Thursday’s TV picks: ‘Red Nose Day’ — Will Ferrell can sing?

21 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

NBC Preps For ‘Red Nose Day’ Live Telecast with Gates Foundation Donation.

NBC will devote its primetime schedule tonight to the live “Red Nose Day” fundraising telecast that the Peacock hopes will become a franchise for the network. Red Nose Day (8 p.m., NBC) – Entertainers – including Will Ferrell, Jack Black and Jennifer Hudson – perform to raise money and awareness for 12 charities that aid children and young people living in poverty. 500 Questions (8 p.m., ABC) – The second night of this game show in which two seriously smart people face off features Steve Bahnaman of Raleigh.

“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. Wayward Pines (9 p.m., Fox) – In the second episode of this creepy new series, Ethan teams up with Beverly to look for clues about Bill Evans’ death. 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. 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.

Talent set to appear include Julia Roberts, Will Ferrell, Reese Witherspoon, Neil Patrick Harris, Jodie Foster, Julianne Moore, Coldplay and a host of others. Somebody’s Gotta Do It With Mike Rowe (9 p.m., CNN) – Mike works with the Navy Seabees to build a bridge, then tries medieval sword-fighting and immerses himself in Edgar Allan Poe history.

Roughly one-half will be pre-recorded sketches and other comedy pieces, allowing for slick production techniques and involvement by a wider range of stars than would be possible on show night. Lost Girl (10 p.m., Syfy) – Bo and Tamsin investigate a homicide that could expose the Fae, and Dyson deals with a murder victim who won’t stay dead.

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. Curtis mentions one intriguing spoof: a mockumentary of the rock group Coldplay as it creates a musical version of “Game of Thrones,” with original songs by Coldplay frontman Chris Martin performed by the group and participation by a dozen “Game of Thrones” cast members. The Gates Foundation has signed on as a key social media partner with a pledge to donate $25 for every picture posted on Twitter or Instagram of a person wearing a red nose with the hashtag #RedNose25. As part of the build-up to tonight’s telecast, NBC.com is carrying a live stream of a 24-hour “dance-a-thon” hosted by Nick Cannon at the NBC Experience Store in 30 Rock that began at 8 p.m. 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.

Five million Red Noses have been purchased by customers of participating retailers. “Today Show” host Matt Lauer set off on a 230-mile bike ride from Boston to New York to spur donations. Back at the Hammerstein, Curtis, who describes himself as “quite a cheerful human,” radiates optimism as he tackles countless details of the broadcast only days away.

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