NEW YORK — November 9, 2015 — NBC will present the 14th annual edition of its popular holiday special “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina®” on Thanksgiving (noon-2 p.m. in all time zones) following the telecast of NBC’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“The National Dog Show Presented by Purina®” celebrates man’s best friend and is hosted by award-winning actor, author and Broadway star John O’Hurley (“Seinfeld,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Devious Maids”). Expert analysis is offered by David Frei, an American Kennel Club-licensed judge and host of USA Network’s “Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.” NBC’s Mary Carillo will report from the benching area and inside the show ring. Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir also join the show as reporters and digital contributors.
“I'm thinking a bit outside the box as I prepare for my favorite day of the year,” said O’Hurley. “While the judges look for excellence in a dog’s eyes, the coat, and the way they ‘stack,’ I’ll be watching each dog’s tail. A dog’s tail is attached to their heart, and with every wag, it shows how much love is being spread across the world on Thanksgiving.”
Included this year are seven new AKC-sanctioned breeds — the Lagotto Romagnolo (sporting group), the Berger Picard (herding group), the Miniature American Shepherd (herding group), the Bergamasco (herding group), the Spanish Water Dog (herding group), the Cirneco dell’Etna (hound group) and the Boerboel (working group) — bringing the total recognized breeds for the competition to 199. A total of 40 new breeds have been introduced to the competition since 2003. Breed descriptions and more information can be found at http://nds.nationaldogshow.com/event-info-newbreed15.php.
Last year, Nathan, a playful Bloodhound whose stadium ring antics won over the crowd, was named Best in Show from among the seven group winners.
An established family holiday tradition, the broadcast reached more than 20 million total viewers last year and is part of a five-hour block of family programming. The telecast will showcase some 1,700 purebred canines competing for the title of Best in Show, with enormous prestige at stake. Unlike traditional dog show coverage, the National Dog Show offers the country’s 65 million pet-owning households an afternoon of family-oriented activities, facilitated by the open format of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia event. As one of the only remaining “benched” dog shows, all of the competing breeds are on display all day for the visiting public.
To continue the family fun, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will present a Thanksgiving day marathon (beginning 5:00pm ET/PT) of “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina®,” featuring all five Best in Show winners from 2010-2014.
NBC will present a primetime encore of this year’s “National Dog Show Presented by Purina®” on Friday, November 27 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT).
For more information on the “National Dog Show Presented by Purina®,” visit: http://www.nationaldogshow.com
Erika Lewis, Erika.Lewis@nbcuni.com, 212-664-5478
Raven Jones, Raven.Jones@nbcuni.com, 212-664-6978