LOS ANGELES: The four major networks - CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox -
worked double time last week to plan and broadcast a collaborative
fundraiser for victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
In an unheard-of burst of synergistic teamwork, the networks pulled
together the two-hour live show in a matter of days. "America: A Tribute
to Heroes" featured film, television, and sports stars who donated their
time for appearances.
On September 18, the networks issued a joint statement announcing the
commercial-free event broadcast from New York and Los Angeles. They also
said they would underwrite all costs.
However, publicity for the event was low key and tightly controlled,
with all networks declining to comment on details and directing all
inquiries to Warner Bros. head of publicity Barbara Brogliatti, who
acted as the event's point person for media contact.
The broadcast was offered free of charge to cable networks and radio
stations, an unprecedented move in the entertainment industry. Stations
such as cable's E! Entertainment Network and the WB ran the show, with
the WB moving the start of its fall premieres to accommodate the
A-list stars such as George Clooney, Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise, and Cameron
Diaz were quickly confirmed on a roster of dozens. Musical talents such
as Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, and Neil Young also appeared.
Echoing the sentiments of other celebrities and entertainment industry
professionals in recent days, Carrey's publicist Marleah Leslie said,
"(Jim) really wants to help out and get involved in any way he can to
help the victims."