In a move best described as counterprogramming to counterprogramming — all of it related to TV outlets’ struggle to find something to put on the air during the Super Bowl — Hallmark Channel is taking a page from Animal Planet’s successful Puppy Bowl program.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hallmark is creating its own Super Bowl counterprogramming featuring another cute species: kittens. "The Kitten Bowl" will be hosted by Beth Stern, with New York Yankees radio announcer John Sterling providing the play-by-play. Stern is the wife of "America’s Got Talent" judge Howard Stern and a model.
"About 60 to 70 kittens will participate in two preliminary playoffs and a championship match. There is an obstacle course of hurdles, tunnels, hoops, jumps, toys on strings and more. Along with Sterling — known for his colorful catch phrases such as ‘Swishalicious’ and ‘A thrilla by Godzilla!’ — the cable channel promises analysis and color commentary by ‘cats made famous by YouTube videos and Instagram followings,’" the story reports.
The Puppy Bowl has aired on Animal Planet since 2005, and has also included a "Kitty Half-Time Show."