It's "Inspiration Week" on 'American Idol,' which means the Idols sang inspirational songs on Tuesday, and 'Idol Gives Back' was on tap for tonight. It's truly amazing how much this charitable endeavor helps people around the globe. It's not easy to see all of the suffering going on in the world -- especially the children -- but it's really easy to pick up the phone and make a small donation that could save a kid's life.
Tonight, celebrities reported on the huge malaria problem in Africa; Save the Children; a food bank in Monrovia, Calif.; and global health, among others. At the end of the show, Simon Cowell reported that $15 million had been raised during the two hours the show aired. That's awesome. For more info and to learn how you can give, check out 'Idol Gives Back.'
Here's tonight's lineup of new shows and events (all times Eastern). Check your local TV listings for additional information.
Before you question...yes, the entire ABC primetime schedule is repeats, with one hour each of 'The Middle,' 'Modern Family,' and 'Cougar Town.'
8:00 to 9:00
CBS: 'The New Adventures of Old Christine' and 'Accidentally on Purpose'
The CW: 'America's Next Top Model'
FOX: 'American Idol' -- 'Idol Gives Back' special
Discovery: 'Weird or What?'
DisneyXD: 'Naruto: Shippuden'
G4: 'Web Soup'
9:00 to 10:00
The CW: 'Fly Girls' and 'High Society'
BBC America: 'Peep Show' and 'That Mitchell and Webb Look'
CNBC: 'American Greed'
SyFy: 'Ghost Hunters'
10:00 to 11:00
NBC: 'Law & Order: SVU'
A&E: 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' and 'Billy the Exterminator'
Bravo: 'Top Chef Masters'
Comedy Central: 'South Park' and 'Ugly Americans'
Discovery: 'What a Tool'
E!: 'E! Investigates: Bullying'
MTV: 'The Challenge: Fresh Meat 2'
Showtime: 'Inside NASCAR'
Spike: 'The Ultimate Fighter'
SyFy: 'Destination Truth'
TBS: 'Tyler Perry's House of Payne' -- Two 30-minute episodes
USA: 'In Plain Sight'
After the jump, the late night talk shows.
Alicia Keys, Carrie Underwood, the Black Eyed Peas, Annie Lennox and Jeff Beck are among the scheduled performers on tonight's third 'Idol Gives Back' special, in which celebs, the 'Idol' judges and former 'AI' contestants work together to aid several charitable organizations, and encourage viewers to do the same. President and First Lady Obama taped a message that will air during the show, while Simon Cowell travels to Arizona to meet those operating and benefitting from the Children's Health Fund, Elliott Yamin and Didi Benami are among the 'AI' alum who pitch in to help food banks and Randy Jackson and guest Morgan Freeman visit the Save the Children program in Mississippi. The night is also scheduled to include the announcement of which of the remaining seven current 'AI' finalists will be voted off after last's night's performances. But, as they did with the 2007 'Idol Gives Back' special, we suspect producers may opt for a double elimination next week, sparing viewers and the contestants the buzzkill of bidding one of the wannabes goodbye on this feel-good night.
Still, the show does redeem itself once a year with 'Idol Gives Back,' which raises a good deal of money for various charities ($140 million to date). This year, the program will take up the entire FOX schedule on Wednesday, April 21st with performances by Alicia Keys, regular 'Gives Back' performer Carrie Underwood, The Black Eyed Peas, Annie Lennox, and Jeff Beck.
Donations raised from the show will benefit the Children's Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More, Save the Children, and the United Nations Foundation. Donations can be made via phone during the broadcast as well as online, through text messaging, and via the primitive mail service.
Oh, to make sure viewers don't think the show is too charitable, the week's voting results will be revealed and a finalist will go home during the show. Hey, they have a reputation to keep!
For 'American Idol.'
Yes, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the lanky redhead has been approached by Fox to appear on America's top-rated TV show.
Before you get your hopes up, though, this isn't the latest Ellen DeGeneres-style shock hire, and O'Brien won't be replacing Simon Cowell next season, either. In fact, even though the offer was simply to appear on 'Idol's' annual 'Idol Gives Back' charity special (airing April 21), O'Brien won't be appearing on 'Idol' at all. Why? Because NBC has refused to give O'Brien permission for the guest spot.
Unfortunately, Conan had to decline the appearance because it would still be in breach of contract (he is prohibited from appearing on television until September). You'd think NBC would be willing to allow for a one-time waiver for charity, but at the same time it's unlikely they would allow for such a ratings bonanza on a rival network.
For now, Conan still has his 'Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on TV' tour. It is interesting to note that the day of May 17th was left free on the tour, which is the same day as the Fox upfronts in New York City. Coincidence?
It's the first elimination show of the year! Generally, it feels like a huge loss when four contestants are eliminated all at once, but based on the lackluster performances by both the girls and the guys, I have a feeling that unless there's some huge shakeup, few tears will be shed.
But before we get to all that, we have a (lip-synced?) Top 24 performance, and 'Idol' winner Kris Allen makes an appearance, along with runner-up Allison Iraheta. We also get to see Kara's husband and one of the contestants in a bathrobe, so let's get started!
Iraheta won't be going it alone either, as season eight winner Kris Allen is also schedule to perform and share footage of his trip to Haiti on the special Thursday night results show. The episode will be a de facto benefit drive for Haiti through an 'Idol Gives Back' supported charity: the UN Foundation.
Tuesday night features the Top Twelve Girls singing a Top Ten Hit from the Hot 100 chart, with the boys following suit on Wednesday. Now by my math, that's 24 different songs, which doesn't fit into any Top Ten. Maybe most of them will just join forces and recreate 'We are the World 25: For Haiti' (currently sitting at number two on the chart).
'American Idol' teamed up with the United Nations Foundation to dedicate the February 25 'American Idol' episode to Haiti. During the results show -- and yes, there will be results -- viewers will see a video of Kris from his trip to Haiti, hear his music, and be encouraged to donate to the relief efforts via texting or an online web site. All the funds go to the bigger 'Idol Gives Back' drive that culminates with the April 21st special episode.
How much cooler would it be to send your stalker letter to Kelly Clarkson with a Kelly Clarkson stamp? As Ryan Seacrest announced on last night's American Idol "Idol Gives Back" special, PhotoStamps has inked a deal with the show to produce commemorative stamps featuring the likenesses of each of the Idol winners so far, including this year's winner. In fact, Kelly Clarkson's PhotoStamp is already available, with subsequent stamps released each Tuesday.
So if you're planning to kidnap one of Kelly's hats and send her a ransom note with cut-out letters from various newspaper articles about her, demanding that she go out on a date with you if she ever wants to see it again, go that extra mile and show her you really care in that extra-special creepy way by using a Kelly Clarkson PhotoStamp! Remember, net proceeds from the sales of these stamps go to charity. And while you may be crazy, that doesn't mean you don't care!
Keep in mind, there will be spoilers. It's not like I found out the secret to Lost, but I figured I would still give fair warning. The show will air on Wednesday April 9th at 7:30 pm ET / PT. For what happened at the taping and in the press room, read on after the jump. And check back for Jason's review Wednesday night.
It's a no-brainer really. Last year's American Idol charity-special, "Idol Gives Back," racked up killer ratings for FOX and raised $75 million for charities in the U.S. and Africa. And more importantly it brought in killer ratings for FOX (did I say that already)! Of course they're going to do it again this year, and now according to Variety, they've set the date for "Idol Gives Back 2008." April 9, 8/7c the two-hour star-studded extravaganza will once again bombard our retinas.
THIS. IS. IDOL. GIVES. BACK.
Before the show begins, we're told it's LIVE, even though it isn't. It was taped Monday night. Just so you know.
Then Ryan explains how the fundraising will work. News Corp will donate 10 cents for each call received tonight (up to 50 million calls) for a total of $5 million dollars. Wait, is this the same $5 million dollars they pledged earlier or an additional $5 million?
Also, Ford, Coca-Cola, and AT&T get their first thanks of the night. They will be thanked a couple more times before the hour is over.
BECAUSE. THIS. IS. IDOL. GIVES. BACK.
The producers claim that they are making the switch to one-hour results shows a month earlier than expected because there hasn't even been enough time for the booted singers to perform their farewell songs on air during the crammed 30-minute editions.
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