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Fox announces 'American Idol's third 'Idol Gives Back' will air April 21

By Christopher Rocchio, 10/06/2009 

Fox has announced that it will air a third Idol Gives Back fund-raising special during American Idol's live ninth-season Top 7 results show broadcast on Wednesday, April 21 at 8PM ET/PT.

"I am very pleased to announce that we will be doing our third Idol Gives Back," said Idol creator Simon Fuller in announcing the news.

"This is our opportunity to reach out and support the people of America and around the world who need our compassion and generosity to improve or even save their lives. America will undoubtedly prove once again what a remarkable and generous nation it is. For American Idol to be able to facilitate this kind of initiative makes me very proud."

Idol Gives Back -- which was originally modeled on British charity fundraiser Red Nose Day -- was first held in April 2007, when it raised $76 million and featured live performances by numerous artists.  It was subsequently held again the following April and raised $64 million -- bringing its two-year total to $140 million.

However Fox decided against hosting a third-annual charity fund-raising special this past spring, and American Idol executive producer Ken Warwick subsequently explained it was due to the "difficult financial time for everyone globally." 

Now Fox reality chief Mike Darnell claims it's those difficult financial times that make Idol Gives Back especially important.

"In today's tough economic times, it's more important than ever -- but more difficult than ever -- to raise money to help those in need," said Darnell. "With this year's Idol Gives Back, we're focused on raising awareness about the challenges that so many children and families currently face and demonstrating how even small donations can make a difference and help save lives. Every little bit counts."

Organizations that will benefit from Idol Gives Back include the Children's Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More, Save the Children's U.S. Programs and the United Nations Foundation.
"There's never been a more important and appropriate time to give what we can to help those less fortunate," said executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. 

"We all have less to give, and we may not raise as much as in previous years, but with the power of the Idol platform and the generosity of our viewers, we hope to extend a much-needed compassionate hand to those children and families who need us the most in these trying economic times."

While Idol decided against eliminating a sixth-season finalist during its Idol Gives back special in 2007, Fox announced that a ninth-season finalist will be ousted during its upcoming April broadcast based on home viewer votes.

"Idol Gives Back" is back.

Producers of "American Idol" say the show's charity effort will return next year, with "Idol Gives Back" set to air April 21.

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