Actress Nicole Kidman and Grammy Award-winning artist Carrie Underwood are among the celebrities scheduled to appear on “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” airing Thanksgiving night on CNN.
Underwood and three-time Grammy Award nominee Leona Lewis will each perform at the gala, which returns to the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood as the network celebrates its third year of honoring everyday people making a difference.
Kidman is scheduled to join celebrities Kate Hudson, Neil Patrick Harris, Pierce Brosnan, Dwayne Johnson, Eva Mendes and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as presenters. Additional celebrity appearances are expected to be announced in the coming days.
Last year’s show included appearances by Hugh Jackman, Salma Hayek, Cameron Diaz, Forest Whitaker, Meg Ryan, Terrence Howard, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale and Lucy Liu, with performances by Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys and John Legend.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper hosts the star-studded gala, which will be seen around the world on November 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the global networks of CNN.
The telecast shines a spotlight on the extraordinary accomplishments of the Top 10 CNN Heroes, who were selected by a distinguished Blue Ribbon Panel. Each of this year’s honorees will receive $25,000 in recognition of their work.
The show culminates with the announcement of the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year, who will receive an additional $100,000. Voting to select the Hero of the Year is being conducted through an online poll at CNN.com/Heroes, ending November 19 (6 a.m. ET)
Since February, profiles of 2009 CNN Heroes have been airing weekly on air and online, each chosen from nominations submitted through the CNN Heroes Web site. This year, more than 9,000 nominations were received, more than twice the number of nominations submitted in 2008.
“This record number of nominations is further evidence of the momentum CNN Heroes has built in just a few short years,” said Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide.
“Viewers have been engaged by these stories of inspiration and accomplishment beyond our expectations. It is truly an honor to be able to introduce the CNN Heroes to our global audience every year.”
Again this year, producer/director Joel Gallen will serve as executive producer of “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.” Among his credits, Gallen produced telethon events supporting victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina, winning an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award for “America: A Tribute to Heroes.”
The Kodak Theatre is best known as the first permanent home of the Academy Awards.