In celebration of the 2nd ANNUAL AMERICAN HUMANE ASSOCIATION HERO DOG AWARDS((TM), which will premiere on Hallmark Channel today, 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 kicked 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:
· 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.
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.
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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, visit www.hallmarkchannel.com/petproject.