The Red Nose Day fundraiser is returning to network NBC, with a new special set to air on May 26.
Red Nose Day, which has celebrities appear to help raise funds for a charitable cause, debuted in Britain in 1988 after the charity Comic Relief was founded. The first Red Nose Day aired on the BBC and brought in more than £15 million.
Last year marked the first time Red Nose Day came to America, and now the event will be returning to television. NBC’s 2015 Red Nose Day raised more than $23 million, with the funds going to help children and teenagers in poverty.
Many celebrities are scheduled to appear on this year’s program, including Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jane Lynch, Paul Rudd, and Kristen Bell, to name only a few. Comedian Craig Ferguson, formerly of CBS’s “Late Late Show,” is set to host.
Last year’s special was not viewed as a ratings success – Tony Maglio of TheWrap wrote that the ratings for the special among viewers 18-49 decreased 27 percent from NBC’s programming the week before. However, the night on which the event was held could explain that, writes Mr. Maglio.
“Thursday night had the distinction of being the first night of the lighter summer season,” he wrote. “Coupled with the Memorial Weekend holiday, television wasn’t going to get a ton of eyeballs no matter what aired.”
As for the content on the special, TVLine writer Michael Slezak wrote that "some folks vastly exceeded our predictions ... [but] others fell just a tad short." Some of the portions Mr. Slezak praised were a song performed by Ed Sheeran and Kermit the Frog, which he called the "best duet," while Slezak found actress Helen Mirren bringing tea to those backstage and her reaction to some of the tea to be "hands-down the telecast's funniest unspoken punch line."