Net launches 'Charity' initiative CBS SPECIAL TO BENEFIT CHILDREN

CBS this summer will turn over three hours of primetime in a bid to help raise money for disadvantaged children around the world.

As part of a global initiative that’s being dubbed the “Listen Charity Campaign,” the Eye said it will gather leading artists from film, music, television, literature and the visual arts for a two-hour performance and information-heavy broadcast. Talent deals were still being finalized as of Monday, a CBS spokesman said.

The special, exec-produced by Tony Hollingsworth (“Nelson Mandela: 70th Birthday Tribute”), is expected to air on a Saturday night in July.

It will be preceded the night before by “Why Listen,” an hourlong special in which six well-known entertainers are documented doing a Brangelina-style visit to disadvantaged children in China, India, Africa and other locales. CBS News exec Susan Zirinsky will produce the Friday hour.

“These specials will be entertaining, informative and will raise awareness for a variety of important issues affecting children worldwide,” said Jack Sussman, exec VP of specials, music and live events for CBS.

Fox last week announced plans for its own kid-based campaign, which will be tied to “American Idol” (Daily Variety, March 8).

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