Ready, Set, Pup! Television's fuzziest sports competition and original adoption extravaganza is back and celebrating its 15th year, the biggest to date, as the world's cutest sporting event returns to Animal Planet for PUPPY BOWL XV on Sunday, February 3 at 3PM ET/12PM PT. In years past, 100% of the puppies and kittens that have participated in PUPPY BOWL have been adopted to loving families. Animal Planet continues this tradition this year with a new set of adorable animals that are ready to tumble and fumble into their new homes across the nation. Tune in for this special two-hour event to experience all the fuzzy puppy faces from #TeamRuff and #TeamFluff who go nose to nose to win the CHEWY.COM "Lombarky" trophy at GEICO stadium. While we will be sure to keep score of touchdowns and puppy penalties, these pups playing the game are sure to go big and go home - with their new loving forever adoptive families!
This year, Animal Planet worked with over 50 dedicated animal shelters and rescue organizations from over 20 states and territories in the U.S. and made an international stop to Costa Rica, to get these puppies set for the big game. With a bigger game in store for viewers, audiences will be sure to find their favorite elements returning to the fluffiest game of the year including a front row seat to the pre-game rituals of these special pups via the locker room camera. Viewers will also get an up close and personal look at the game through the famous water bowl cam, the fan favorite kiss cam, aerial shots of the field from the TEMPTATIONS(TM) Sky Box, and a look at the touchdowns through the SPRINT cameras in the end zones. This year we go beyond fur-deep to find out what these adorable puppies are really made of, with a WISDOM PANEL(TM) Canine DNA Test. What genetic traits are giving them those advantages on the field? We tested them all to find out! The tail-gating starts with the PUPPY BOWL Pre-Game Show at 2PM ET/11AM PT, featuring aww-nalysis and cuddly commentary from sports correspondents, including the infamous Rodt Weiler with James Hound and Sheena Inu serving as pre-game show analysts. The first half of PUPPY BOWL XV is sponsored by STXfilms' Ugly Dolls, with the second half sponsored by Illumination's The Secret Life of Pets 2 from UNIVERSAL PICTURES.
This year's PEDIGREE(R) Starting Lineup presents puppies who are also competing for the individual BISSELL(R) MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) by scoring the most touchdowns with dog-approved toys by CHEWY.COM. We'll see familiar faces including America's favorite "Rufferee," Dan Schachner, who returns for the eighth year in a row to call the puppy penalties, furry fumbles and terrier touchdowns, along with award-winning animal advocate and television correspondent Jill Rappaport, who introduces the SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. Pup Close and Personal segments that highlight some of the heartwarming stories of the adorable athletes.
This year's Pup Close and Personal highlights include profiles of Olympic silver medalist and longtime animal advocate, Gus Kenworthy, who has teamed up with Muddy Paws Rescue to prep Sierra, a Staffordshire Terrier mix, to the right headspace before the big game; Violet Vanderpump, a Chihuahua/Dachshund mix rescued by Lisa Vanderpump's very own rescue, Vanderpump Dogs; and our very own Ref, Dan Schachner, who joined The Sato Project on a visit to Puerto Rico's Dead Dog Beach, where they rescued and rehabilitated numerous puppies and prepped for travel to the U.S. on 'Flight of Freedom' plane with at least 100 of Dan's closest furry friends. Other in-depth profiles include Melody, a Chihuahua/Shih Tzu Mix from Memphis Humane who takes a visit to Graceland, home of Elvis Presley; Flo, a Maltese/Chihuahua mix who goes on an exciting adventure to her first trip to Del Mar Dog Beach in San Diego, CA thanks to the Helen Woodward Animal Center; and a special visit to Territorio de Zaguates or 'Land of the Strays' in Costa Rica, a dog sanctuary on acres of open land famous for the hikes that staff and would-be adopters would take with hundreds of dogs in tow!
Accompanying Dan on the sideline is his trusty rufferee assistant, Shirley, the rescue sloth who is keen to show off the slow-motion action throughout the game. We'll also meet Shirley's biggest & enthusiastic fan club - a group of loveable baby sloths from Costa Rica's Toucan Rescue Ranch sanctuary. Viewers will additionally meet each of the team's designated mascots - TEAM RUFF will be energized by an adorable trio of baby porcupines, while TEAM FLUFF has a charming capybara on their side for moral support. And don't forget to check out the spectacular group of baby kangaroo cheerleaders who root for their favorite team from the sidelines! PUPPY BOWL XV will also feature three fuzzball special needs players that are looking forward to finding their forever home; including Pippi, a blind Jack Russel Mix; Bumble, a blind and hearing-impaired Australian Shepherd Mix; and Will, a three-legged Doodle Mix.
Midway through the exciting game, get ready for a purr-fect surprise with the ARM & HAMMER(TM) Clump & Seal(TM) KITTY HALF-TIME SHOW. Audiences will experience a show like no other as we celebrate the 15th anniversary in style with a giant pop-up cake, performances by Adam Feline of Purrr-oon 5, a fearless performance by the Atlanta Acro-Cats, and a spectacular domino display finale!
Fans will have the chance to watch an early premiere of the PUPPY BOWL XV Pregame Show on January 27 on Animal Planet GO. Broadcast of the event will also be available on GO in conjunction with the 3:00pm ET/ 12:00pm PT start time and unlocked at 5:00pm ET/ 3:00pm PT. Viewers will also be able to experience several mid-form pieces on GO including the GEICO "Kitty Tailgate," a go-to guide for all things PUPPY BOWL XV; the ARM & HAMMER(TM) Clump & Seal(TM) "Road to the Kitty Halftime Show," a behind-the-scenes parody video series where we will meet the choreographer, costume designer and the musical directors of Kitty Halftime Show; and the GEICO "Around the Bowl & Spot Center," where a veteran dog host and his clueless rookie co-host commentate on all the latest PUPPY BOWL action. Crowds can flock to the Animal Planet and PUPPY BOWL Facebook pages while also following the action from players in real time on Twitter and Instagram. Audiences can also check out the PEDIGREE(R) "Puppy Bowl XV: Training Camp," an exciting VR experience available on Facebook and YouTube where audiences will find themselves up close and personal inside the famous GEICO Stadium during training camp with these awesome pups!
Fans can also head to Facebook and YouTube for original social content like Dan the Ref explaining the rules of refereeing to his rufferee assistant, Shirley; UNIVERSAL PICTURES' video of kids trying to convince their parents to get them a dog by discussing the benefits of pets, and another sweet video of kids explaining why adoption is the best way to get a dog. Viewers can watch the team mascots - TEAM FLUFF's dashing capybara and TEAM RUFF's adorable baby porcupines - as well as the assistant rufferee Shirley predict the winners of the AFC, the NFC championship games, and even the Super Bowl. Additionally, for the first time ever, Puppy Bowl will be featured on Snapchat's Discover page where audiences can keep up with the day's best moments with the "Puppy Bowl Highlights" Show, as well as 'Our Story' coverage of the PUPPY BOWL XV, featuring behind-the-scenes cuteness and more! A fan favorite feature this year is the PEDIGREE(R) PUPPY BOWL Trading Cards, where you can upload your pet's own photo, pick 1 of 10 specialized frames, and add creative stats including "Favorite TV Show," "Naughtiest Habit," and more. Digital audiences are also invited to vote on Twitter, in real time, for the winner of the Most Valuable Puppy award at twitter.com/animalplanet and results will be revealed during the epic program.
A year ago, Animal Planet's PUPPY BOWL XIV broke ratings records and was the highest rated Puppy Bowl ever with a 1.46 rating among Adults 25-54 in L+SD on Sunday, Feb. 4 from 3-5PM/ET (12-2PM/PT), up a whopping +32% from PUPPY BOWL XIII (1.11) on Feb. 5, 2017. More so, PUPPY BOWL XIV was the #1 social non-sports program on cable with more than 1.2 million interactions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and earned trending topics on Twitter and Facebook.
Official PUPPY BOWL XV sponsors include TEMPTATIONS(TM), CHEWY.COM, PEDIGREE(R), SPRINT, BISSELL(R), STXfilms, UNIVERSAL PICTURES, GEICO, SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC., ARM & HAMMER(TM) Clump & Seal(TM), and WISDOM PANEL(TM) Canine DNA Test.
Returning for the second year to Animal Planet is Puppy Bowl Presents: The Dog Bowl, the paw-tastic football competition for adult and senior dogs living in rescues and shelters, hosted by award-winning animal advocate Jill Rappaport. These fuzzballs are oftentimes overlooked by younger pups, but here at The Dog Bowl audiences can see these 63 dapper dogs and the amazing spirit they can bring to any loving family. Similar to PUPPY BOWL, The Dog Bowl works hand in hand with shelter and rescue partners (31) to create two amazing team rosters - Team Goldies and Team Oldies - as they matchup for their own furry football competition to score hard-won touchdowns in the ALLSTATE(R) nets to win the CHEWY.com Lombarky trophy. Additionally, 100% of the dogs that have participated in The Dog Bowl have been adopted to loving families. For Dog Bowl, PURINA presents the Starting Lineup for these special dogs who are also competing for the individual MILK-BONE MVP (Most Valuable Pooch) Award. Similar to PUPPY BOWL, these experienced pooches will also get a chance to find out what they're made out of with the help of the WISDOM PANEL(TM) Canine DNA Test. Ancestry, disease screening and more! Audiences will also be able to enjoy the support of the featured tail-gaters of Dog Bowl II and winners of Season 7 of America's Got Talent, The Olate Dogs, as they root for their favorite players. Get ready for an amazing match with these dogs who are eager to showcase that even though they might not be puppies, they are puppies at heart on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 8PM.
Throughout the program, audiences will see the SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. "Dogs Life" in-depth profiles that shed light on a few of the amazing organizations and dogs as they prep for their road to Dog Bowl II. We'll see profiles on Ronnie Stanley, an offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, who is working with Maryland's largest animal shelter, The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), to hold a 'Dog Bowl Combine Day' tryout with three prospective dog players at the shelter to see who will make the cut to play in Dog Bowl II; Cadence from Nowzad, Afghanistan's only official animal sanctuary founded by Former British Marine Pen Farthing; Iggy, who took a special flight to Dog Bowl II thanks to Pilots N Paws; and Marnie, the world's most famous rescue dog with 2.1 million followers on Instagram known for her signature head tilt and hanging tongue, who is working paw in paw with California-based Paw Works to select which of their senior dogs will be playing in Dog Bowl II.
This year's Dog Bowl halftime show is epic to say the least, with a special look at DC Humane Alliance's 'Barktoberfest' featuring senior wiener dog races and Jill Rappaport reporting on amazing dog adoption stories. The Dog Bowl also features several social media senior celebrity dogs who made their presence known during the game including Mervin the Chihuahua (@mervinthechihuahua), Marnie the Dog (@marniethedog), Kimchi Kardoggian (@the_kardoggians), and Ella Bean (@ellabeanthedog). Dog Bowl II also includes several special needs dogs including Sutty a (three-legged Pomeranian / Border Collie mix), Anneliese (a three-legged Beagle mix), Wilma (a partially blind Chihuahua), Captain Will (a one-eyed Chihuahua / Shih Tzu mix), Mr. Bojangles (a Poodle/Shih Tzu mic who is also our first wheelchair player!), Elijah (a straight-legged German Shepherd), Gizmo (a partially blind Papillon mix), and Audrey (a deaf Australian Shepherd / Border Collie mix). These special dogs and more are all up to duke it out to win a touchdown and the hearts of viewers. Dog Bowl sponsors include MILK-BONE, WISDOM PANEL(TM) Canine DNA Test, ALLSTATE(R), PURINA, CHEWY.COM and SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC.
For more information about the shelters, rescues and organizations that participated in PUPPY BOWL XV, Animal Planet audiences can visit https://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppybowl/.
PUPPY BOWL XV is produced for Animal Planet by Discovery Studios where Simon Morris is executive producer and showrunner and Cindy Kain is vice president of current production. For Animal Planet, Dawn Sinsel serves as senior executive producer and Pat Dempsey is supervising producer.