Exclusive: Hallmark Meow Madness, star Mary Carillo says, “Basketball may well be a kitten’s best sport”

Mary Carillo

Premiere, a special event to showcase the kittens in local adoption shelters, on April 3rd, 2017, at 5pm PT, 8 pm ET on DirecTV

By Gabrielle Pantera

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2017/4/3 – “As a seasoned chronicler of feline athletics I must say that basketball may well be a kitten’s best sport,” says Meow Madness announcer Mary Carillo. “Of course they treat the rules with galling disrespect and flagrant disregard, but there was much to appreciate while watching their version of this beloved game. Basketball plays to a kitten’s great strengths, chasing and leaping, while also rewarding their other unignorable instincts: curiosity, climbing, pawing, yawning, skidding, tumbling, and spontaneous napping. What more can you ask for?”


“John Salley and I shot for the better part of a day and night,” says Carillo. “He was a joy to work with, bringing his extraordinary talents and basketball IQ to his first ever kitten event. At first John was a bit fuzzy on some of the moves allowed by the kittens. He had to get used to some of the scoring values. In the NBA there are very rarely any eight point plays, for instance. But one of the all-time short hairs proved once again how surefooted he was, pouncing on all the big moments, rarely straying from the action on the floor. He was also good-natured and people-friendly. I would adopt him right this second.”

Carillo, who more typically covers human sporting events, is heading to Charleston, South Carolina tomorrow to call a tennis event there.

“Lots of tennis in the coming weeks, including the European clay court swing that leads me to The French Open in Paris,” says Carillo. “After that, grass court tennis and Wimbledon, then hard court tennis in the US, culminating with the US Open in New York in early September. All of a sudden it’s me who needs a spontaneous nap.” Or, maybe a catnap?

Meow Madness along with our other Hallmark Channel original petcentric specials, entertain audiences of all ages while showcasing what animals are available for adoption at local shelters,” says Executive Vice President of Programming & Network Program Publicity, Crown Media Family Networks, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Michelle Vicary. “As Crown Media Family Networks PETS program expands its partnerships with North Shore Animal League America and others to include hundreds of neighborhood shelters around the country, we are focused on adoption and showcasing the joys pets bring to our lives every day.”

In Meow Madness, host Beth Stern is doing her part to help get kittens adopted. She’s also the national spokesperson for North Shore Animal League America that provides the kittens for Hallmark’s kitten centric shows. North shore is the nation’s largest no-kill shelter and animal adoption organization. The special showcases 100 adoptable kittens in a competitive basketball tournament.

Former Los Angeles Lakers  John Salley is one of the official play-by-play announcers. He’s a four time NBA Champion. Salley is an author, TV host and activist.

Salley joins Mary Carillo Peabody award-winning reporter, sports analyst and commentator. for the first every feline championship for basketball.

Meow Madness cast:

A 3 Ball Entertainment production. Presented in association with North Shore Animal League America and Last Hope Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation.

Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries are owned by Crown Media Family Networks and distributed to 66 million U.S. homes.

Twitter: @realmeowmadness, @BethStern, @thejohnsalley, @notmaryc, @AnimalLeague, @Last_Hope_Inc @hallmarkchannel

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