It’s another exciting and dazzling red-carpet runway, star-studded celebrity event from the world of Rodeo Drive, Hollywood and Universal Studios.
But this one is different. The stars from NBCUniversal Entertainment’s biggest television hits are expected to be on hand to share top billing with the beloved four-legged stars of this show.
It’s USA Network’s primetime debut of the inaugural “Beverly Hills Dog Show presented by Purina” at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017.
Fittingly, the seven Best In Show finalists will walk a glitzy fashion show-esque runway in the finals of the competition, making it unlike any dog show ever before. Best In Show will be the culmination of a delightful two-hour television presentation featuring personalities from the world of entertainment helping with a celebration of dogs. Those celebrated dogs will include more than 1,000 dogs from more than 200 eligible breeds expected for the competition, the stars’ own dogs, and also other dogs with interesting and happy stories to share, from Beverly Hills and from the dog show as well.
Created by NBC Sports Group in a multi-year agreement with the Kennel Club of Beverly Hills and Purina, the new program will be hosted from the Fairplex in Pomona, Calif. by well-known breeder-owner-handler, judge and author David Frei, alongside award-winning actor, author and Broadway star (and Beverly Hills resident) John O’Hurley.
Three faces familiar to dog show television viewers will also be part of the team: NBC’s Mary Carillo as a features and backstage reporter, and the figure skating royalty duo of Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, will be red carpet hosts and feature reporters, too.
Yes, NBC’s National Dog Show presented by Purina on Thanksgiving Day has a new member of the family. The addition of the Beverly Hills Dog Show gives USA / NBC Universal and Purina an East-West pairing and presents the only dog show West of the Mississippi River to be nationally televised.
To accommodate the telecast, KCBH moved its dates to March 4-5 for back-to-back shows, and changed its venue from Long Beach to the Fairplex. The Easter telecast will be taped and produced from the Saturday show.
“We look forward to working with our partners to create a special event on Easter night around the new Beverly Hills Dog Show,” said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN. “Coupled with the National Dog Show on NBC on Thanksgiving Day, we are excited to establish another holiday tradition with a new dog show competition.”
Established in 1965, the Kennel Club of Beverly Hills is one of the world’s most recognizable kennel clubs. KCBH touches on and influences many audiences through its community activities that promote interest in dogs, responsible dog ownership, and canine health.
“How great is this, to be adding this venerable event from the West to our family?” said Frei. “Now, even more people will have the chance to share their wonderful dogs with our millions of viewers across the country.”
“We are thrilled about becoming a part of the dog show tradition on USA Network and NBC,” said Tom Powers, president of the Kennel Club of Beverly Hills. “Our goal is to make this a real celebration of all the dogs in our life.”
“We’re excited to strengthen our partnership with NBC to continue delivering engaging and family friendly dog show programming for pet lovers with this new concept that combines the best of the entertainment and dog show worlds,” said Sean Fitzgerald, Vice President, Purina Professional Engagement Team. “We’re proud that the new Beverly Hills Dog Show Presented By Purina will serve as a reminder of Purina’s belief that pets make our lives bigger and better.”
NBC Sports Group and USA Network have for years produced television’s most-compelling dog show competitions. In 2002, NBC Sports Group created a holiday tradition introducing television’s most-watched canine competition “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina.” Anchored by Frei and O’Hurley, the 2016 show on NBC reached more than 26 million viewers over its debut broadcast at noon on Thanksgiving Day followed by a primetime encore with millions of viewers the next night. For more than 30 years, USA Network televised the “Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show”, with Frei co-hosting the competition for 27 years (1990-2016).
The National Dog Show, televised for the 15th consecutive year in 2016, provides a great model for the Beverly Hills Dog Show, with Kennel Club of Philadelphia President Wayne Ferguson and club members providing encouragement and support for their California counterparts.
In addition to the Easter Night debut of the “Beverly Hills Dog Show presented by Purina”, USA Network will present an encore on April 17, and NBC will air a daytime encore on Sunday, April 23.