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[09/22/08 - 01:28 PM]
Actor/Comedian Fred Willard to Host First Annual Worldwide Fido Awards Premiering Sunday, OcT. 5, at 8:00pm on Nick at Nite
Fans can vote now to determine the finalist in each of the six categories, including "Cutest Dog," "Best Dressed," "Best Voice," "Most Outrageous," "Best Trick" and "Dog/Owner Look-Alike."

[via press release from Nick at Nite]

Actor/Comedian Fred Willard to Host First Annual Worldwide Fido Awards Premiering Sunday, Oct. 5, at 8:00PM on Nick at Nite

A Blues-Singing Beagle, Jump-Roping Jack Russell and Skateboarding Bull Dog among the Canines Competing for Top Dog Honors

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 22 -- A blues-singing beagle, a bull dog who can skateboard and flush the toilet on command and a Jack Russell terrier who can jump rope and walk up steps backward are among the semifinalists as the final round of voting begins for the top six pups who will compete for the champion title on the First Annual Worldwide Fido Awards, airing in primetime, Sunday, Oct. 5, at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nick at Nite. The one-hour special event hosted by actor/comedian Fred Willard (Best in Show) will showcase the six Fido finalists and best of WorldwideFido.com's user-generated videos, where one lucky dog will ultimately be crowned the 2008 Worldwide Fido winner. Fans can vote now on http://www.worldwidefido.com to determine the finalist in each of the six categories, including "Cutest Dog," "Best Dressed," "Best Voice," "Most Outrageous," "Best Trick" and "Dog/Owner Look-Alike."

"We're thrilled that comedy-great Fred Willard will be bringing his unique timing and sensibility to the Fido Awards," said Marjorie Cohn, Executive Vice President, Production & Development for Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids & Family Group. "From Anchorman to Wall-E, his appeal spans across all ages and audiences."

Albie Hecht, Creator and Executive Producer of the awards added, "The Worldwide Fido Awards is a truly first of its kind event. By combining one of the internet's most popular viewing categories in dog videos with our expertise in creating compelling awards ceremonies for television, I believe the Worldwide Fido Awards will become a much anticipated, annual event."

Popular dog trainer-to-the-stars Tamar Geller will serve as one of the judges, while one very special dog will be presented the "Hero" Award, to honor invaluable services provided to humans. The show will also feature pooch performances throughout the evening.

The semifinalists include:

"Cutest Dog"

Big Mac (Bulldog) -- Palmdale, CA

Bella (Maltese/Yorkie Mix) -- Colonia, NJ

Konan (Maltese) -- Glenarden, MD

Samson (French bulldog) -- San Francisco, CA

"Best Trick"

Gabe, a toilet-flushing, skateboarding Bulldog -- Bellingham, WA

Dazzle, a milk-bone flipping Border collie -- Renton, WA

Petie, a dancing Chihuahua/Mutt mix -- Pflugerville, TX

Jesse, a jump roping, stair-climbing Jack Russell -- Avondale, AZ

"Best Voice"

Coda, an opera-singing Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix -- Grand Prairie, TX

Sunny, a Schubert-humming Golden Retriever -- Ocean Beach, CA

Fred, a blues singing Beagle -- San Diego, CA

Pugsly, an "I Love You" singing Pug -- Calabasas, CA

"Owner Look-Alike"

Safy (Standard Schnauzer) -- Miami, FL

Kaine Vom Feuerspiel (German Shepherd) -- Avondale, AZ

Duke King Pierre (Cocker Spaniel/Lab mix) -- The Colony, TX

Piper (Yorkshire Terrier/Chihuahua Mix) -- Dexter, MO

"Most Outrageous"

Kate, an extreme, ladder-climbing Labrador Retriever -- Harvest, AL

Tommy, a deep diving Labrador Retriever -- Sewell, NJ

Camilla Guardama, a skate boarding Chihuahua -- Kennesaw, GA

Sugar Rodriguez, a cat-boxing Pug/Toy Fox Terrier) -- Santa Rosa, CA

"Best Dressed"

Hurkulez, a tuxedo clad Pug -- Valencia, CA

Jasmine, a 70's hippy clad Golden Retriever -- Elko, NV

Phoebe Buffay, a poolside boxer in a bikini -- Pasadena, TX

Maygen Kelly Murray, an Australian Shepherd dressed for a Sunday drive -- Lexington, KY

Fred Willard's unique comedic charms have established him as one of his generation's most gifted comic actors. A master of sketch comedy, he is heralded for his quick wit and improvisational expertise. Willard is an alumnus of The Second City and was a co-founder of the comedy group Ace Trucking Company which appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson over fifty times. Willard has also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno numerous times both as a guest and in sketches, prompting Jay Leno to dub him "the funniest man in the world." Emmy-nominated Willard has appeared in numerous television series and feature films, including every "mockumentary" film ever directed by Christopher Guest: A Mighty Wind, Waiting For Guffman, This is Spinal Tap, For Your Consideration and Best in Show in which he portrayed "Buck Laughlin," a dog show announcer who offered up an unending stream of bad jokes and off-color comments. He also appeared as KVWN news director "Ed Harken" in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. He recently completed a sold-out run of Fred Willard: Alone At Last!, advertised as a one-man show but actually featuring a cast of 10, and received Los Angeles Artistic Director Awards for Best Comedy and Best Production. Willard currently heads a sketch comedy workshop, The MoHo Group.

The First Annual Worldwide Fido Awards are sponsored by PetSmart and Bissell.

Launched in 2007 by Worldwide Biggies -- the digital entertainment studio headed by children's and family entertainment hitmaker Albie Hecht -- Worldwide Fido has emerged as a popular online community for dog lovers where users upload videos of their beloved canines. Worldwide Biggies is redefining entertainment by creating hit properties for young adults and the digital family. Designing properties that launch on the web and live on multiple media platforms, it is a full-service studio that is uniquely positioned to take advantage of new technology and content distribution channels to create a library of original and licensed hits.

Nick At Nite is Nickelodeon's nighttime programming block that also features popular hit family comedies including the Emmy Award-winning series Home Improvement, George Lopez, and Family Matters, as well as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Roseanne. Also coming in 2009 is the hit comedy Everybody Hates Chris, from co-creator and narrator Chris Rock and inspired by his real-life childhood experiences.

Nickelodeon, now in its 29th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 96 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 14 consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).





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