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."