TVThursday is another night of fun, mayhem and charity in NBC’s fourth annual telecast of Red Nose Day specials where celebrities of TV, movies and music come together to raise funds for kids living in poverty. The three-hour event begins with the second annual edition of Celebrity Ninja Warrior, followed by a special edition of Hollywood Game Night and then the big Red Nose Day Special that will broadcast live from Rockefller Plaza in New York City.
Red Nose Day was created by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning writer-director Richard Curtis, (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill). It has raised more than $1 billion globally since its launch 30 years ago in the U.K. in 1988. It is a culmination of a seven-week fundraising campaign, which brings together millions of Americans around the country to have fun and make a difference.
|Akba Gbajabiamila on the course. (NBC)|
Beginning at 8:00 p.m., the American Ninja Warrior special will be hosted by Matt Iseman and Kristine Leahy as usual co-host, Akbar Gbajabiamila will be running the course this year. While this will be Akbar’s first time on the course it will be Derek Hough’s (World of Dance) second time on the course. They will be joined by Grammy Award winner NE-YO (World of Dance), WWE Star Nikki Bella, Colton Dunn (Superstore), Scott Evans (Access), Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin and Gregg Sulkin (Runaways).
Elite ninjas will return to support and mentor their partner as they take on the physical and mental challenges of the course. Kevin Bull (coaching Akbar), Drew Drechsel (coaching NE-YO), Natalie Duran (coaching Colton), Meagan Martin (coaching Derek), Grant McCartney (coaching Nikki), Flip Rodriguez (coaching Scott), Barclay Stockett (coaching Nastia) and Maggie Thorne (coaching Gregg) will help the celebrities through a grueling set of obstacles including the floating steps, the spinning bridge and the iconic warped wall.
|Host Jane Lynch and Jack Black (NBC)|
Beginning at 9:00 p.m. this edition of Hollywood Game Night, will be played a bit differently than what we are used to. The team that gets the most points in each game earns money to be donated to Red Nose Day. At the end of five rounds, the team that’s earned the most money will go on to play a special Celebrity Name Game for the chance to raise even more funds.
Hosted by Jane Lynch, the star players for the evening include Kelly Clarkson (The Voice), Sean Hayes (Will & Grace), Jack Black (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), Chelsea Handler (Chelsea), Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers), Sarah Silverman (I Love You, America), Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live) and Cedric the Entertainer (Why Him). Additionally, blink-182’s Travis Barker will join the “HGN” house band, The Scorekeepers, as a guest drummer for the evening.
The two teams will play Red Nose Day-themed versions of fan-favorite games, including Super Smash the Buzzer, Clue-Boom!, Lil Picassos and more.
Finally, the night finishes off with the mother of all telethons where various celebrities will be taking the calls for donations for the night. Chris Hardwick will serve again as host and celebrity appearances include Jack Black, Jennifer Garner, Kristen Bell, Kelly Clarkson, Julia Roberts, Ed Sheeran, Marlon Wayans, Sean Hayes, Ellie Kemper, Zooey Deschanel, Tony Hale, Sasheer Zamata, Jane Lynch, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Matt Iseman and Jack McBrayer. Funds raised support programs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and some of the poorest communities internationally to ensure that children who are living in poverty are safe, healthy and educated.
The one-hour special will include Kelly Clarkson visiting a local elementary school to celebrate students who are raising money for Red Nose Day, while helping them realize their power to make a difference and inspire positive change for children who are in need. Clarkson will visit a third-grade classroom, attend a Red Nose Day Rally and participate in a student-run fair featuring fun and creative activities to raise funds for Red Nose Day. Clarkson and the kids will team up to shine a light on all of the amazing students who make a difference.
Julia Roberts shares the story of Devine, a little boy who lives in Liberia who suffered from severe malnutrition. Thanks to donations to Red Nose Day, he has the chance at a healthy childhood.
Ed Sheeran, a long-time supporter of Red Nose Day in both the U.K. and U.S., will help to highlight the issues facing so many homeless children around the world who are living without access to education or safe shelter — and how Red Nose Day funds can help.
In addition, Kristen Bell, Jack Black, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Garner, Zooey Deschanel, Tony Hale, Sean Hayes, Marlon Wayans, Sasheer Zamata and Jack McBrayer will make special appearances in hilarious comedy sketches during the telecast.