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By United Press International   |   Nov. 7, 2012 at 4:00 AM

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'DAY OF GIVING:' The Disney/ABC Television Group says its "Day of Giving" raised more than $16.8 million to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy on America's East Coast.

The media/entertainment company integrated outreach messaging into Monday's programming across its News, Daytime, Primetime, Late Night, Owned Stations, Local Affiliates, Syndication, Cable, Online and Stores divisions to raise money for the American Red Cross.

"Our 'Day of Giving' was an enormous success, raising more than $16.8 million to help those impacted by Hurricane Sandy," Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, said in a statement Tuesday.

"From 'Good Morning America,' 'The View' and our owned TV stations to 'Jimmy Kimmel Live,' ABC Family, and Radio Disney, the Disney/ABC TV Group came together in an unprecedented fashion to address the storm's devastation, and I could not be more proud. But we didn't achieve this alone. ... The Walt Disney Co. led the way with its initial multimillion-dollar relief and rebuilding donation, and other divisions of our company, including Disney.com, Consumer Products and ESPN, joined in our daylong outreach. Working together, we achieved a response to these efforts that was so massive our colleagues with Parks & Resorts were asked to donate their time to help handle the dramatic increase in call volume. This success would not have been possible without everyone's support and enthusiasm."

The Walt Disney Co. separately announced last week it was making a $2 million commitment to the relief effort. One million was donated to the American Red Cross for immediate, critical assistance, and another $1 million designated for organizations working on rebuilding efforts.

In addition, employee eligible donations to organizations involved in disaster relief will be matched, dollar for dollar, by Disney Employee Matching Gifts: A Program of The Walt Disney Co. Foundation.


HARRISON FORD: Hollywood film icon Harrison Ford would consider reprising his role of Han Solo in a new "Star Wars" film if asked, sources told EW.com.

A new trilogy of "Star Wars" sequels was announced last week. The first film is expected to hit theaters in 2015. The announcement was made as franchise creator George Lucas sold his Lucasfilm production company to Disney for $4 billion.

"Harrison is open to the idea of doing the movie and he's upbeat about it; all three of them are," an insider told the entertainment industry news website, referring to original "Star Wars" veterans Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.

After appearing in the "Star Wars" hits in the 1970s and '80s, Ford went on to headline the blockbusters "The Fugitive," "Air Force One," "Working Girl," "Clear and Present Danger," "Presumed Innocent" and "Blade Runner," as well as four "Indiana Jones" movies.

EW.com said Ford, now 70, isn't expected to enter contract talks for another "Star Wars" movie until there is a script and director.


THE CIVIL WARS: U.S. folk duo The Civil Wars announced on Facebook Tuesday it has canceled its concert tour due to "internal discord."

"We sincerely apologize for the canceling of all of our tour dates," Joy Williams and John Paul White said in an online statement.

"It is something we deeply regret. However, due to internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition we are unable to continue as a touring entity at this time," the message said. "We thank each and every one of you for your amazing love & support. Our sincere hope is to have new music for you in 2013."

The musicians offered to try to reimburse fans who provide records for non-refundable charges incurred because of the cancellations.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II: British Queen Elizabeth II's outfits for her hilarious Olympics parachute jump stunt in London took months of secret preparation, her dressmaker said.

The 86-year-old monarch was filmed leaving Buckingham Palace in a helicopter with current James Bond portrayer Daniel Craig, then appeared to parachute into the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics -- actually a stunt double.

The Daily Telegraph quoted Angela Kelly -- personal assistant, adviser and curator to the queen for nearly 20 years -- as saying the stunt was kept top-secret and even the monarch's other dressmakers didn't know why two of the same peach cocktail frocks were being made.

Kelly said she worked closely with director Danny Boyle's team to ensure the dresses worn by the queen and her stunt double were exactly the same.

"The Buckingham Palace dressmakers worked quietly for months, never having both dresses out of storage at the same time," Kelly wrote in her new book, "Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe." "Even they did not know why two dresses were required for the same event."

Kelly said the color of the dress was chosen because it was bright enough to be seen as "the queen" descended into the stadium and was not associated with any of the participating Olympic nations, the Telegraph reported.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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