- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jerry Lewis to retire as MDA telethon host

After 45 years promoting treatment and the search for a cure for children he calls “my kids,” comedian Jerry Lewis announced Monday he is retiring as host of the Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon, which has become synonymous with his name.

Mr. Lewis, 85, issued a statement through the association calling it “time for an all-new Telethon era.”

“As a labor of love, I’ve hosted the annual Telethon since 1966, and I’ll be making my final appearance on the show this year by performing my signature song, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone,’ ” Mr. Lewis said of a shortened six-hour prime-time broadcast scheduled for Sept. 4.

Mr. Lewis, a Las Vegas resident, has in recent years battled a debilitating back condition, heart issues and the crippling lung disease pulmonary fibrosis. He said he’ll continue serving as national Muscular Dystrophy Association chairman, as he has since the early 1950s.

More than $1 billion has been raised during Muscular Dystrophy Association telethons over the years, association spokesman Jim Brown said.

ABC orders 13 series, adds Tuesday comedies

ABC is bringing Tim Allen back in a sitcom and resurrecting “Charlie’s Angels” for a new generation next season.

The network says it will introduce 13 new series, eight of them in the fall. Viewers can say goodbye to “Brothers & Sisters,” “V” and “Better With You,” which were all canceled.

ABC is adding comedies on Tuesdays, led by Mr. Allen’s “Last Man Standing.” He plays a man’s man in a house full of women — his wife and three daughters. The new “Charlie’s Angels” will air Thursday nights.

The network will move “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” to Friday nights and make Sundays a night of stylized dramas, including the 1960s-era stewardess show “Pan Am” and the fantasy world of “Once Upon a Time.”

154,000 request tickets for final ‘Oprah’ shows

Thousands of Oprah Winfrey fans were expected to pack Chicago’s United Center Tuesday for a star-studded double taping of her talk show as it approaches its finale.

The guest lineup for “Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular” is a secret, but Miss Winfrey’s producers have promised the biggest names in Hollywood.

The celebrity response “has been a resounding ‘yes,’ ” executive producer Sheri Salata said.

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