SU2C - TV Special

TV Special

The three major American television networks, NBC, ABC, CBS, as well as E! and FOX aired Stand Up To Cancer's one-hour special event without commercials on September 5, 2008 at 8pm ET/PT. It aired in over 170 countries and was simulcast on three Canadian networks, Citytv, CTV, and Global.

The networks also helped publicize the initiative by plugging it on their morning shows on May 28, 2008. Katie Couric made her first appearance on the Today Show since moving to an anchor position on the CBS Evening News as part of the promotional effort. Brian Williams and Charles Gibson also took part. The telethon raised more than $100 million for cancer research.

The special included the campaign's theme song "Just Stand Up", produced by Antonio "L.A." Reid, featuring some of the top female artists in pop, rock and rhythm and blues music, including Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Carrie Underwood, Ashanti (entertainer), Leona Lewis, Miley Cyrus, Fergie, Natasha Bedingfield, Keyshia Cole, Delta Goodrem, and Ciara. The song was performed live during the telethon, and was released as a single via iTunes. Melissa Etheridge and Sugarland also performed at the event, and such celebrities as Jennifer Aniston, Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Garner were in attendance, as was Homer Simpson.

Actress Christina Applegate, who in the months prior to the show underwent a successful double mastectomy, appeared on the special, as did Patrick Swayze, making his first network television appearance since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Swayze said to a standing ovation, "I dream that the word 'cure' will no longer be followed by the words 'it's impossible.' Together we can make a world where cancer no longer means living with fear, without hope, or worse." After the show ended, Swayze lingered onstage and talked to other cancer survivors; executive producer Laura Ziskin said, "He said a beautiful thing: 'I'm just an individual living with cancer.' That's how he wants to be thought of. He's in a fight, but he's a fighter."

The telethon returned on Friday, September 10, 2010 at 8/7c with hosts Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams. Jake Gyllenhaal has also joined on to help the cause. Elizabeth Edwards attended the Stand Up To Cancer television event on September 10, 2010, but died on December 7, 2010 after her cancer returned and spread to other parts of her body.

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