MLB teams with celebrity-studded lineup for SU2C telecast
Affleck, McConaughey, Stone some of big names going to bat for cancer research
By Mark Newman
Stand Up to Cancer's fifth biennial telecast to help fund cancer research will be streamed live tonight at 8 p.m. ET on MLB.com, with Hall of Famer Frank Robinson representing founding donor Major League Baseball and a big lineup of celebrities, including Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Zach Galifianakis, Anna Kendrick and more.
Also participating are Ed Helms, Matt Bomer, Dave Franco, Sonequa Martin-Green, Rob Riggle, Tony Hale, Terry Crews, Mel B, Bree Turner, Josh Gad, Niecy Nash, Eric Stonestreet, Alison Sweeney, Ken Jeong, Marcia Cross, Greg Grunberg, Danielle Campbell, Charlie Wilson, Brittany Daniel and SU2C co-founder Katie Couric, with special musical performances by Celine Dion and Dierks Bentley, who will join Keith Urban and Little Big Town.
Stars will have an opportunity to interact with the public via the SU2C phone bank and across social media. Additionally, SU2C is harnessing its digital presence by rallying the public through its #reasons2standup campaign. Leading up to and during the telecast, SU2C encourages supporters to share the reasons they have been moved to join in the fight against cancer by sharing photos and videos on social media with the hashtag #reasons2standup.
MLB has provided financial support and countless opportunities to build the Stand Up To Cancer grassroots movement by encouraging fans worldwide to get involved. Robinson, senior advisor to Commissioner Rob Manfred, will be in attendance, as MLB is part of the show once again.
MLB works year-round with SU2C in many ways, most visibly through its in-game moments at jewel events like the one this summer at the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard in San Diego. There, a sellout crowd -- including on-field personnel and the Commissioner -- stood as one to help raise cancer awareness and to hold "I STAND FOR" placards dedicated to individuals who have been lost or touched by cancer.
"I think for baseball it's always important to be affiliated, aligned with A-plus organizations," Manfred said. "Stand Up To Cancer is an A-plus organization, not only in terms of its mission, how important it is that we find a cure for cancer, but also their execution. They have a very unique philosophy about how research should be conducted. It's one that makes a lot of sense to me and a lot of people, and I think they've done tremendous work."
Bradley Cooper, Academy Award-nominated actor and founder of the Bradley Charles Cooper Foundation, will executive-produce the broadcast alongside renowned live-event producers Done + Dusted, in collaboration with SU2C's production team.
"It's truly inspiring to see so many people come together for this cause," said Couric. "We have a great show lined up this year and are grateful to the amazing individuals taking time out of their schedules to participate. It will be a fantastic opportunity for people to learn about some of the incredible new breakthroughs in cancer research and treatment that are giving real hope to many patients and their loved ones."
MLB Network will re-air the even on Saturday morning at 11 ET. In addition to MLB.com live stream, there are more than 40 networks airing the event, as with previous shows. The telecast will broadcast live from The Music Center's Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, along with American Forces Network, ASPiRE, AUDIENCE Network, Bloomberg TV, Bravo, Comedy Central, Discovery Life, E! Entertainment, EPIX, ESPNEWS, FM, FS2, Fusion, FXM, Great American Country, HBO, HLN, ION Television, LMN, Logo, MLB Network, National Geographic, Pivot, RLTV, SHOWTIME, Smithsonian Channel, STARZ, STARZ ENCORE, TBS, Tr3s, VH1 and WGN America are also among those donating one hour of simultaneous commercial-free primetime for the telecast.
For the first time, there will be a Spanish version of the telecast airing nationally on Galavision, HBO Latino, STARZ ENCORE ESPAÑOL and Univision Deportes, and locally on Univision Puerto Rico.
The previous four SU2C telecasts took place on Sept. 5, 2008; Sept. 10, 2010; Sept. 7, 2012; and Sept. 5, 2014, and they were made available to more than 190 countries. The first Canadian-inclusive SU2C telecast aired in '14, and this year's show will again air across all four major English-language Canadian broadcasters: CBC, City, CTV and Global. Additionally, Canadian services AMI, Bloomberg TV Canada, Blue Ant Media, CHCH, CHEK, Fight Network, Hollywood Suite, Joytv, NTV and TLN Television will also air the telecast.
To date, more than $370 million has been pledged to support SU2C's innovative model of collaborative cancer research. Since launching in 2008 with MLB's backing, SU2C has brought together more than 1,200 of the best and the brightest research scientists from 144 leading institutions in seven countries to fund 19 "Dream Teams" and six translational research teams. It also has funded 36 early-career, innovative scientists carrying out high-risk, potentially high-reward projects. SU2C-funded researchers have planned, launched or completed more than 160 clinical trials involving more than 9,000 patients. Work by SU2C-supported researchers has led to FDA approval of two treatments.
SU2C is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.