NBC preps for ‘Red Nose Day’ live telecast with Gates Foundation donation

22 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Red Nose Day: Why Comic Relief Relies On Celebrities.

“Red-Nose Day” 8 tonight, NBC History tells us that when a special appears claiming to be “a star-studded spectacular,” viewers should run rapidly in the opposite direction. Of course, we tend to feel guilty for our reluctance when the special is raising money for a good cause, such as the Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethon or this event, imported from the United Kingdom, where it has raised more than $1 billion over 30 years for various children’s charities.

And the non-profit organization behind the venture – Comic Relief Inc. – is hoping to transform the way benefit telethons and charity fundraising is done in the United States. With increasing frequency, the broadcast networks are joining the summer stream, including NBC, which starts the summer off with this three-hour, American version of a popular British fundraiser. Comic Relief encourages the public to do lots of fun, silly things to raise money for charity ahead of a big, live, star-studded TV show in which celebrities also do lots of fun, silly things.

Will Ferrell, Jennifer Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Smith, Nick Offerman, Elizabeth Banks and Anna Kendrick are among those slated to take part in the event, which was created by writer-director Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral) 30 years ago to benefit children in need. It has been immensely popular in the U.K. for 30 years now, with Red Nose Day – held every two years – becoming something close to a national holiday.

Pre-Internet, these variety shows could be must-see events, but now watching a selection of music and comedy videos sounds like what most of us do at our desks when we’re supposed to be working. “Battle Creek” 10 p.m. Or if you prefer real horror, or at least creepiness, Fox has the second episode of Wayward Pines — and the first one to provide a truly unsettling jolt. It will certainly raise a lot of money for worthy causes: 12 non-profits including Children’s Health Fund, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Oxfam America and Save the Children will share the donations. This show about spoiled 20-somethings doing nothing other than being rich is not as horrible as you might think, thanks to unexpectedly charming and funny star Morgan Stewart. It involves an extraordinary number of partnerships: a major non-profit (Comic Relief) working on behalf of other charities (both national and international), major corporate sponsors who cover operating costs, sell merchandise and help build awareness and a broadcaster willing to clear its evening schedule.

Short, powerful appeal films featured comedians, actors, singers and TV presenters visiting rural Africa, meeting those in dire need and discovering where money has been well-spent. Some feel it’s been too political, at times (in 2009 Comic Relief supported a financial transaction levy, a so-called “Robin Hood” tax on banks).

The charity had invested in shares in the alcohol industry despite a mission statement saying it is “working to reduce alcohol misuse and minimize alcohol related harm.” And now U.S. organizers, with the help of A-list superstars, will be hoping to kick-start a similarly strong, ongoing relationship with the American public this week.

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