Animal Planet’s ‘Puppy Bowl X’ scores a touchdown for cuteness

The atmosphere at "Puppy Bowl X" at the Discovery Times Square Experience in New York on Jan. 28, 2014.
(Mark Von Holden / AP Images for Discovery Communications)
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Like the Seattle Seahawks, Animal Planet scored a massive victory on Super Bowl Sunday when “Puppy Bowl X” racked up a record 13.5 million viewers to become the No. 1 telecast in all of cable.

The adorable show, which pits pound pups against each other in a furry-tastic game of faux-football, was also the most tweeted “Puppy Bowl” ever, generating more than 340,000 Tweets and trending on Facebook for much of the day.

Its social media dominance extended to Instagram as an estimated 150,000 #PuppyBowl pictures were submitted to the network’s inaugural “live Instagram integration,” which featured viewers and their pets live on air.


PHOTOS: Animal Planet’s ‘Puppy Bowl X’

Ratings no doubt received a significant boost thanks to the star power on hand, which included President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with First Dogs Bo and Sunny, as well as Ricky Gervais, Rob Lowe, Lindsey Vonn, Pam Grier and Sean Astin.

“Puppy Bowl X,” playing in repeats for a whopping 12 hours, faced competition from a number of other animal-centric Super Bowl alternatives, including Hallmark Channel’s “Kitten Bowl” and National Geographic Wild’s “Fish Bowl,” which gave viewers a fish-eye perspective of what life looks like from inside a fish bowl.

Each year “Puppy Bowl” adds new twists to its game-day plan, including a slo-mo “Fluff Cam,” which shows puppies shaking water from their fur.

All of the pets featured on the show, which is filmed in a New York studio months in advance of its air date, are up for adoption (most have already found homes). This includes dozens of puppies, kitty half-time show performers, hedgehog cheerleaders and hamster sports reporters that fly above the miniature stadium set in a blimp.



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