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Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon (tv program)
MDA Telethon reduced to two-hour ABC special -- with no Jerry Lewis
MDA Telethon reduced to two-hour ABC special -- with no Jerry Lewis

In recent years, the Muscular Dystrophy Assn.'s annual telethon has undergone dramatic transformations from its early days as a live Labor Day weekend broadcast spanning almost two days with an endless parade of stars, pleas for charity and the anything-goes antics of host Jerry Lewis. The hours were gradually reduced, and the most jarring change came in 2011 when the MDA abruptly ousted Lewis as host and national chairman without much explanation. The event continued without him, airing on local and cable stations, but lost much of its entertainment value, which had been tied to Lewis' unpredictable persona. PHOTOS: Cable versus broadcast ratings This year, the...

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