The telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, occurring yearly since 1966, is making the jump from syndication to primetime on ABC, the organization announced on Monday (June 17).
The network will air the two-hour “MDA Show of Strength Telethon” on ABC stations countrywide on Sept. 1 from 9-11 p.m., running an hour shorter than last year’s telecast.
The telethon has raised millions of dollars each year towards research and aid for people with muscle diseases since its debut in 1966. The move to ABC marks the first time in its 48-year history that it will appear on a single network, providing greater visibility and marketing potential for the event.
“We’re delighted to partner with ABC,” MDA president and CEO Steven M. Derks said in a statement. “Broadcasting our show nationwide and on primetime TV provides a critically important way to tell our story of progress in fighting muscle disease, while recognizing and engaging new supporters.”
The move to ABC marks the second year the MDA telethon has been without longtime host Jerry Lewis, who departed the program in 2011.