NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 2016 – NBC’s Thanksgiving Day special, “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina®,” will crown one of America’s great purebreds as its 2016 champion on Thanksgiving Day, bringing canine competition and family entertainment to America’s viewers for the 15th 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 more than 20 million viewers. Over 180 breeds vie for Best in Show honors in the tradition-rich Kennel Club of Philadelphia competition. An encore presentation airs on NBC in primetime on Saturday, November 26, from 8-10 p.m. ET.
The TV special is a celebration of man’s best friend, hosted by beloved TV personality John O’Hurley and expert analyst David Frei, who have been together since the launch of the popular holiday special in 2002. Mary Carillo will report from the backstage benching area as the dogs prepare to compete and former Olympic figure skaters Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski will also lend their distinctive presence.
The show’s popularity over the past decade and one-half is a tribute to the dogs in our lives and its time slot following the Macy’s Parade from noon-2 p.m. in all time zones, before football viewing takes over the day.
The National Dog Show boasts a powerful digital presence at NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app that includes a live stream of the entire NBC Thanksgiving Day show, featuring all seven group competition videos and Best in Show. Because of heavy interest from breed enthusiasts around the world, the NBC Sports digital platforms offer an exclusive look at the walks and judging of every breed-winning canine. The online video will include highlights from the TV special, behind-the-scenes photos and video, capturing all the backstage canine energy. It will be available on desktop, tablets and smart phones. The two-hour special’s unique content is facilitated by the “benched” format of the event, one of only three remaining shows in which the dogs are on display all day for the public.
The show will feature two vignettes that highlight Purina’s new #dogthanking initiative to thank the four-legged friends who make our lives so special. Now through Nov. 27, Purina invites dog owners to log on to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tell the world why they are so thankful for their dog and how they thank their pooch. For every original post that includes @Purina and #DogThanking, Purina will donate one dollar to the AKC Canine Health Foundation – up to $50,000– to help further pet health research. Submitted videos, photos and posts may be shown during the National Dog Show broadcast.