There’s been some talk and now it is official. ABC, CBS and NBC will donate one hour of simultaneous commercial-free prime time for a nationally televised fundraising event to air on September 5, 2008 (8 pm EDT and PDT), aimed at rallying the public around the goal of ending cancer’s reign as a leading cause of death.
I’m not quite sure how this is going to work. It sounds like a cross between a telethon and a series of public service announcements but with the heavyweights behind this I don’t know how it could not be helpful. I do hope that they block that same hour on all of the additional stations they control (like during 9/11).
And I do love the bit about this starting when a TV producer (Noreen Fraser) met a movie producer (Laura Ziskin) across the chemo room and asked for an introduction.
“The idea of setting aside an hour of prime time to raise money for cancer had its origins in the efforts of several different groups of people, including those working in television and in the film community in Hollywood.
Mr. Zucker said in an interview that it was an idea that he and Ms. Couric had discussed before she left NBC.
“I think we both thought it was a good idea,” he said. “When she moved over to CBS, she talked about it with some folks over there.” Among them was Leslie Moonves, the president of CBS.
Meanwhile, around the same time, a fortunate thing happened in the chemotherapy room of a Los Angeles doctor: Noreen Fraser, a television producer, spied Laura Ziskin, a movie producer. Both were receiving treatment for breast cancer, and Ms. Fraser later asked the doctor to make an introduction.
When they eventually spoke, Ms. Fraser, who also helps lead a foundation dedicated to raising money for women’s cancers, floated the notion of a cable TV special, said Ms. Ziskin, whose many producing credits include the “Spider-man” series, “Pretty Woman” and “As Good as It Gets.” “I wanted a bigger platform,” said Ms. Ziskin, who, inspired by Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” thought she might make a documentary.
“I am a person living with cancer,” Ms. Ziskin said, “and I’m frustrated by the pace of new therapies to save my live and other people’s lives.” via: avsforum.com
The website for the project is up at www.standup2cancer.org