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Kristin Chenoweth to Host Hallmark Channel's HERO DOG AWARDS

Related: 2nd ANNUAL AMERICAN HUMANE ASSOCIATION HERO DOG AWARDS, Hallmark Channel

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In celebration of the 2nd ANNUAL AMERICAN HUMANE ASSOCIATION HERO DOG AWARDS((TM), which will premiere on Hallmark Channel November 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm ET/PT, the network announced today a special three-day programming stunt centered around our four-legged best friends. Hallmark Channel's dog-centric programming kicks off Tuesday, November 6th at 6:00 pm ET/PT with the classic animated doggy tale, "101 Dalmatians", and culminates with the premiere of the 90-minute Hero Dog Awards broadcast, followed by a special presentation of the HallMark Hall of Fame movie "A Dog Named Christmas".

Hosted by popular television, film, and Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth and taped before a live audience at the Beverly Hilton on October 6th, Hero Dog Awards recognizes the many ways dogs enrich, protect, serve, and save our lives every day. Airing as part of Hallmark Channel's Pet Project, the network's cross-platform animal advocacy campaign, Hero Dog Awards features musical guest Jewel; celebrity presenters and judges such as Betty White, Denise Richards, Michael Vartan, Pauley Perrette, Joey Lawrence, Naomi Judd, Miranda Lambert, Whoopi Goldberg, among many others; and taped comedy sketches with Chelsea Handler, Betty White, and "Mad Men's" Ben Feldman.

After nearly 3 million online votes, eight extraordinary canine finalists, one in each of eight categories, were selected among thousands of nominees in an online contest to represent the 2012 Hero Dog Awards winners. Seven of the categories honor working dogs in the following fields: Search & Rescue, Military, Service, Therapy, Law Enforcement & Arson, Hearing, and Guide. An eighth category, Emerging Hero, is presented to one "ordinary" pet who does extraordinary things. The eight finalists were flown to Beverly Hills with their human handlers for a star-studded, red carpet gala where they were honored with a special Hero Dog award. At the end of the evening, the 2012 Military Dog category winner, Specialized Search Dog Gabe, a yellow Labrador retriever who served in over 200 combat missions in Iraq with his proud handler Sgt. First Class Charles Shuck, was crowned as the winning "American Hero Dog" of 2012.

Following is the premiere schedule for Hallmark Channel's dog-centric programming stunt:

· The 101 Dalmatians Tuesday, November 6 (6:00 pm - 8:00pm) Starring: Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson, and Glenn Close In their small London flat, Dalmatians Pongo and Perdy, and their human "pets" Roger and Anita, are overjoyed by the arrival of 15 puppies. But when the spotted-fur-loving Cruella De Vil and her clumsy cohorts dognap the litter - along with every other Dalmatian pup in London - Pongo and Perdy must rally the town's animals to the rescue.

· Puppy Love (Hallmark Channel Original Movie) Tuesday, November 6 (8:00 pm - 10:00pm) Starring: Candace Cameron Bure and Victor Webster When baseball player Ben Fallon's dog, Jake, disappears, he accidentally gets adopted by Megan Nelson and her daughter, Caitlin. Since Caitlin is already in love with Jake, Ben and Megan work out a shared custody deal to share the dog. When Ben gets a chance to pursue playing major league baseball, will he give up the new family he now shares with Jake?

· You Lucky Dog (Hallmark Channel Original Movie) Tuesday, November 6 (10:00 pm - Midnight) Starring: Natasha Henstridge and Harry Hamlin After her mother's death, Lisa Rayborn returns to her hometown and family farm where she finds new purpose when she adopts a puppy at the local shelter and begins training the dog as a herder. When a group of children go missing, the dog will be tested in ways Lisa could never have imagined.

· Hachi: A Dog's Tale Wednesday, November 7 (8:00 pm - 10:00pm) Starring: Richard Gere, Joan Allen and Jason Alexander When his master, Parker Wilson, dies, a loyal pooch named Hachiko keeps a regular vigil - for more than a decade - at the train station where he once greeted the man every day. Based on a true story, Hachiko's faithful routine teaches the station's patrons about true love and commitment.

· Accidental Friendship (Hallmark Channel Original Movie) Wednesday, November 7 (10:00 pm - Midnight) Starring: Chandra Wilson, Kathleen Munroe and Ben Vereen Police officer Tami Baumann becomes an unlikely guardian and friend to Yvonne, a homeless woman who is devoted to her two beloved dogs.

· 2012 Hero Dog Awards (A Hallmark Channel Original Special) Thursday, November 8 (8:00 pm - 10:00 pm)

· A Dog Named Christmas (HallMark Hall of Fame) Thursday, November 8 (10:00 pm - Midnight) Starring: Bruce Greenwood and Linda Emond A developmentally-challenged young man is determined to prove to his family that he can care for a dog on his own. In his triumph, he inspires his father to love the new member of the family.

ABOUT HALLMARK CHANNEL

Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of nearly 87 million subscribers. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading destination for quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies and specials, as well as some of television's most beloved sitcoms and series, including The Golden Girls, Frasier, Little House on the Prairie, and The Waltons. The channel is also home to a diverse range of lifestyle programming, including the newly-launched Home & Family, a daily two-hour live show shot in a fully functional house located on the Universal Studios lot and Marie, a one-hour talk show hosted by iconic entertainer, Marie Osmond. Hallmark Channel's sibling network, Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, focuses on family-friendly movies with a mix of classic theatrical films, presentations from the acclaimed HallMark Hall of Fame library, original Hallmark Channel movies, and special events.

Become a fan of Hallmark Channel on Facebook Follow @HallmarkChannel on Twitter, #HeartofTV Check in on GetGlue

ABOUT HALLMARK CHANNEL'S PET PROJECT

Hallmark Channel's Pet Project is a multi-faceted initiative devoted to celebrating pets and the incredible joy and enrichment they bring to our lives. To carry out our mission, we'll be bringing you compelling original programming, social media outreach, and a resource-rich website. Through public service announcements, local grass-roots events, and strategic partnerships with such national non-profit organizations as American Humane Association and PetSmart Charities, Hallmark Channel's Pet Project also aims to shine a spotlight on this country's epidemic of pet homelessness and provide the public with the information and resources they need to find their new best friend. For more information, please visit www.hallmarkchannel.com/petproject.

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