Puppy Bowl XVI will reign supreme on Super Bowl Sunday

Animal Planet's annual canine follies have much in store for February 2, 2020 so be sure and tune in.

Puppy Bowl XVI will reign supreme on Super Bowl Sunday
Puppy Bowl 2020 players

Puppy Bowl Time

One of the highlights every year on Superbowl Sunday is the Animal Planet Puppy Bowl. This year the canine follies is celebrating its 16th season. Puppy Bowl XVI will air on Sunday February 2, at 3 p.m. EST/12 p.m. PT. The two hour event will be shown in reruns for the rest of the evening. The running time of Puppy Bowls I through IV was 180 minutes (including commercials). Puppy Bowl V was decreased to 120 minutes (including commercials). Jessie Dinh, the producer at Discovery Studios, said that by reducing the program to two hours, there is the opportunity to include other fun elements.

As in past years, in 2020 #TeamRuff and #TeamFluff, are both made up of adoptable puppies, from shelters, who will take to the field of Geico Stadium and attempt to win the big game. There will be 96 pups participating this time around, who desire to take home the inaugural Chewy “Lombarky” trophy. Puppy Bowl XVI will feature the puppy kiss cam, slow motion replays and the iconic water bowl cam. Surge, the scoreboard-powering hamster will be on hand as well as other fan favorites. The kittens will perform during half time and there is a new feature this year. There will be a training room space, where the puppies from 61 different shelters will be preparing for the big game day. According to the producers of the popular show, Puppy Bowl as counter programming for the Super Bowl was inspired by the popular Yule Log Christmas program.

Yule Puppies

Animal safety is important

It take several months of careful planning to pull off each show, and unlike the Super Bowl which is live, Puppy Bowl filming usually takes place in October. Animal safety and well being is a must so there are precautions that have been put in place. A veterinarian is on site during the production of the show who can administer any necessary veterinary medical care. There are on site observers from the shelters which lend their animals to the annual production. Representatives from American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, are on hand and in 2012, a representative from the American Humane Association was always on-site to ensure that puppies did not become overly aggressive and cause injuries to one another.

The Puppy Bowl associate producer, says that about 53 hours of filming are necessary to produce a single Puppy Bowl episode. There are about 30 people on hand during production an puppies are given a period of rest every 30 minutes, due to the heat from the lights. Kittens and cats are filmed the first day, with dogs and puppies the second, and other animals on day four. Animal rights activists should be pleased with the care that is taken to make sure no harm comes to the animals. There are also people on hand with plastic bags and absorbent pads to catch accidents, all of which but one are edited out of the tape.

The various cameras used to tape the Puppy Bowl generated about 50 hours of footage in 2011, and more than 90 hours in 2012. In order to obtain the puppy's-eye view of the action, some camera's are placed inside of toys. As many as 18 camera's and 100 hours of footage have been utilized prior to editing to obtain the finished product. The first five Puppy Bowls were narrated by Harry Kalas, a narrator for NFL Films who is also a longtime play-by-play voice of the Philadelphia Phillies. During 2010 and 2o11, the Puppy Bowls narrator was Jeff Bordner. Scott Graham has had the job since 2012 and his voice will be the one you hear in 2020.

The Puppy Bowl Format

There is no live audience in the "GEICO Stadium" while the Puppy Bowl is being played and the audience cheering is canned. A special "bowl cam" provides shots upwards through the transparent water bowl which is built into the stadium floor. It has a wide-angle lens that allows viewers to watch the puppies drink water and also walk through it up close. In 2o14 it took five GoPro miniature digital camera's and ten, full-size digital cameras to capture all the puppy power action.

A human referee has the pleasure of watching over all the field action during the game. A crew member was randomly selected for the position in the first few years of the game Animal Planet associate producer Andrew Schechter held the honored position from 2008-20011. He was replaced in 2012, by SportsNet New York and Beer Money! host Dan Schachner. A touchdown is scored when a puppy drags one of the football-shaped toys into the end zone. In Puppy Bowl IX, there was a double-touchdown, as puppies with toys raced into both end zone simultaneously. A team touchdown occurred in 2016, when two puppies chewing on the same toy,, carried it into the end zone.

Taping Details

The Puppy Bowl is filmed inside of a miniature Plexiglas "stadium" that is 19 feet long by 10 feet wide. The show only allows puppies who are between 12 and 21 weeks old to be used on the show. There is a height and weight limit due to the size limitations of the Geico Stadium play area. The puppies that are chosen must show that they are well-socialized with other puppies, as well as humans. They must also have proof that they have the full range of necessary vaccinations. A wide variety of toys are placed inside the "stadium" and the Puppy Bowl producers indicate that toys which are sausage shaped and make the loudest noise are the ones that get the most attention from the pups. The toys get switched out every 20 minutes, and sometimes more frequently. In order to induce the puppies to lick the camera, peanut butter is smeared around the lenses.

Each year, an MVP, a Most Valuable Puppy is chosen at the end of the show. Beginning with Puppy Bowl XI, viewers were allowed to vote for the most outstanding puppy during the big game. MVP. MVP voting is permitted during the first three airings of the show which are at 3 PM, 5 PM, and 7 PM). Who knew that so much work went into one, two hour, annual program. If you are a fan of the actual Super Bowl, you should consider watching the first airing of Puppy Bowl XVI at 3:00 to get you in game day mode. Those who are not going to watch the big game can enjoy the puppyy power throughout the evening. Adults aged 25-54 have made the Puppy Bow the second most watched program with an average of 3 million viewers and the Super Bowl being number one.

Cheryl E Preston
Cheryl E Preston
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Cheryl E Preston

Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, published author and former Newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psycology and Biblical studies. She enjoys sharing natural cures, and Nostalgia related info. Tips are greatly appreciated.

See all posts by Cheryl E Preston