Hollywood A-listers "stand up" for cancer research

Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:08am EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood A-listers including Meryl Streep and Charlize Theron, sports star Lance Armstrong and "American Idol" winner David Cook will "stand up" to battle cancer in a rare television fundraiser next month, organizers said on Tuesday.

The event, "Stand Up to Cancer," will air simultaneously and commercial-free on three rival U.S. TV networks -- ABC, CBS and NBC -- during prime-time hours, and organizers hope to raise millions of dollars to fight the disease.

"The support we've received from the creative community is remarkable," said the show's producer Laura Ziskin, a breast cancer survivor who was responsible for making the "Spider-Man" movies, "Pretty Woman" and many other films.

"My phone is constantly ringing with people asking, 'What can I do and how can I help?' We hope viewers all over the country will do the same."

Rarely is a program broadcast on all three major U.S. networks simultaneously during prime-time evening hours, which are the most lucrative times for advertisers.

Back in 2001, some 31 U.S. broadcast and cable TV networks aired a program to raise money for victims of the September 11 attacks. Film, TV and music stars worked at a phone bank as people called to pledge money. Some sang while others gave speeches and testimonials.

"Stand Up to Cancer" will be similar in its format, the producers said.

Other celebrities putting in appearances will include Jennifer Aniston, Salma Hayek and Sally Field. Even cartoon characters Homer and Marge Simpson of long-running comedy "The Simpsons" and race car driver Danica Patrick will be on hand.

From broadcast news, there will be CBS anchor Katie Couric, whose husband died of cancer, as well as NBC's Brian Williams and ABC's Charles Gibson all reporting on cancer research.

The show, which was first announced in late May, will air on September 5 at 8 p.m. EDT and PDT.

 
<p>Cast member Meryl Streep smiles at the premiere of "Rendition" at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, California, October 10, 2007. Hollywood A-listers including Streep and Charlize Theron, sports star Lance Armstrong and "American Idol" winner David Cook will "stand up" to battle cancer in a rare television fundraiser next month, organizers said on Tuesday. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>