Transcript

Puppy Bowl IV

Filming of the Puppy Bowl at Discovery Studios in Silver Spring, Maryland on October 17, 2007.
Filming of the Puppy Bowl at Discovery Studios in Silver Spring, Maryland on October 17, 2007. (David S. Holloway - The Discovery Channel)
Kevin Mohs
Vice President, Production, Animal Planet
Friday, February 1, 2008; 1:00 PM

With baby beagles and dachshunds and mixed breeds, Puppy Bowl IV returns to Animal Planet (Sunday, Feb. 3, 3-6 p.m. ET/PT) and the pups are prepped for action. The popular "water bowl cam" returns along with "puppy penalties" and online voting. Harry Kalas, voice of NFL Films, calls the play-by-play. And for halftime, it's the Bissell Kitty Half-Time Show.

Kevin Mohs, vice president for production at Animal Planet, was online Friday, Feb. 1, at 1 p.m. ET to brief on the starting lineup, the stats and the strategy for this year's Puppy Bowl.

A transcript follows.

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Kevin Mohs: Hey everyone, this is Kevin Mohs from Animal Planet ready to take your questions about Puppy Bowl IV coming up this Sunday afternoon.

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Washington, D.C.: Wow, how cool. I didn't know it was taped so close to home! Is there a way to come visit during the taping? Whose puppies are they? Locals'?

Kevin Mohs: Yes, we love the fact that we shoot Puppy Bowl so close to our offices, but the studio is so small that we can't take visitors. The room is packed with puppies, cameras and crew. The puppies and kittens come from shelters all around the Washington D.C. area and some are privately owned. Petfinder.com helped us work with the local shelters to find adoptable puppies for the big game.

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Aldie, Va.: FWIW, my wife and I, who are huge dog lovers (proud parents of a young lab and a beagle puppy) tuned in your 1st season because it sounded like a lot of fun, but ended up switching away after 10 minutes or so because it was pretty boring. Our main constructive comment would be to have much more "organized" activites for the pups, or at least some form of structure other than random toys strewn in the arena.

Kevin Mohs: The actual premise for Puppy Bowl is pretty simple -- to just let puppies be puppies and play which is why it's not structured. Thanks for your comments and I hope you still tune in for all the unscripted action on Sunday.

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Rochester, N.Y.: When are you going to get a blimp?

Kevin Mohs: We'd love a blimp, but there's not enough room in our studio. Perhaps if this event gets big enough, we can expand to a larger venue. Thanks for the idea, though.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Kevin:

Is there a way to adopt a puppy off of the show? Or are these guys all already adopted?

Kevin Mohs: We shot this last October, so most of the adoptable puppies are in loving homes already, but please go to Petfinder.com to locate the perfect puppy or dog for you. A list of the participating shelters involved in Puppy Bowl can also be found on our website. We really appreciate their participation.

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Washington, D.C.: Puppy Bowl, Puppy Bowl, Puppy Bowl -- am so excited, it's all TiVoed up. Now I no longer have to leave my house on Super Bowl Sunday -- yay! Any new additions to this year's show?

Kevin Mohs: It's in HD for the first time this year and we've added the National Anthem with our patriotic puppies sitting at attention.

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SW, D.C.: Who came up with the idea for the Puppy Bowl, and then later adding the Kitty Half-Time?

Kevin Mohs: The idea for Puppy Bowl came up in a brainstorming meeting organized by our programming department. My suggestion was to include adoptable puppies and then it grew every year with the addition of the Kitty Halftime show the following year. We wanted to please both dog and cat fans.

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Washington, D.C.: How will this year's bowl differ from last year's? And will the show be repeated?

Kevin Mohs: It will air at 3, 6 and 9 p.m. on Sunday and then again at midnight. You can never get too much of puppies and kittens playing.

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Charlottesville, Va.: I am with an animal rescue group, and one of our pups appeared in Puppy Bowl I (go Hooter!). What would we need to do to 'audition' some tyke for Puppy Bowl VI next fall?

Kevin Mohs: We're glad to hear that one of your dogs was on the team and, if you want one of your tykes to be a part of next year's Puppy Bowl, please get back in touch with the same folks that you worked with previously. We usually shoot in the fall, so check back in September.

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washingtonpost.com: Petfinder.com

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Washington, D.C.: How much of the "story" for the Puppy Bowl is scripted and how much do you just go with what happens? Thanks -- I love the program. Too cute for words.

Kevin Mohs: We film for two days and then add scripted commentary later. We want the puppy and kitten interactions to be totally natural. Also, I completely agree with you, it's all way too cute for words. Thanks.

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Seattle, Wash.: First, thanks for having, by my count, more mixed-breed than pure-bred puppies on the team. Secondly, are the purebreds shelter pups too?

Kevin Mohs: It was great to have a variety of puppies this year and some of the purebreds like Kimmi the Beagle and Justin the Westie were from shelters.

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Washington, D.C.: LOVE the Puppy Bowl and the Kitty Half-Tine Special! Have you ever considered having a live audience? Of humans, I hasten to add, not animals. (Though that's an idea.) I would happily come to the studio to be part of the taping. But would that make puppy, ummm, management more difficult? Distract the kittens?

Kevin Mohs: We get a lot of requests for people to come watch the festivities live, but there's just not enough room for everyone. Plus, the temptation to pick up and cuddle a puppy would be overwhelming.

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Mt. Pleasant, Washington, D.C.: Please tell me you're bucking the FCC and bringing back the racy kitten halftime show!?

Kevin Mohs: Yes, the sexy kittens will be back, but don't expect any wardrobe malfunctions in our half time show, because our kittens aren't wearing clothing.

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Washington, D.C.: I love Animal Planet, and for more than the PUPPY BOWL. Big fan of the various animal police shows. Will there ever be another set of shows with the SF animal cops? One last item -- not too entranced with the new logo. Thanks for all the wonderful programming! Animal Planet is worth getting cable for.

Kevin Mohs: I'm glad that you're a fan of Animal Planet and specifically our Animal Cops and Animal Precinct series. The work these humane law enforcement agents and officers perform is invaluable and we're always looking into new locations to feature in the series. Keep an eye out for some new characters and locations in the near future.

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Silver Spring, Md.: What about cute uniforms for the pups?!

Kevin Mohs: The puppies are so darned cute that we decided to just let their natural cuteness shine through. But thanks for the idea.

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Harrisburg, Pa.: Are there any surprises about this year's Puppy Bowl that you are allowed to leak to us?

Kevin Mohs: Well, a touchdown is scored pretty early in the game, but I can't reveal much more than that. You'll have to tune in to find out who scored and who will be selected as the Most Valuable Pup.

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Mandan, N.D.: I found this link through a blog and I would just like to comment, first of all, that the nonstructured environment is what makes Puppy Bowl great. On that note, When are you going to give the kittens their own show? Maybe like the Kitty Bowl which would air during the same day as the College Football National Championship.

Kevin Mohs: I'm so glad that you like the Kitty Halftime show and we're busily thinking up great ideas to satisfy all of our feline fans.

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Seattle, Wash.: As someone who watches the Super Bowleach year, but could care less about the commercials or halftime, thank you so much for this great alternative. I'd rather watch puppies and kittens any day, I wish there were post-Super Bowl repeats on Animal Planet too. Just a comment...

Kevin Mohs: We're airing it again at 9 p.m. and midnight on Sunday and we do have DVDs of Puppy Bowl I, II and III for whenever you need your puppy fix.

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Arlington, Va: I LOVE Puppy Bowl! When it first came on a few years ago, I was amused by it, figuring that you had to put something on the telly, even if a good chunk of America wasn't going to be watching AP. I found myself having a good time, especially when a referee had to clean up a, uh, foul move by one of the pups. And he did it with a straight face, too. I think it's tons of fun and the fact that you're now on your fourth bowl game means that I'm not the only one who likes it. Yeah, the water bowl cam is fun, too. Only disappointment is that there are no returning players -- a new crop every time. Thanks for keeping this program going.

Kevin Mohs: It's good to hear from such a devoted Puppy Bowl fan. The reason that we don't have returning players is that the puppies have grown up and are too big for our stadium. By the way, keep an eye out for our referee this year. He's an actual Animal Planet employee and he did a great job in cleaning up those cute little puppy messes.

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Rockville, Md.: Any pugs this year? Do you go to breed specific shelters for your puppies?

Kevin Mohs: Unfortunately, no pug this year, but the puppies we do have are still adorable. Some of the rescue groups we work with are breed specific and you can see the list on our website.

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Owings, Md.: Also a huge fan of Puppy Bowl. I have to kick my German Shepherd out of the room when I watch because he is constantly barking at the puppies on TV. And the play-by-play announcer is great. Ever have to cut a puppy from the team -- for being too small or too rough with the others? Sometimes it doesn't seem fair when the big guys are chasing the toy-breeds around

Kevin Mohs: Harry Kalas from NFL Films is our announcer and we're so thrilled to have him as part of our team each year. We do have a representative from American Humane and a dog handler on set at all times to ensure that the play behavior is safe for the puppies. If a puppy does get a bit too rowdy, we give him a puppy time out.

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washingtonpost.com: Animal Planet

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Washington, D.C.: What happens in Kitty Half-Time?

Kevin Mohs: A glittering disco ball descends as the kittens strut their stuff on our custom made catwalk. They bat around toys and just generally have a fun time chasing each other around.

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Washington, D.C.: Just had an idea for the PUPPY BOWL -- next year, CHEERLEADERS! Could be the moms of some of the dogs? Or even another species? Birds? Maybe a bird marching band ... Thanks!

Kevin Mohs: Hey, those are some great ideas. We're always looking for ways to keep Puppy Bowl fresh, so keep the recommendations coming. Thanks.

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Kevin Mohs: Thank all of you for your great questions. I've enjoyed reading your comments and I hope that you will tune in this Sunday for all the puppy and kitten action. Remember, if you're looking to adopt a pet, be sure to visit Petfinder.com for animals in your area. Take care.

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