Sixteen years ago, Jon Miller, at the time the head of NBC sports programming, was looking for something to boost television ratings on Thanksgiving during the two-hour gap in between the Macy’s Day Parade and football.
The idea came to him while watching the 2000 film “Best in Show”, a comedy film parodying the famous Westminster Dog Show: NBC could replace its typical gap filler -- the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” -- with a dog show.
“They about laughed him out of the office. But by that afternoon, he’d contacted the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, he’d contacted Purina as the sponsor. He called me the next morning, I was in Los Angeles, and I picked up the phone, and I say ‘Hello?’ And he says ‘Woof, woof.’ And that’s how it started,” former Seinfeld actor John O’Hurley -- now the voice of the National Dog Show -- told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney.
O’Hurley launched his career in 1995 playing the role of J. Peterman on the NBC sitcom “Seinfeld”, and went on to host the game show “Family Feud” in 2006. Now, the dog show, in which owners put their interesting dog breeds on display in order to test their form and function, regularly attracts tens of millions of viewers.
“It is, what I believe, the most perfect piece of programming I have ever seen,” he said Thursday on “Varney & Co.”