The MDA Telethon is must-see TV watching during the Labor Day weekend, an end-of-summer tradition in the U.S. since it first began in New York City in 1954.
For many years, a Labor Day weekend tradition featured the much-loved actor and comedian Jerry Lewis rallying public support in the battle to combat muscular dystrophy, a crippling disease which currently has no known cure.
Then, in a major announcement in 2011 it was revealed that after more than four decades the 85-year-old Jerry Lewis would be stepping down as the major host for the show. The epic 20-hour “all night” money raiser was also cut back to 6 hours, and then in 2012 to only a 2-hour broadcast featuring both taped and live performances.
As Jerry Lewis himself would say, “the show must go on” with 2013 marking the 48th annual Labor Day telethon.
This year, another MDA tradition comes to an end as the telethon moves from its usual “Love Network” of local stations to a major network in primetime.
The historic contract with the ABC television network means that the MDA telethon will for the first time air on a single network in its entirety nationwide.
In 2013, watch for the MDA Telethon to air on ABC from 9 – 11 PM on Sunday, September 1, 2013.
In 2013, a bevy of star appearances and celebrity presenters will be lending their time and talents to the MDA Labor Day Telethon.
They include Ryan Seacrest, Backstreet Boys, country stars Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker and Lee Ann Womack, Glee star Matthew Morrison, Enrique Iglesias, Paula Abdul, and teenage pop sensation Austin Mahone.
Nationwide, the telethon usually creates an outpouring of support from a big-hearted American public who in 2012 helped raise more than $58 million in pledges & contributions for both service and research programs of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.