This year’s MDA Labor Day Telethon raised $55,122,055 on September 1.
In 2013, 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.
This year’s MDA Labor Day Telethon raised $55,122,055 on September 1
The historic contract with the ABC television network means that the MDA Show of Strength aired for on a single network in its entirety nationwide.
A bevy of star appearances and celebrity presenters offered their time and talents to the MDA Labor Day Telethon this year.
They included 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.
The annual MDA Labor Day Telethon will air on ABC in prime-time, on Sunday, September 1.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s nationally broadcast telethon, one of America’s longest-standing and beloved fundraising and entertainment events, will return this Labor Day weekend with a new broadcast home: the ABC Television Network.
ABC has signed on to air the two-hour MDA Show of Strength Telethon on its stations across the country on Sunday, September 1, 9/8c. As in the past, the entertainment event will raise funds and awareness to support MDA’s mission to help children and adults affected by progressive and often fatal muscle diseases.
“This is a remarkably hopeful time for MDA and our mission to find new treatments and cures as we set our sights on pursuing muscle health,” said MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks.
“We’re delighted to partner with ABC. Broadcasting our show nationwide and on prime-time TV provides a critically important way to tell our story of progress in fighting muscle disease, while recognizing and engaging new supporters.”
This is the first time in MDA’s 48-year history of doing annual telethons that it will broadcast on a single television network. Previously, MDA partnered with an ad-hoc lineup of network affiliates in markets across the U.S. In recent years the majority of the stations have been ABC affiliates, which makes the new exclusive agreement with ABC a natural fit.
MDA is in the process of securing artists for this year’s telethon and all performers generously donate their time and talent to help make the event a success. The MDA telethon also will feature compelling stories of survival and hope profiling children and adults affected by muscle disease.
The annual MDA Labor Day Telethon will air on ABC in prime-time, on Sunday, September 1
R.A. (RAC) Clark, longtime executive producer of the Academy of Country Music Awards, served as the MDA telethon’s executive producer in 2012 and will return this year. Clark has extensive producing credits on all major networks, including ABC.
In addition to funds contributed by the public, substantial support also comes from MDA’s family of national sponsors, whose work throughout the year on behalf of MDA will be recognized on the telethon. Among the sponsors: International Association of Fire Fighters, CITGO Petroleum Corp., Safeway, Lowe’s, Harley-Davidson, Jiffy Lube International, National Association of Letter Carriers, 7-Eleven, Dr Pepper Snapple Group/7UP, Acosta and Burger King.
At the community level, MDA is planning telethon viewing parties with hundreds of local groups to rally support for the more than 1 million Americans it helps with lifesaving support and services. MDA also is planning a comprehensive digital and social media campaign to drive online fundraising and engage supporters in new ways.
Over the decades, funds raised by MDA telethons also have contributed to the organization’s worldwide research program. Today, through current clinical trials, there is growing excitement that new lifesaving treatments and discoveries are on the horizon for many of the disorders MDA is dedicated to defeating, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
“Individuals with neuromuscular diseases are living longer, stronger lives thanks to the advances we’ve made over the years – particularly in the last decade – thanks in large part to past MDA supporters,” said MDA Chairman of the Board R. Rodney Howell, M.D.
“We’re redoubling our efforts to find and fund new discoveries that will save lives.”
MDA’s first Labor Day weekend telethon was broadcast in 1966 on a single New York station and has become the most successful fundraising event in the history of television. The show, with help from Jerry Lewis and a legion of top celebrities and entertainers, has raised millions each year to provide life-enhancing support and services for the families MDA serves.
The telethon has consistently enjoyed robust support from thousands of the biggest stars in show business. However, the real stars on the broadcast have always been the MDA families who have graciously agreed to open their homes and hearts to America and tell their stories of strength.
MDA is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and other neuromuscular diseases. It does so by funding breakthrough research, by providing lifesaving support, services and advocacy, and by rallying communities to fight back, all made possible by its generous supporters. For more information, visit mda.org and follow us on facebook.com/MDAnational and @MDAnews.
The Muscular Dystrophy 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.
Now an entertainment extravaganza airing live from Los Angeles, the show for many years 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.
In a major announcement last year, 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.
As Jerry Lewis himself would say, “the show must go on” as 2012 marks the 47th Annual Labor Day Telethon.
With last year’s shakeup continuing to reverberate, the MDA announced in February that the 2012 telethon would be cut short from last year’s already curtailed 6 hours to 3 hours this year – beginning at 8:00 PM ET on Sunday, September 2.
As usual, the 2012 MDA telethon will be broadcast on some 160 “Love Network” television stations across the country and viewed on the Internet via streaming video at www.mda.org.
In a major announcement last year, it was revealed that after more than four decades Jerry Lewis would be stepping down as the major host for MDA Labor Day Telethon show
MDA Labor Day Telethon Stars
In 2012, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan are lending their time and talents to the MDA Labor Day Telethon, redubbed this year as “MDA Show of Strength.”
Other artists participating in the three-hour telecast include Gavin DeGraw, Alanis Morissette, Paula Abdul, Hot Chelle Rae, Carole King, OneRepublic and Jesse McCartney, among others. The show will include performances from Nashville, Hollywood and New York, as well as celebrity appearances by Khloe Kardashian Odom, Nancy O’Dell and Alison Sweeney.
Nationwide, the telethon usually creates an outpouring of support from a big-hearted American public who in 2011 helped raise more than $61 million in pledges & contributions for both service and research programs of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Will 2012 prove to be another record-breaking year for muscular dystrophy research and support? Stay tuned…
Muscular Dystrophy Telethon TV Stations in Major Cities: