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NBC's NATIONAL DOG SHOW Begins Thanksgiving Day, 11/22

Related: NATIONAL DOG SHOW PRESENTED BY PURINA, NBC

NBC will present the 11th annual edition of its popular holiday special "The National Dog Show Presented by Purina(R)" this Thanksgiving Day, from noon to 2:00 p.m. in all time zones, following the telecast of NBC's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade(R).

Starting its second decade on NBC, and celebrating America's continued fascination with man's best friend, "The National Dog Show Presented by Purina" is hosted by actor, author and Broadway star John O'Hurley ("Seinfeld," "Dancing with the Stars") and expert analyst David Frei, an AKC-licensed judge and host of USA Network's "The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show." NBC's Mary Carillo will report from inside the show ring.

Included this year are two new American Kennel Club-sanctioned breeds - the Russell Terrier and the Treeing Walker Coonhound. Also featured is a team of three dynamic canines carrying on the tradition of the National Dog Show Therapy Dog Ambassador program. The trio, all from the Philadelphia area, make regular visits to the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House where they actively participate in therapy work with patients and families.

An established family holiday tradition, the show reached over 18 million viewers last year, and is part of a five-hour block of family programming on the most family-centric holiday of the year. "The secret to the show's success quite simple," says O'Hurley. "So many people love dogs and this is a show the whole family can enjoy. Thanksgiving is a family day."

The telecast will showcase some 2,000 purebred canines competing for the title of "Best in Show," with $20,000 in prize money and enormous prestige at stake. Unlike traditional dog show coverage, the National Dog Show offers the country's 65 million pet-owning households an afternoon of family-oriented features, facilitated by the open format of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia event. As one of only five remaining "benched" dog shows, all of the competing breeds are on display all day for the visiting public.

Photo Courtesy of NBC

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