Hallmark Movie Channel previously announced that it would host the cable television premiere of Annie'S SEARCH FOR SANDY as part of a special two-hour, commercial-free dog-themed programming event sponsored by PEDIGREE(R) Food for Dogs. This program will also include a feature presentation of the true-life-inspired film, "Hachi: A Dog's Tale." The programming event will air tonight, November 27th at 6pm ET/PT.
Hosted by popular Today Show weatherman, Al Roker, "Annie's Search for Sandy" goes on the road to animal shelters across the country in search of the perfect dog to play Sandy in the new Broadway production of the Tony Award-winning classic musical, Annie, which just opened to rave reviews at the Palace Theatre. The search is conducted by Tony Award(R) honoree Bill Berloni, acclaimed Great White Way animal trainer, who discovered the original production's Sandy in a shelter in 1977. Since that time, Berloni, a passionate animal rescue and welfare advocate, has been committed to casting all of his canine Broadway stars out of rescue facilities. The 30-minute program chronicles Berloni's compelling journey and his eventual discovery of Sunny, a two-year old terrier mix from the BARC Municipal Shelter in Houston, who, only 24 hours away from being euthanized, was plucked from the bleakest of fates to star as the loveable new side-kick to 'Lil Orphan Annie' on Broadway. Viewers will watch as Berloni works with Lilla Crawford, the actress cast as Annie, to prepare Sandy for her stage debut and will learn some fun training tips that will transform their own dogs into stars at home.
Produced by Al Roker Entertainment and Annie The Musical LLC, in partnership with PEDIGREE(R) Food for Dogs, "Annie's Search for Sandy" will air immediately following a presentation of "Hachi: A Dog's Tale." The partnership and story behind "Hachi: A Dog's Tale," signifies the shared belief that every dog deserves a loving home. Starring three-time Emmy(R) Award nominee and Globe winner Richard Gere, three-time Oscar(R) nominee Joan Allen, and seven-time Emmy(R) Award nominee Jason Alexander, the poignant and inspirational film based on the true story of a dog who is rescued as a puppy by a university professor.
Over the years, the dog develops the routine of escorting his owner to the train every morning when he leaves for work and returning to the station each evening to greet him as he arrives home. When his owner unexpectedly dies, Hachi continues to return to the train station for a decade, devotedly waiting for his cherished master to come home, until he passes away himself.
ABOUT HALLMARK MOVIE CHANNEL
Hallmark Movie Channel, the second linear channel from Crown Media Holdings, Inc., simulcast in SD (Standard Definition) and HD (High Definition), is a 24-hour cable network dedicated to bringing viewers 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. In today's crowded television landscape, the network is a unique and captivating entertainment experience, providing programming families can watch together. It is now available in 48 million homes. Crown Media also operates Hallmark Channel, which provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment to a national audience of nearly 87 million subscribers.
ABOUT THE PEDIGREE(R) BRAND
The PEDIGREE(R) Brand is the number one brand of dog food in the world, offering a wide variety of products for different dog life stages. As an innovative market leader, the PEDIGREE(R) Brand is at the forefront of pet nutrition and understands pet owner needs by providing a range of innovative products and resources. For more information, please visit www.Pedigree.com. (R)/(TM) Trademarks (C) Mars, Incorporated 2012. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
ABOUT PEDIGREE FOUNDATION
Created in 2008 and headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., PEDIGREE Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping dogs in need find loving homes by supporting the good work of shelters and dog rescue organizations throughout the country. The foundation provides grants to 501(c)(3) shelters and dog rescue organizations nationwide and encourages dog lovers to adopt, volunteer and donate to support the cause. Since 2008, close to $4 million has been granted to help more than 1,100 shelters and rescues. For more information about PEDIGREE Foundation, log on to www.pedigreefoundation.org.
ABOUT Annie THE MUSICAL
ANNIE, the new production of the Tony Award(R)-winning musical, opened Thursday, November 8 at the Palace Theatre (Broadway at 47th Street). Annie features a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, with all three authors receiving 1977 Tony Awards(R) for their work. Annie is directed by Pulitzer Prize and three-time Tony Award(R)-winner James Lapine and choreographed by Tony Award(R)-winner Andy Blankenbuehler. Annie stars two-time Tony Award(R) winner Katie Finneran as Miss Hannigan, Australian star Anthony Warlow making his Broadway debut as Daddy Warbucks and 11-year-old Lilla Crawford as Annie, with Brynn O'Malley as Grace Farrell, Clarke Thorell as Rooster Hannigan, and J. Elaine Marcos as Lily St. Regis. The Orphans are Madi Rae DiPietro as July, Georgi James as Pepper, Junah Jang as Tessie, Tyrah Skye Odoms as Kate, Taylor Richardson as Duffy, Emily Rosenfeld as Molly and Jaidyn Young as standby for the roles of Annie, Pepper, Duffy and July. The production also features Ashley Blanchet, Jane Blass, Jeremy Davis, Fred Inkley, Merwin Foard, Joel Hatch, Amanda Lea LaVergne, Gavin Lodge, Liz McCartney, Desi Oakley, Keven Quillon, David Rossetti, Sarah Solie, Dennis Stowe and Ryan VanDenBoom. Annie is produced on Broadway by Arielle Tepper Madover, Roger Horchow, Sally Horchow, Roger Berlind, Roy Furman, Debbie Bisno, Stacey Mindich, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Jane Bergére/Daryl Roth and Eva Price/Christina Papagjika. www.anniethemusical.com