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MDA Show of Strength

MDA Show of Strength

Photo Credit:  MDA
  • Premiered: 
    September 4, 1966
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: WNEW
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Special, Annual
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Philanthropy/Fundraiser
  • Tags: telethon

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Plot Synopsis

Each year since 1966, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has raised funds and awareness to support its mission by hosting a telethon on Labor Day weekend. MDA's first Labor Day weekend telethon was broadcast in 1966 on a single New York station, WNEW, and has since become the most successful fundraising event in the history of television. Expanding from that single station to an ad-hoc lineup of hundreds of network affiliates in markets across the United States, this annual show, with Jerry Lewis as its iconic host through 2010 and with help from a legion of top celebrities and entertainers, has raised millions each year to provide life-enhancing support and services for the families MDA serves. After Jerry Lewis' last year hosting the telethon, it was soon renamed from the JERRY LEWIS MDA LABOR DAY TELETHON to MDA SHOW OF STRENGTH, starting in 2012. In 2013, for the first time in MDA's 48-year history of doing annual telethons, the event was broadcast on a single television network, ABC, which was a natural fit because in recent years the majority of the stations had been ABC affiliates. The 2013 MDA SHOW OF STRENGTH was broadcast by ABC on Sunday, September 1, 2013 from 8-10pm ET/PT, featuring appearances by Ryan Seacrest, Backstreet Boys, Darius Rucker, Paula Abdul, Kenny Loggins, Jabbawockeez, Lee Ann Womack, Luke Bryan, Enrique Iglesias, Matthew Morrison, Austin Mahone, Chris Mann, Jessica Sanchez, and more. Additional presenters for the 2013 show included Dr. Richard Besser, Florence Henderson, journalist Jann Carl, Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner, and No Doubt drummer Adrian Young and his son, Mason.
On Sunday, August 31, 2014 from 9-11pm ET/PT, ABC premiered the 49th annual MDA SHOW OF STRENGTH, featuring performances by Rascal Flatts, LeAnn Rimes, Aloe Blacc, American Authors, Bret Michaels, Fall Out Boy, Jason Derulo, Matt Nathanson, R5 and Sara Evans. Celebrity presenters included Alyssa Milano, Brad Paisley, Charles Esten, Chris Powell, Jann Carl, Jordin Sparks, Josh Groban, Kesha, Kevin Frazier, Laila Ali, Ludacris, Nancy O'Dell, Pete Wentz, Dr. Richard Besser, Susan Lucci, Terry Fator, Tom Bergeron and Victor Ortiz.


Other Titles

  • Previously known as: Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon
  • Also known as: Muscular Dystrophy Association Show of Strength
  • Also known as: MDA Telethon