Roberts helps ex­pand Rose Nose Day char­ity tele­cast

The Commercial Appeal - - Television - LYNN ELBER

LOS AN­GE­LES - NBC is ex­pand­ing its Red Nose Day char­ity pro­gram­ming with help from Julia Roberts and other stars.

The net­work said its prime-time sched­ule on May 25 will be de­voted to the Comic Re­lief fundraiser for chil­dren in need.

“Run­ning Wild with Bear Grylls for Red Nose Day,” with Roberts join­ing the host in Africa, will air at 8 p.m. CDT. A celebrity edition of “Amer­i­can Ninja War­rior” with Derek Hough, Natalie Mo­rales and oth­ers will pre­cede it.

The night will be capped by NBC’s third an­nual “The Red Nose Day Spe­cial,” hosted from 9 to 10 p.m. by Chris Hard­wick (“@mid­night”). “Red Nose Day’s ef­fort to lift chil­dren out of poverty is cen­tered around heart and hu­man­ity, and we’re ex­cited to cre­ate a night of pro­gram­ming that re­flects this,” said Paul Telegdy, pres­i­dent of NBC En­ter­tain­ment’s al­ter­na­tive and re­al­ity show group.

Roberts and Grylls will show how do­na­tions are help­ing peo­ple in Nairobi, Kenya, with other seg­ments ad­dress­ing how chil­dren in the United States and other coun­tries are be­ing helped.

En­ter­tain­ment is key as well for Red Nose Day. The ros­ter of stars has yet to be an­nounced, but past spe­cials in­cluded Ce­line Dion, Bono, Will Fer­rell and Lu­dacris.

Red Nose Day was founded in Bri­tain by film­maker Richard Cur­tis and ex­panded to the U.S. two years ago, where it has raised more than $60 mil­lion to date.

Do­na­tions are made through the sale of red noses at Wal­greens and Duane Reade drug­stores, neigh­bor­hood penny drives and bake sales, and the NBC spe­cial.

An added at­trac­tion this year: Cur­tis, wri­ter­di­rec­tor of the 2003 movie “Love Ac­tu­ally,” cre­ated a short re­union film that will air as part of “The Red Nose Day Spe­cial.”

Ben­e­fi­cia­ries of Red Nose Day grants in­clude char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Amer­ica, Save the Chil­dren and the Chil­dren’s Health Fund.

Bri­tain’s Red Nose Day, which took place last month, brought in more than $90 mil­lion.

Roberts

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