Stand Up to Cancer is back and bigger than ever.
The charitable event, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, returns for its fourth biennial fundraising telecast. Sept. 5. Participants will include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Pierce Brosnan, Dane Cook, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Will Ferrell, Tony Hale, Jon Hamm, Mark Harmon, Marg Helgenberger, Rob Lowe, Danny McBride, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Passmore, Italia Ricci, Rob Riggle, Ben Stiller, Eric Stonestreet, Kiefer Sutherland, Bree Turner and Reese Witherspoon.
Additional celebrities and performers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Paltrow and Joel Gallen are co-executive producing the event, which takes place at L.A.'s Dolby Theatre.
ABS, CBS, Fox and NBC are donating one hour of simultaneous, commercial-free viewing for the nationally televised special. The event will also be broadcast on ABC Family, American Forces Network, Bravo, Cooking Channel, Discovery Fit & Health, E!, Encore, Encore Espanol, EPIX, ESPNEWS, Fox Sports 2, FXM, HBO, HBO Latino, Hulu, ION Television, LMN, Logo TV, MLB Network, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, Palladia, Pivot, Showtime, Smithsonian Channel, Starz, TNT, Vh1 and Yahoo.
For the first time, SU2C will air simultaneously on all four major English-language Canadian networks: CBC, City, CTV and Global, along with services AMI, CHCH, CHEK, Fight Network and Hollywood Suite.
All funds received from Canadian viewers during the broadcast will be directed towards the creation of collaborative research teams, as well as education and awareness programs conducted in the country.
Photo by Michael Caulfiend/Stand Up To Cancer via Getty Images
Instead of having traditional phone bank staffed by stars, the telecast will feature a "digital lounge" on set, hosted by Yahoo News Global Anchor Katie Couric. Celebrities will reach out to viewers via phone, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms through a campaign called "We're Calling You."
SU2C's supporters can sign up for the campaign today at werecallingyou.org.
"Since we started Stand Up to Cancer in 2008, social media has exploded, creating a whole new way to connect. So in an unprecedented way, we'll have plenty of stars reaching out to donors via social media, thanking them through Facebook messages, digital shout outs, Instagrams and tweets," says Couric, a SU2C co-founder who lost her husband to colon cancer in 1998. "In other words, this year, we are so 2014!"
To date, more than $261 million has been pledged to support SU2C's cancer research programs.
In the digital lounge, Couric will tap into the Facebook Mentions Box, which allows supporters to share their connections to cancer and receive real-time responses from celebrities. Other famous faces in the digital lounge will participate in Facebook Q&As, using their own pages to respond live to fan questions.
"Cancer affects us all, and each and every person can help the scientists who are working 24/7 to save more lives," says Paltrow, who lost her dad to oral cancer in 2002. "We want to get that message out in as many ways as possible, so we're excited to use social media to reach supporters from all over who are helping to grow the Stand Up to Cancer movement, and hopefully, get even more people to stand up with us."
Stand Up to Cancer will air on 31 broadcast and cable networks and stream on Hulu and Yahoo Sept. 5 at 8 p.m. ET and PT and 7 p.m. CT.
(E!, Bravo, NBC and Oxygen are all part of the NBCUniversal family.)