Barking with the Stars!
Lights! Camera! Action!
Ummm … Lint rollers!
Barking with the (4-legged) Stars
It looks like another Beverly Hills event, with red carpets, stars strutting on the runway,
television and movie stars hanging out, and cameras everywhere.
But the first hint that this is different is that the oversize gold Oscar-trophy- esque
statues in the ring are in the shape of a dog.
It’s the second annual Beverly Hills Dog Show presented by Purina and hosted by the
Kennel Club of Beverly Hills. And while a collection of Hollywood stars is expected to be
on hand to be part of the excitement, the real stars – sorry Hollywood – are the dogs,
more than 1,500 in nearly 200 breeds and varieties.
The club is hosting two all-breed AKC dog shows on Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4,
with the Saturday show being taped for presentation on USA Network on Easter
Sunday, April 1, from 6-8pm (PT, ET). A rebroadcast is set for the following Sunday on
NBC at 10am PT and 1pm ET.
Longtime television dog show co-hosts John O’Hurley and David Frei return to anchor
the broadcast. In addition to last year’s premiere Beverly Hills Show, they are coming off
their 16 th year together on the National Dog Show presented by Purina on NBC on
Thanksgiving Day. That program and its encore airing was seen by nearly 30 million
viewers, by far the largest TV audience for a dog show anywhere.
O’Hurley, the award-winning actor and television personality (Seinfeld, Family Feud),
author and Broadway star, along with the longtime purebred dog breeder-owner-
handler, judge and author Frei have helped to create the most popular and most-
watched dog shows on television since the network put them together in 2002.
Their colleague, the well-known and beloved Mary Carillo, returns to Beverly Hills as the
features and backstage reporter, as well. The newest member of the team will be media
star Maria Menounos, who will handle the red carpet reporting in her first year as a
member of the dog show team.
In the year ensuing last year’s Beverly Hills Dog Show, O’Hurley has managed to stay
quite busy. He spent much of the year touring with his one-man show, “A Man with
Standards,” receiving universal praise for his retrospective of music of the Great
American Songbook, as told by him in the perspective of his eclectic life and career.
The show has been nominated by BroadwayWorld for its Best Show award. His movie,
“Swing Away,” got a lot of attention, as well. The winner of the first “Dancing with the
Stars” competition, he continues to manage a huge schedule of appearances and
Frei spent the year tending to his full calendar of dog events and speaking
engagements. He judged the first dog show ever televised live in China, the only judge
for a prestigious invitational show in Shanghai. He was also honored as the 2017
inductee into the Dog Writers Association of America Hall of Fame. He continues his
work on his third book, “The Mayor of Westminster,” a look back at his 27 years as the
television co-host and media relations director at the Westminster Kennel Club.
Carillo returns as the features and backstage reporter, continuing her role that began
with the National Dog Show many years ago. Coming off her 13 th Olympics last month,
she also continues with her impressive correspondent role in “HBO’s Real Sports with
Bryant Gumbel” and as an expert commentator for television tennis events. Sports
Illustrated has called her the sport’s top analyst. For six years, she co-hosted the
Westminster telecast on USA Network with Frei. Her “go-anywhere, do-anything” talent
and attitude has made her a great media star, and reflective of that, she has been
honored with two coveted Peabody Awards for her work.
The newest member of the NBCU dog show team is actress, journalist, and TV host
Maria Menounos. She recently Co-hosted the Fox New Year’s Eve Times Square
celebration, and is the first person in history to report for network news and star in a
wide-release feature film. She has appeared on ABC News, the Today Show, NBC
Nightly News, Entertainment Tonight and more. She is a widely acclaimed author and
digital broadcast star, as well as a celebrity spokesperson for many products. Like
O’Hurley, she has also competed in Dancing With the Stars.
(For the moment, both Frei and Carillo have resisted the encouragement to compete in
Dancing With the Stars.)
The Beverly Hills Dog Show presented by Purina was created by NBC Sports Group in
a multi-year agreement with the Kennel Club of Beverly Hills and Purina.
Paired with the National Dog Show presented by Purina and hosted by the Kennel Club
of Philadelphia, the partnership gives USA / NBC Universal and Purina an East-West
pairing and presents the only dog show West of the Mississippi River to be nationally
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, last year’s show on NBC
reached nearly 30 million viewers over its debut broadcast at noon on Thanksgiving
Day, followed by a primetime encore the following Saturday. 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).
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