Tom Hanks, Tracee Ellis Ross and Kristen Bell are among the additional celebrity attendees and performers who are joining Norman Lear’s 100th birthday special on ABC.
Asante Blackk, George Clooney, Laverne Cox, Isabella Gomez, Emily Hampshire, Rita Moreno, Ms. Pat, Jay Pharoah, Rob Reiner, Aida Rodriguez and George Wallace, along with Hanks, will provide speeches and comic acts during “Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter.” Meanwhile, Bell, Ross, Anthony Anderson, Ledisi, Justina Machado, Kelly Rowland, Amber Stevens West and Michelle William will pay tribute to iconic sitcom theme songs with special musical performances.
The new roster of attendees join previously announced talent Jennifer Aniston, Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Poehler and Octavia Spencer.
Honoring the life and legacy of the pioneering storyteller, activist and philanthropist, the one-night-only celebration will feature intimate conversations, special performances and surprise reunions that pay homage to the man behind some of TV’s greatest stories in celebration of his 100th birthday. The tribute was announced on July 27, which coincided with Lear’s centennial.
“I’ve always believed music and laughter have added time to my life. I’ve seen a lot throughout my 100 years, but I would’ve never imagined America having a front-row seat to my birthday celebration,” Lear said in a statement.
Lear is behind some of the most well-known programming in TV history, including iconic shows of the 1970s and ‘80s like “All in the Family,” “Good Times,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude” and “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.” More recently, he served as executive producer to the critically acclaimed reimagining of “One Day at a Time,” which ran for four seasons and was the first Netflix series to be renewed for network television (PopTV and CBS). Lear executive produces and co-hosts “Live in Front of a Studio Audience…,” alongside Kimmel, which set record ratings for ABC and won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special for two consecutive years.
“Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter” is produced by Done+Dusted, with executive producers David Jammy, Brent Miller, Garrett English, Raj Kapoor and Eric Cook. James Merryman is the director.
“Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music and Laughter” will air on ABC on Sept. 22, with next-day streaming on Hulu.