Demonstrating some serious interdenominational unity, ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The WB and UPN will join forces tonight for a primetime special entitled Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast, to raise funds for those impacted by the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina.
The six broadcast networks will present this one-hour commercial-free simulcast from 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET). The entertainment special/fundraising event will salute the citizens in the devastated areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and pay tribute to the rescue personnel guiding relief efforts in the region with musical performances by Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, Dixie Chicks, Foo Fighters, Alicia Keys, Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart, U2, Kanye West and Neil Young and appearances by Bruce Willis, Julia Roberts, Don Cheadle, Jennifer Aniston, Jack Black, Cameron Diaz, Ellen DeGeneres, Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson, Chris Rock, Ray Romano and Sela Ward.
Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast will be broadcast live from locations in New York City and Los Angeles to the Eastern and Central time zones, and tape-delayed in the Mountain and Pacific time zones.
As part of an expanded daylong fundraising campaign on the networks, the phone lines opened at 1-866-4AIDNOW this morning at 7:00 a.m. ET and will remain open through the late-night shows and into Saturday morning, September 10.
Producer Joel Gallen said the telethon would be shown with a standard 30-second delay, but that no special precautions will be taken to edit political statements out of the broadcast.
"This will guard against any obscenities," said Gallen, who said he had spoken to all those appearing about not detracting from the show's fundraising purpose.