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“Stand Up to Cancer”: Big Three’s hour of power

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Very classy. With Laura Ziskin at the helm, ABC, CBS and NBC pulled off a historic simultaneous telecast devoted to raising money for cancer research and awareness among viewers of the importance of early-detection tests for the disease that claims 550,000 Americans every year.

“Stand Up to Cancer” was part telethon and part tribute to the millions of famous and ordinary folks who have battled cancer in its many forms. The hourlong, commercial-free special, originating from Hollywood’s Kodak Theater, was notable for featuring a joint-emcee appearance by the Big Three news anchors — Charlie Gibson, Katie Couric and Brian Standupcancertrio Williams — and appearances by a gaggle of celebs. Presidential contenders John McCain and Barack Obama sent in vids, as did producers of “The Simpsons.”

All in all, an uplifting hour that harnessed the awesome power of the medium on behalf of a most worthy cause. Kudos to Ziskin (pictured below with Ellen DeGeneres), a cancer survivor herself, for joining with Sherry Lansing, the Entertainment Industry Foundation and other organizers to make it happen.

(More pics after the jump. Below right: Jennifer Garner, Evan Handler and Scarlett Johansson)

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