Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Telethon Raises $14M To Help Harvey, Irma Victims

A star-studded fund-raiser Tuesday night raised more than $14 million for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Organized by Bun B and Scooter Braun, the Hand in Hand telethon brought together some of the country's biggest celebrities to help raise money for people in Texas and Florida.

“We've come together today to love on the people that have been devastated by the hurricanes. When love goes into action, it preferences no color of skin, no ethnicity. No religious beliefs. No sexual preferences. And no political persuasions. It just loves,” Stevie Wonder said to open the show before launching into Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me.”

“As we should begin to love and value our planet and anyone who believes that there is no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent.”

The NYDailyNews reports George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand, Julia Roberts, Drake, Sean Combs, Kerry Washington, Luke Bryan, Cher, Tom Hanks and dozens more worked the phones, spoke and performed during the hour-long event that was hosted simultaneously in New York, Hollywood and Nashville.

Apple donated $5 million during the show, Stephen Colbert announced, while Albertsons Cos. and Merck each gave $1 million, Jimmy Fallon said.

“Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief Telethon” drew 15.7 million total viewers across the Big Four broadcast networks on Tuesday, according to Nielsen overnight data.

According to Variety, the hourlong special aired from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Of the four networks, NBC drew the largest audience for the telethon with a 1.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.1 million viewers. ABC was second in the demo with a 0.7, but third in total viewers with 4 million. CBS came in third in the key demo with a 0.6, but second in viewers with 4.1 million. Fox finished fourth with a 0.4 and 1.6 million viewers. The telethon was also carried live on multiple cable networks and live-streamed on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, though those numbers are not currently available.

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