12:07pm PT by THR staff
USA Network to Broadcast Inaugural 'Beverly Hills Dog Show'
USA Network is expanding its canine coverage.
The NBCUniversal cabler is set to broadcast the Beverly Hills Dog Show for the first time ever on Easter Sunday, April 16, it was announced Wednesday.
The show was created as part of a new multiyear pact with the Kennel Club of Beverly Hills and Purina and will be produced by NBC Sports Group. The competition is expected to include 1,000 dogs from 200 eligible breeds. Seven best in show finalists will then walk a fashion show-style runway for the judges to determine a champion.
The two-hour telecast will be co-hosted by John O'Hurley (Seinfeld, Dancing With the Stars) and famed breeder, author and judge David Frei. NBCUniversal stars are expected to participate, but no other talent has yet been named.
NBC also has found success with the National Dog Show, which also is co-hosted by O'Hurley and Frei and also airs on a holiday. That ceremony has regularly aired on Thanksgiving since 2002, and most recently drew 26 million viewers over several airings last year. USA Network was home to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show from 1982 up until this year.
“We are thrilled about becoming a part of the dog show tradition on USA Network and NBC,” said Kennel Club of Beverly Hills president Tom Powers. “Our goal is to make this a real celebration of all the dogs in our life.”
Added Purina Professional Engagement Team vp Sean Fitzgerald: “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. 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.”