Hallmark Channel and American Humane Association announced today that popular television, film and Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth will host the 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™, a star-studded evening honoring America's most courageous canines. The Hero Dog Awards, which are presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and produced by Emmy® award-winning MRB Productions, will air as a 90-minute special on Hallmark Channel November 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm ET/PT. The program will air as part of Hallmark Channel's Pet Project, the network's cross-platform campaign designed to celebrate the joy and enrichment animals bring to our lives.
"I am thrilled and honored to be a part of this unique program with American Humane Association," says Chenoweth, a passionate advocate for animals who founded her own charity, Maddie's Corner, to benefit shelter pets. "I was a judge at last year's Hero Dog Awards and am delighted to host the best and most heartwarming animal show on television."
"Kristin Chenoweth is one of my personal heroes," says American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert. "Not only is she a tremendous talent, beloved by millions of her stage, screen, and television fans, but she has a heart of gold when it comes to animal advocacy. As host for the top animal awards show in the country, she will help us capture the hearts of the nation and bring major support to the lifesaving programs that make a difference for millions of children and animals each year. She is a true heroine to them and America's noble hero dogs!"
"Kristin Chenoweth is an extremely talented and beloved stage and television personality, as well as a passionate advocate for the welfare of animals — making her the perfect choice for host of the 2012 'Hero Dog Awards,'" says Bill Abbott, President & CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. "Kristin will bring her signature warmth, compassion, and off-beat comedy to this year's show and I am positively delighted to welcome her to Hallmark Channel where she is sure to be a huge hit with our audience."
Chenoweth joins a roster of celebrity supporters of the Hero Dog Awards, including special honoree Betty White, red carpet host Joey Lawrence and celebrity judges Whoopi Goldberg, Victoria Stilwell, Candy Spelling, Miranda Lambert, Kristin Bauer Van Straten, Michelle Forbes, J.R. Martinez, Tinsley Mortimer, and Megyn Price, among many others.
Two Million Ballots Cast for Nominees
Following nationwide voting in which more than two million ballots were cast by the American public, eight remarkable finalists were chosen, one winner in each of the following categories: "Jynx" for Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs; "Holly" for Service Dogs; "Stella" for Therapy Dogs; "Gabe" for Military Dogs; "Tabitha" for Guide Dogs; "Soot" for Search and Rescue Dogs; "Tatiana II" for Hearing Dogs, and "Daniel" for Emerging Hero Dogs (ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things). These eight finalists will be flown to Beverly Hills with their human handlers, where they will walk the red carpet and be presented with a special Hero Dog award, following moving video tributes that bring their stories to life. The evening will be capped off when one of the eight finalists will be announced as the winning American Hero Dog of the year.
Voting is currently underway at www.herodogawards.org, where a full list of the eight category winners, along with a summary of each dog's poignant story, can be found.
Special thanks to MRB Productions for sponsoring the Hearing Dog category, Pfizer Animal Health for the Therapy Dog category, State Farm for the Law Enforcement/Arson Dog category and Trupanion for the Service Dog category. Flying the heroes and their human handlers is JetBlue, and the airline's JetPaws program, the official airline of the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards.
Emmy and Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth is an accomplished singer and actress of stage, television and film. She recently completed a North American concert tour featuring music from her latest album, "Some Lessons Learned," as well as an array of her most memorable songs and Broadway show tunes. She is known for her Tony Award-nominated turn as the original "Glinda," the good witch, in Broadway's "Wicked" and her show-stealing, Tony-winning performance in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." She has received two Emmy Award nominations for her role as "April Rhodes" on the hit series GLEE. She won an Emmy for her role as "Olive Snook" on "Pushing Daisies." She also starred in "GCB" and will next be seen on "The Good Wife."
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 over 87 million subscribers. The top-tier program service is distributed through approximately 5,500 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. 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. Since 2010, Hallmark Channel has also been home to original daytime lifestyle programming and is debuting two new daily series, Home & Family and Marie,on October 1, 2012. Hallmark Channel's sibling network is Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, which 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. For more information, please visit www.hallmarkchannelpress.com
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 http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/petproject
LOIS POPE AND THE LOIS POPE LIFE FOUNDATION Lois Pope is one of America's leading philanthropists and humanitarians. Through her various charitable mechanisms, including the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., she is devoted to saving lives, helping people help themselves, improving the quality of life for families in need and encouraging young Americans to become leaders by helping others. Her foundations also provide awards for medical research,college scholarships, humanitarian relief, the performing arts, and animal welfare. Among the many organizations that benefit from her leadership are the American Humane Association; the Disabled Veterans' LIFE Memorial Foundation, which she founded to spearhead the development of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the nation's first and only permanent public tribute to the three million living disabled American veterans and the thousands who have died; the University of Miami, where her major contribution endowed the Lois Pope LIFE Center, the top catastrophic neurological research facility in the world and home to the renowned Miami Project to Cure Paralysis; Leaders in Furthering Education, which has provided a summer camp experience for more than 15,000 disadvantaged and special needs children, as well as college scholarship support to dozens of disadvantaged high school students who aspire to careers as physicians/researchers; Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's Red Cross, for new ambulances; and the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League for a new mobile pet adoption unit.
MRB PRODUCTIONS MRB's feature department is in post-production on the psychological thriller Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes, starring Jessica Biel and Alfred Molina, while MRB's political activism biopic, starring Jason Biggs, is currently in theaters. Emmy award winning MRB recently won a Webby for The Confession, starring Kiefer Sutherland. In Television, MRB has a decade of experience producing the pre-taped segments and VIP program for ESPN's ESPY Awards, in addition to producing the inaugural Hero Dog Awards for the Hallmark Channel. Additional TV projects include two seasons of the mockumentary comedy show Free Radio on VH1 and Comedy Central. In the video game space, MRB partners with Ubisoft on the Just Dance Kidsseries. MRB's commercial repertoire includes a longstanding relationship with Mattel and collaborations with Periera & O'Dell, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Publicis, for clients such as Samsung, NHL, Smirnoff, Wal-Mart, and University of Phoenix.
AMERICAN HUMANE ASSOCIATION American Humane Association is the country's first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877 American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.
Read more here.