PHOENIX (AP) — Comedian Jerry Lewis' conspicuous absence is not be the only change at the Muscular Dystrophy Association's telethon this year.
The Tucson, Ariz.-based association is making major changes to the telethon, slashing it down from a nearly 22-hour show to six hours of prime time television in an effort to boost audience numbers, raise more money, and make sponsors and celebrities happy.
The association announced many of the changes Thursday as it moves on from a 45-year partnership with Lewis.
Lewis and the association still haven't said why they've parted ways, but the move doesn't appear to be hindering MDA's plans for the Sept. 4 telethon.
Association spokesman Jim Brown says that while the Lewis' legacy for MDA lives on, the show "will go on" without him.