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Cancer telethon bests 2008 version

More than 18 million tune in to multi-network special

Friday’s multinetwork “Stand Up 2 Cancer” telethon was viewed by an audience of 18.3 million, according to Nielsen.

That’s up 15% from the inaugural “Stand Up” telethon in 2008 that raised $100 million. Hourlong program aired commercial-free at 8 p.m. on the Big Four nets and 11 cablers in a rare show of TV solidarity.

Among the celebrities answering phones during the live special, staged on the Sony Pictures lot, was Michael Douglas, who is battling throat cancer and stars in the upcoming sequel “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” (See related story, page 23.)

Nielsen estimated 9.1 million households tuned in to some portion of the telethon.