Former ‘Kitten Bowl’ Evolves Into Major Celebrity Telethon

Great American Rescue

Great American Family Great American Rescue

Hallmark canceled its “Kitten Bowl” event in 2022, opening the door for the TV network Great American Family to pick up the event. Now GAF has evolved the bowl into a much bigger event that includes a multi-hour celebrity telethon on Sunday, February 12.

The Day Will Begin With a ‘Great American Rescue Bowl’

In 2022, a representative from Hallmark confirmed with Heavy that the network would no longer be airing its annual Kitten Bowl after hosting the event eight years in a row.

The representative said, “While we are not currently developing original animal-centric programming, Hallmark Channel is pleased to support partners like North Shore Animal League America as part of our commitment to social responsibility initiatives.”

Hallmark did not elaborate on the reasoning behind its decision.

Shortly after, it was announced that the Kitten Bowl would be moving to Great American Family and begin airing with a new name, Deadline reported. It was renamed the Great American Rescue Bowl, with the first annual event taking place on February 12, 2023. Deadline noted that the Kitten Bowl has helped more than 75,000 shelter pets get adopted.

This year, the Great American Rescue Bowl is airing a bit earlier in the day than anticipated, due to a celebrity telethon taking place later to benefit shelter pets.

The Rescue Bowl airs at 10:30 a.m. Eastern/9:30 a.m. Central on Great American Family, according to GAF’s website, and it’s being hosted by Beth Stern and Larissa Wohl. This event will showcase kittens, puppies, cats, and dogs. The event will then air an encore showing from 4-5:30 p.m. Eastern.

Bill Abbott, CEO of Great American Media, told Parade about the event: “As animal homelessness continues to be widespread throughout the country, we couldn’t be more proud to welcome ‘Great American Rescue Bowl’ to Great American Family. By highlighting these heartwarming adoption stories and the lifesaving work of North Shore Animal League America, we hope this national rescue adoption event will inspire viewers to visit their local shelter and adopt a loving pet.”

Some of the animals in the event can still be adopted, and some have found their forever homes, Parade shared.

A 4-Hour Telethon Is Taking Place After the Rescue Bowl

Great American Family

Following the Rescue Bowl, GAF is hosting a celebrity telethon to benefit shelter animals. A press release shared with Heavy revealed this will be called the To the Rescue Pup-a-Thon and will raise money via the Forever Family Rescue Foundation.

The event will feature dogs waiting to be adopted around the country, and it will air live from 12-4 p.m. Eastern (9 a.m.-1 p.m. Pacific) on February 12 on Great American Family. (You can text “WINTER” to 877-999-1225 to find out what channel it’s on with your cable provider, according to the press release.) The event will also be simulcast on the Great American Community app for free.

The event is being hosted by Tommy Habeeb, Mariel Hemingway, and Scott Baio. Guests during the broadcast will include:

  • John O’Hurley (actor)
  • Ray Crockett (Super Bowl champion)
  • Isaiah Stanback (NFL)
  • Alison Eastwood (actor and director)
  • Ser’Darius Blain (actor)
  • Bruce Bugger (UFC/MMA announcer)
  • Jen Lilley (GAF actor and former Hallmark star)
  • Roger “Rocket” Clemens (MLB)
  • Rick Perry (former Texas governor)
  • Donna D’Errico (actor)
  • Robert Colbert (actor)
  • Burton Gilliam (actor)
  • Spud Webb (NBA)
  • Cleto Escobedo III (musician)
  • G.W. Bailey (actor)
  • Richy Jackson (Lady Gaga’s choreographer)
  • John Anderson (musical performance)
  • The Womak Sisters (musical performance)

Donations are already live and can be made by texting LIVE to 801801, according to the press release. You can also make donations at Pupathon.TV.

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