Emmy Award-Winning Journalist & Host Maria Menounos and Her Dog Whinnie Team up to Encourage Dog Owners to Join Purina’s #DogThanking Movement.
MARIA MENOUNOS, Emmy Award-winning journalist and host of Apple Podcast “Conversations with Maria”
In celebration of the National Dog Show Presented by Purina and the Thanksgiving holiday, Purina invites dog lovers across the nation to share why they are thankful for their pet, using #DogThanking and tagging @Purina. This November, Purina wants to recognize the four-legged friends who make our lives so special, especially those pets that act as service animals to veterans across the country.
From November 9-25, for every unique post shared on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram that includes @Purina and #DogThanking, Purina will donate $1 (up to $25,000) to Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation’s Pets and Vets program. This amazing program helps pair shelter pets with veterans coping with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, anxiety, and other service-related challenges as they transition back to civilian life following their service. Additionally, through Veterans Day, the Purina Dog Chow Service Dog Salute campaign is also paying tribute to our armed forces and the loyal dogs that serve them by sharing their stories and donating up to $500,000.
The National Dog Show will premiere on Thanksgiving Day on NBC at noon in all time zones. In its 17th year, the show celebrates man’s best friend and continues an established family holiday tradition. The show will crown one of America’s great dogs as its 2018 champion, bringing canine competition and entertainment to more than 20 million viewers. More than 2,000 dogs representing more than 175 breeds will vie for Best in Show honors. Beloved TV personality John O’Hurley, best known as “J. Peterman” on Seinfeld, will serve as show co-host, along with veteran dog show analyst David Frei. NBC sports commentator Mary Carillo will also be participating as a National Dog Show correspondent.
MORE ABOUT MARIA MENOUNOS:
As a journalist, Emmy Award Winner, Maria Menounos, holds the distinct honor of having conducted the only interview with the entire Obama family: an interview touted by ABC News as the top defining moments leading to Obama’s victory. Maria’s achievements have thus far set numerous like industry milestones. Her groundbreaking conversational style of reporting led her, at the age of 22, to become the youngest person ever to host “Entertainment Tonight.” She would go on to do the same for the “Today” show and “Nightly News" AND become the first person in the history of Hollywood to report for network news and star in a wide-release feature film. Currently, Maria hosts the leading female Apple Podcast, 'Conversations with Maria!’ Maria is also THE most viewed face in all of American cinema as Host and Producer of NCM's 'Noovie', the cinema pre-show seen daily, before each and every feature, on 70% of America's movie screens.
In celebration of the National Dog Show and the Thanksgiving holiday, Purina invites dog lovers across the world to share why the dog sitting next to them is the best through its annual #DogThanking initiative. The proceeds from this social media program will be donated to support people and pets affected by hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and other areas.
Dog owners are encouraged to log onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to post photos or videos showing why the beloved dog sitting next to them is the best by using the hashtag #DogThanking. For every original post submitted through November 26 using the hashtag and tagging @Purina, they will donate one dollar to GreaterGood.org (up to $50,000) an organization devoted to improving the health and well-being of people, pets, and the planet. More specifically, the donations raised will be used to support hurricane relief for pets and people.
The National Dog Show will premiere on Thanksgiving Day at noon in all time zones. For the 16th year, the show will bring canine competition and entertainment to America’s viewers and crown one of America’s great dogs as its 2017 champion. More than 1,700 dogs representing more than 175 breeds will vie for Best in Show honors. The show is watched by more than 25 million viewers annually. Beloved TV personality John O’Hurley, best known as “J. Peterman” on Seinfeld, will serve as show co-host, along with veteran dog show analyst David Frei.
For more information please visit www.purina.com
MORE ABOUT ANDY COHEN:
Andy Cohen is an Emmy Award-winning host, producer, and author best known as the host and executive producer of “Watch What Happens Live,” Bravo’s late night, interactive talk show. The series is the only live show in Late Night, and features everyone from “Bravolebrities” to big names in pop culture, including Oprah Winfrey, Cher, Lady Gaga, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lopez, Will Ferrell, and Jimmy Fallon. He also serves as executive producer of “The Real Housewives” franchise and hosts the network’s highly rated reunion specials. In 2014, Details Magazine called the show, “compulsively engrossing,” while touting Cohen as a “genius;” possibly “the smartest man on TV;” GQ describes “Watch What Happens Live” as “the most primitively authentic ting on television” and TV Guide thinks it’s late night’s “unlikeliest success story.” In his ten years as an executive at Bravo he was responsible for an aggressive slate of unscripted series and specials including hits such as "Project Runway,” “Top Chef,” “Queer Eye,” "The Millionaire Matchmaker,” “Million Dollar Listing,” “Being Bobby Brown,” “Shahs of Sunset,” “Flipping Out,” “Top Design,” “Work Out,” “Make Me a Supermodel,” “Blow Out,” “Kathy Griffin My Life On the D List,” “The A List Awards” “The Rachel Zoe Project,” “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist,” “Bethenny Ever After,” “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover,” and “The Real Housewives” franchises.
About the Show
From the Kennel Club of Philadelphia and celebrating America's continued love of man's best friend, "The National Dog Show Presented by Purina" returns for its 14th year on NBC. Hosted by actor, author and Broadway star John O'Hurley, the event features 2,000 of the nation's leading canines from over 170 breeds (including the world's largest, smallest and most exotic) strutting their fur in the hopes of following in the pawsteps of Nathan the Bloodhound, last year's crowd-favorite top dog.
"The Dean" David Frei provides expert show commentary, and Mary Carillo chimes in as an adept sideline reporter for this ultimate canine showdown. But which dogs will have their day, and which will leave with their tails between their legs? After all, there can only be one "Best in Show."
Two-hour LIVE special
David Frei, one of the most authoritative voices in the dog show world, is a natural choice to serve as the expert analyst for NBC’s The National Dog Show Presented by Purina®.
An American Kennel Club (AKC)-licensed judge who has officiated dog shows all over the world, Frei has hosted USA Network’s coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show from Madison Square Garden since 1990 and has a myriad of other television credits. He has co-hosted the National Dog Show since its inception in 2002.
In 2011, Frei published Angel on a Leash (BowTie Press), which tells of his years of experience and work with therapy dogs. His first book, The Angel By My Side (Hay House), published in 2002 with Mike Lingenfelter, tells the true story of the Delta Society Service Dog of the Year that helped save a man suffering from numerous heart complications. The book claimed two Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) awards in 2002.
In the dog show world, Frei has enjoyed much competitive success as a breeder/handler/owner of Afghan Hounds and Brittanys. Despite this competitive success, Frei is most proud of the work that his dogs do in therapy efforts, visiting patients and families at the Ronald McDonald House of New York and at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Frei is the Director of Communications for the Westminster Kennel Club, and before that, was the Director of Media Relations for the American Kennel Club. He is the founder and chief executive of Angel on a Leash, a non-profit foundation that facilitates therapy dog visits to patients in hospitals and healthcare facilities around the country. He is a member of the Sports Council for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and volunteers at Transfiguration Church and School in New York’s Chinatown.
Frei has held public relations positions with the Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and ABC-TV Sports in New York. He lives in New York City with his wife Cherilyn, the Chaplain and Director of Family Support at the Ronald McDonald House in New York.
ELITE COMPETITION, NEW BREEDS AND MORE
IN NATIONAL DOG SHOW PRESENTED BY PURINA®
THANKSGIVING DAY ON NBC FOLLOWING MACY’S PARADE
Holiday TV Special, Hosted by John O’Hurley & David Frei,
Also Airing Saturday Night in Primetime on NBC
New York, NY – The NBC Thanksgiving Day special, “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina®,” will crown one of America’s great purebreds as its 2013 champion on Thanksgiving Day, bringing canine competition and entertainment into America’s living rooms for the 12th 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 175 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 Saturday, November 30, 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 Saturday night, these great dogs get to show their stuff in primetime for the second consecutive year.”
The special is a celebration of America’s fascination with man’s best friend, hosted by beloved TV personality John O’Hurley, best known as “J. Peterman” on Seinfeld. O’Hurley is joined by expert analyst David Frei, 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 and judging of all the breed-winning canines. The online video will include extensive highlights from the TV special and video from the 11 past Best in Show winners. 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 four remaining “benched” shows in which the dogs are on display all day for the visiting public.
The show will spotlight three new AKC-recognized breeds, the Portugese Podengo Pequeno, the Rat Terrier and the Chinook, making their television and major-event debuts.
The National Dog Show Presented by Purina takes place on Saturday, November 16, at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center as part of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s annual cluster of all-breed shows.
The producer of the event is Carson International of Ketchum, ID, the world’s most prominent producer and packager of canine events for live audiences and television.