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    Post  ShaftyCakes on February 4th 2010, 8:38 pm


    The Puppy Bowl is an annual television program on Animal Planet. Shown the afternoon of the Super Bowl, the show usually consists of footage of a batch of puppies at play inside a model stadium with commentary on their actions by the late Harry Kalas - a narrator for NFL Films and longtime play-by-play voice of the Philadelphia Phillies. The first Puppy Bowl was shown on February 6, 2005. The puppies featured in the Puppy Bowl are from shelters, and the show contains information on how viewers can adopt rescued puppies and help their local shelter. The bowl seems to have an age limit of four months, so there have been no recurring players.

    According to the show's producers, the inspiration for Puppy Bowl as Super Bowl counterprogramming came from the popular Yule Log Christmas program.

    Puppy Bowl II averaged 690,000 viewers for its broadcast on February 5, 2006 (a 23 percent increase over Puppy Bowl I). Five million people in total watched Puppy Bowl II throughout its three airings. Puppy Bowl III on February 4, 2007 increased on that record by 12 percent to 7.5 million viewers, a total increase of 36 percent from its insertion back in 2005.

    Puppy Bowl IV aired on Animal Planet on February 3, 2008, having a record total of over 8 million viewers, and being the first broadcast in high definition. Puppy Bowl V aired on Animal Planet on February 1, 2009.

    Puppy Bowl VI will air on Animal Planet on February 7, 2010. This year's event will include rabbit "cheerleaders" as part of the activities, as well as a "blimp" piloted by a crew of hamsters.

    The Puppy Bowl consists of a number of puppies playing in a model stadium ("Animal Planet Stadium") with no audience, minimal commentary by the late Harry Kalas and instant replay shots. A "bowl cam" provides shots upwards through the transparent bottom of a special water bowl built into the stadium floor, with a wide-angle lens that allows viewers to watch the puppies drink water up close. The puppies are given a wide variety of chew-toys and bones to play with, and they are free to tackle, bite, and do as they wish. Jazz music is added in to the clips in post-production.

    Football terminology is often used to illustrate their behavior and actions. When a puppy drags one of the football-shaped toys into the end zone, a "puppy touchdown" is declared. "Penalties" are issued for puppies relieving themselves on the field. Timeouts are called if the water bowl needs to be refilled, or if the puppies begin to fight. Puppy Bowls III and V also featured a tailgate party outside the stadium with several other dogs watching the event on televisions with cuts to their reactions throughout.

    The running time of Puppy Bowls I-IV was 180 minutes (including commercials). The running time of Puppy Bowl V was decreased to 120 minutes (including commercials). Jessie Dinh, Producer, Discovery Studios, explained the reason for the decrease: "We only did two hours this year so that we had the opportunity to include some other fun elements."

    Bissell Kitty Half-Time Show

    Starting with Puppy Bowl II, at the 1 hour 15 minute mark, the puppies leave the field and a large scratching post is brought out with a wide variety of kittens for the Bissell Kitty Half-Time show. This features kittens playing for 30 minutes with lights, laser pens, balls of yarn, a scratching post, flint sweepers, and a wide variety of other toys. The grand finale of the Puppy Bowl II Half-Time Show was a confetti blast that sent most of the cats running away scared. Puppy Bowl III did not show the cats' departure from the field. The halftime show of Puppy Bowl IV (2008) was only fifteen minutes in length.

    Puppy Games

    A spinoff of the Puppy Bowl, the 2008 Puppy Games, was aired opposite NBC's primetime airing of the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics on August 8, 2008. The games included swimming, gymnastics, boxing and soccer, and kittens were used for the "opening ceremony". John Ramey and Mary Beth Smith (Becca Lish) served as the play-by-play announcer and color commentator for the event.




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