NBC TO TELEVISE INAUGURAL U.S. RED NOSE DAY LIVE SPECIAL IN MAY 2015
The U.K.'s Biggest Broadcast Fundraising Event Is Set to Come to the U.S.
Standup Performances, Sketch Comedy, Parodies and Live Music From Top Celebrities, Artists All Part of Historic Telecast
Funny Or Die Set as Partner to Create Original Content to Air During the Three-Hour Special
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. - July 13, 2014 - Red Nose Day, the U.K.'s #1 television fundraising event, is finally coming to America in a spectacular star-studded special live on NBC.
In collaboration with Comic Relief U.K. - the British charity behind Red Nose Day - NBC will televise a three-hour benefit in May 2015 as a celebration for the U.S. inaugural Red Nose Day event.
"I am incredibly proud that NBCUniversal is broadcasting Red Nose Day," said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programing, NBC Entertainment. "Once in a while in our jobs we get to do things that can change lives and entertain at the same time."
In the U.K., Red Nose Day has been going for 25 years and is an inspiring cultural phenomenon that unites people from all walks of life in the interest of saving and changing lives across the globe. With superstar presenters and comedians, original sketch comedy, hilarious film parodies, one-off sitcom reunions and amazing musical performances, it's no wonder that this program has been the one of the BBC's highest-rated Friday night shows for many years. Best of all, it's raised more than $1 billion in donations so far, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Created by writer-director Richard Curtis in 1985, the idea of Red Nose Day was built upon the foundation that mass media and celebrities can help raise money and awareness of poverty to save and change millions of lives.
Curtis will serve as an executive producer for the NBC telecast, along with Hamish Hamilton and Ian Stewart of Done + Dusted Productions, which will produce. Hamilton will also direct.
Funny Or Die, the award-winning top destination for comedy on the web, and producer of high-quality content across numerous platforms, will partner with NBC to create original content for the special.
"For many years I have dreamt of bringing Red Nose Day to the U.S. and I am so excited that we have teamed up with NBC, who will do such a brilliant job on this," Curtis said. "Experience has taught me how extraordinarily compassionate and generous Americans can be, and I've lived my life in awe of American comedy talent. So putting those two things together will, I hope, create an amazing event that will really make a massive difference to the lives of millions of children and their families in the U.S. and in the poorest countries around the world."
Said entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Gates: "I've been really impressed by how Red Nose Day in the U.K. has both raised large amounts money and also engaged the public on the issues of poverty. I hope it will have the same impact here in the U.S. through this new partnership with NBC. As someone who's put on a Red Nose more than once, I know Red Nose Day can be a fun and effective way to raise money and to shine a light on the opportunity to help the world's poorest improve their lives. I hope lots of people from throughout the U.S. will participate."
"Wow, NBC never said anything about Bill Gates being involved in this. We had no idea until reading this press release, but count us in!" said Mike Farah, President of Production, Funny Or Die. "Red Nose Day is a great cause and we are excited to be part of its U.S. premiere and put our spin on an event that we know will have a tremendous impact."
"We've watched the Red Nose efforts in the U.K. for the past 25 years and are thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of bringing this extraordinary effort to the United States," said Stewart, who is also president of Done + Dusted.
Through personal donations and corporate partners, the live NBC benefit will raise money for established charities working both in the United States and around the world. Televised in front of a live audience, like its BBC counterpart the NBC telecast will include individual stand-up performances, sketch comedy, parodies, live music and short films about the cause.
Guest stars on the NBC broadcast, as well as the charities involved, will be announced at a later date.