LOS ANGELES (CBS) — This will be the first year that the Muscular Dystrophy Association has assembled a new team of recognized co-hosts, pulled from some of the top reality shows, and a celebrity lineup that rivals a major award show, for its annual telethon.
Scheduled performers include big names such as Celine Dion, Lady Antebellum, Jennifer Lopez, Darius Rucker, Steven Tyler, Jordin Sparks and Jon Secada.
“Songs and appeals by these outstanding artists, as well as extraordinary Penn & Teller magic and so much more, undoubtedly will captivate tens of millions of viewers,” long-time telethon producer Lee Miller said. “Then when America sees and hears from remarkable families served by MDA, people once again will find it near impossible to not respond generously.”
Other high-profile celebrities will be on hand Sunday, Sept. 4, to encourage public support, including: the entire cast of “The View”, NFL legend Kurt Warner and NBA great Dwight Howard.
The show will be hosted by the executive producer of “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance”, Nigel Lythgoe, “Entertainment Tonight” anchor Nancy O’Dell, “The Biggest Loser” host Alison Sweeney and Emmy-winning journalist and TV producer Jann Carl.
The MDA Labor Day Telethon got its start in 1966, with actor/comedian Jerry Lewis hosting until 2010, and has raised billions over the years towards funding muscular dystrophy research.
The MDA funds more than 300 research projects worldwide, maintains a national network of about 200 hospital-affiliated clinics and connects families affected by neuromuscular diseases to support groups. The Association is the first nonprofit organization to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Medical Association.