Networks to jointly produce telethon

In what would amount to an unprecedented cooperative effort, the four major networks are planning to produce a two-hour entertainment special this Friday to help raise money for disaster relief work at the site of the World Trade Center devastation, published reports said today.

ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox are likely to be joined by numerous cable networks, the reports said. “If this is of the magnitude I’ve heard it described, that it’s essentially an entertainment program for a relief fund, we could, with confidence, say that’s never before happened,” Prof. Robert Thompson of Syracuse University’s Center for Popular Television told today’s New York Daily News.

The telethon is expected to originate in New York and Los Angeles with veteran producer Joel Gallen overseeing the project. Jim Carrey, George Clooney and Ben Stiller are among the celebrities who have reportedly agreed to appear on the show.