2020 National Dog Show preview: What to expect

Photo: National Dog Show/Steve Surfman
Photo: National Dog Show/Steve Surfman /
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It’s time for the National Dog Show preview!

With Thanksgiving taking place next Thursday, that means it’s a good time for a National Dog Show preview.

Now in its 19th year, the National Dog Show will air on Thanksgiving Day at noon across all time zones on NBC, broadcast as usual by the team of canine expert David Frei and actor John O’Hurley (Seinfeld, Family Feud), with further commentary from sportscaster Mary Carillo.

Here at Dog O’Day, we got to chat with Frei and O’Hurley last week during a Zoom interview to get their thoughts on how the show would change this year due to the pandemic, and the result was the 2020 National Dog Show preview.

Here’s what didn’t change: It was still hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia and held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania, there was still some companion events held and an array of the top dogs in the nation still came to compete. But there were differences – social distancing protocols were used, in addition to masks on all humans and other safety measures. And as always, fans can check out more in-depth coverage on the NDS website.

“It will be a virtual hosting performance; David and I will be in the comfort of our own homes, having turkey and enjoying it with our families, and we will be watching and hosting the show as it goes along as you are watching it,” O’Hurley said.

“We think on television it’s going to look very much the same ” Frei added.

This will very likely be the case, as production crews across sports and entertainment have adapted very quickly since March to the less-than-ideal filming conditions in putting TV programs together in a way that now looks more-or-less normal for viewers.

The NDS, of course, was spawned by the fictional Mayflower Dog Show (itself inspired by the real-life Westminster event) from the Christopher Guest mockumentary Best in Show, which also stars Eugene Levy (Schitt’s Creek) and Jane Lynch (Glee, Wreck-It Ralph).