More networks, more stars for benefit show
Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times,
At least 27 TV networks have agreed to set aside their regular schedules to simulcast Friday's star-studded benefit for terrorist attack victims.
Also, the United Way announced Wednesday that its September 11 Fund has been designated to receive the money raised.
America: A Tribute to Heroes will be seen across the broadcast spectrum, on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, UPN, the WB, Pax TV, Univision and Telemundo.
Cable channels signed on include HBO, TNT, E!, Lifetime, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, TNN, BET, BET Jazz, Fox Family, FX, Court TV, Discovery, TLC, Showtime and the Sundance Channel.
Also, Yahoo will have a live Internet broadcast. A number of Westwood One and Clear Channel Communications radio stations across the country will simulcast the special. (Clear Channel owns eight stations in Tampa.)
Additional outlets are expected to sign on.
Tom Cruise, Bruce Springsteen, Julia Roberts, Jim Carrey, Stevie Wonder, George Clooney, Will Smith and Billy Joel are among the stars who have agreed to donate their time.
Among the celebrities added Wednesday were Jimmy Smits and Mariah Carey, little-seen since a breakdown in July and a reported relapse this month. Carey's movie Glitter opens Friday.
The show will be broadcast live from 9 to 11 p.m. in the Eastern and Central time zones and on tape delay in the Mountain and Pacific. There will be no live audience, and organizers refused to say where the events will be held because of security reasons.
Such cooperation across the television dial has little precedent.
During World War II, the CBS and NBC radio networks produced a Christmas Eve 1942 entertainment special starring Jack Benny, Tommy Dorsey and Judy Garland that was broadcast widely across the country, the Museum of Television and Radio says.
In 1953, the Ford Motor Co. produced a 50th anniversary show featuring Ethel Merman, Frank Sinatra and Edward R. Murrow that was broadcast simultaneously on ABC, CBS and NBC.
Some cable networks are not participating.
The ESPN sports networks will stick with regular programming. "Sports has resumed, and we're trying to get back to some degree of normalcy, putting it back in its proper context," spokesman Chris LaPlaca said.
Nickelodeon, which airs children's programming through 10 p.m. on Fridays, and the Disney Channel also are not taking the telethon.
"Our point of view has been and continues to be that Nick should be a safe haven for kids to see their normal entertainment programs," spokesman Dan Martinsen said.
© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111
From the wire