Actress and animal advocate Hilary Swank to executive-produce and co-host
Celebrities scheduled to appear include Scarlett Johansson, Josh Duhamel, Miranda Lambert, Kristen Bell, Fergie, Paula Abdul, Betty White, LeAnn Rimes, Kesha and Carrie Ann InabaActress, producer and animal advocate Hilary Swank and executive producer Michael Levitt have partnered with FOX to bring viewers a television first this Thanksgiving. "The Great American Dog-A-Thon," a one-of-a-kind event celebrating man's best friend, airs Thursday, Nov. 27 (8-10 PM ET/PT), on FOX.
Co-hosted by Swank, this uplifting special for the whole family will be an entertaining and lively celebration of rescue dogs and the joy they bring to owners. From basset hounds to boxers, pugs to Pomeranians, puppies to seniors, "The Great American Dog-A-Thon" will entertain viewers with inspiring and often hilarious tales of rescue dogs, honor the best viral videos starring rescue pups, include musical tributes to amazing superhero canines, and feature stories honoring people who dedicate their lives to rescuing animals in need.
Throughout the special, celebrities will introduce the audience to rescue dogs, giving viewers the opportunity to foster or adopt a new best friend. Among the celebrities scheduled to participate are Scarlett Johansson, Josh Duhamel, Miranda Lambert, Kristen Bell, Fergie, Paula Abdul, Betty White, LeAnn Rimes, Kesha and Carrie Ann Inaba. Additional co-hosts and participating celebrities to be announced.
The special will include awards and celebrity presentations showcasing a variety of canine categories, including Cutest Puppy, Best Celebrity/Dog Lookalike, Guiltiest Dog, Best Licker, Smartest Dog and Best Viral Dog Video.
Viewers will be provided with information regarding adoptable animals in their local areas. Additionally, the special will give viewers the opportunity to donate during the show to raise funds for rescue organizations throughout the U.S. It also will promote awareness of many dog-related issues and topics to encourage people to choose to adopt one of the more than 8 million rescue animals currently in the U.S. shelter system patiently waiting to become part of a loving family in a forever home. With millions of dogs left behind in animal shelters nationally, a new best friend could be waiting for you. Specific details regarding charity partners will be announced soon.
"I have long been an advocate for animal adoption, and know first-hand the immense joy a shelter animal brings to our lives," Swank said. "Yet, every year more than 4 million animals are euthanized because of overcrowding in shelters. We are so fortunate to have an animal advocate in the FOX Network that not only sees the need for more awareness surrounding this issue, but is willing to set aside a two-hour block for this important cause. This partnership will change the path of a soul for thousands of animals looking for their forever home."
"We've seen the entertainment industry come together for so many worthwhile causes benefiting people, now it's time for them to rally for man's best friend," Levitt said. "It warms my heart that so many animal-loving celebrities are stepping up in support of all the beautiful souls that need us to be their voice. This is our big opportunity to change the misperception of shelter animals and show the world that rescuing a dog is always the way to go."
Swank is a versatile artist with a wide range of projects spanning her more than 20 years in the entertainment industry. Her upcoming films include "The Homesman," opposite director/screenwriter Tommy Lee Jones, and "You're Not You," in which she stars and produces with Molly Smith through their production company, 2S Films. In addition to her work within the film industry, Swank has been a longtime supporter of several charity organizations, but recently expanded her reach in the philanthropy world with the launch of her own charity, The Hilaroo Foundation. Through her efforts, the foundation will bring youth, who have been given up on, and animals, who have been abandoned, together to help heal one another through rescue, rehabilitation, animal adoption and responsibility training.