Yes, the telethon had been "corny" for a long, long time, and yes, Jerry was getting older - no fighting the clock. But he's alive, and apparently performing . . . so what they did was crazy! Unless those in charge just do not care. They can't care as he did, in my view. It was almost sixty years ago when it started in the NY area.

But this can happen in charities: that the founder is ousted. It is not unheard-of. It just hasn't been Labor Day for several years, now.

rjm

Re: this years MDA telethon to be 2 hours on ABC TV

Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:13 am

Jerry Lewis did the first complete MDA telethon in the mid-60's but he began his fundraising work for MDA in 1951.

Re: this years MDA telethon to be 2 hours on ABC TV

Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:29 am

HoneyTalkNelson wrote:Jerry Lewis did the first complete MDA telethon in the mid-60's but he began his fundraising work for MDA in 1951.


:o

So, basically, on the 60th anniversary, instead of celebrating, they fired him? (Rhetorical question.)

"For the 59th time," he said, in 2010. He knew something was very wrong, it seems. But he pulled it back together!

phpBB [video]



What a world. :cry:

rjm

Re: this years MDA telethon to be 2 hours on ABC TV

Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:04 am

Yes, the behind the scenes story is very ugly and will probably never be told.

Jerry put his heart and soul into building MDA in order to help the children.

Whether you like the man or not, he deserved far better than the treatment he was given.

Re: this years MDA telethon to be 2 hours on ABC TV

Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:16 am

HoneyTalkNelson wrote:Yes, the behind the scenes story is very ugly and will probably never be told.


It's always nice to come back here for a laugh every now and then.

Have a nice day.

T