Last October, I wrote that the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Labor Day telethon, usually a 21.5-hour stretch of programming, is cutting back to six hours for 2011. Now, according to an item on the L.A. Times Show Tracker blog, something else has been trimmed from the telethon: Jerry Lewis. He'll no longer be hosting the telethon, though he'll turn up to sing "You'll Never Walk Alone" and will remain the MDA's national chairman.
It's hard to imagine the Jerry Lewis Telethon without Jerry Lewis, though disability advocates having long tried to get rid of him, accusing him of pity-mongering and disrespect toward adults with disabilities. Sharing hosting duties this time around will be Nigel Lythgoe of American Idol, Alison Sweeney of The Biggest Loser, and Nancy O'Dell and Jann Carl of Entertainment Tonight. The MDA is hoping that changes in the show will help it attract more big-name performers. Does Lewis's lessened presence make your more or less likely to watch?
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