The NBC Thanksgiving Day special, “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina®,” will crown one of America’s great purebreds as its 2012 champion on Thanksgiving Day, bringing canine competition and entertainment into America’s living rooms for the 11th year.
The holiday special (noon – 2 p.m. in all time zones) follows the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC and is watched annually by a total of almost 20 million viewers. Over 170 breeds vie for “Best in Show” honors in the tradition-rich Kennel Club of Philadelphia competition. An encore presentation will air on NBC in primetime on Friday from 8-10 p.m. ET.
“Families now know to find the National Dog Show Presented by Purina on Thanksgiving Day at noon following the Macy’s Parade,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “With the encore presentation Friday night, these great dogs get to show their stuff in primetime.”
The special is a celebration of America’s fascination with man’s best friend, hosted by John O’Hurley, the “Seinfeld” ensemble actor (catalogue king J. Peterman) and ultimate champion on ABC’s inaugural “Dancing With The Stars.” O’Hurley is joined by expert analyst David Frei, who is the voice of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on USA Network and America’s foremost authority on the sport.
The National Dog Show also boasts a powerful online presence at www.NBCSports.com and at www.NationalDogShow.com. Because of heavy interest from breed enthusiasts around the world, those platforms offer a look at every dog in the group competition, featuring the walks, examination and judging of all the breed-winning canines. The online video will include extensive highlights from the TV special and video from the 10 Best In Show winners who were crowned on Thanksgiving Day over the event’s first decade. The sites will also feature behind the scenes photos and video, capturing all of the backstage energy generated by 1,500-plus eager canines.
Unlike traditional dog show coverage, the two-hour special’s unique content is facilitated by the open format of the event, one of only five remaining “benched” shows in which the dogs are on display all day for the visiting public.
The show will spotlight two new AKC-recognized breeds, both of which will be making their major-event and national television debuts. The Russell Terrier and Treeing Walker Coonhound will be introduced to the American television audience as part of the family entertainment special airing on NBC affiliates across the country.