LOS ANGELES (AP) – Awards season is underway in Hollywood, but one show will roll out green turf instead of red carpet and celebrate achievements like best mutt instead of best actor.
At the inaugural World Dog Awards hosted by comedian George Lopez, dogs will walk in on artificial grass and wag out with golden fire hydrant statuettes honoring the best in entertainment and social media.
There are no long speeches or fashion critics at the show airing Thursday on the CW Network. At this event, the podium is packed with dog treats, patches of grass allow pets to do their business and signs call for barking instead of applause. Plus, pooches lounge on couches and sniff out swag bags boasting pet food, collars and toys.
The World Dog Awards are the latest in a series of canine kudos weaving their way into Hollywood's human awards landscape.
The Pawscars gives accolades to animals in film roles, including a tarantula that won best supporting arachnid a few years ago for appearing in "Salt" with Angelina Jolie. Voting is open for the show, scheduled to air March 4.
The Golden Collar Awards made their online debut in 2012, giving the top nod to a Jack Russell terrier named Uggie for his star turn in "The Artist." After a two-year hiatus, the show returns Oct. 4 and is open only to adopted shelter dogs that have appeared online or in TV, movies or commercials.
The World Dog Awards are different than other shows, executive producer Robert Horowitz said.
"You have seen Westminster, you have seen dogs honored for their service and to promote adoption, but not a show that focuses on how important they are in everyday life," he said.
Fans voted online for the winners of most categories before the show's filming on Jan. 10. They chose Most Pawpular Dog, for the most influential pooch on social media; Happiest Reunion, for the most inspiring videotaped reunion between a returning military member and a dog; and even Most Dog-Like Cat.
In one of the most heated contests, colleges' competed for best team mascot. The contenders are Smokey the bluetick coonhound from the University of Tennessee; Jonathan the husky from the University of Connecticut; Hairy Dawg the bulldog from the University of Georgia; T-Bone the Irish setter from Pace University; and Bully the bulldog from Mississippi State.
Lopez said hosting the show gave him a chance to "create an awareness of our most loyal companions, who love unconditionally and never take their eyes off of you."
Scooby-Doo, the titular animated Great Dane who's been investigating mysteries for decades, is receiving a lifetime achievement award, given to an iconic dog character in popular culture. Warner Bros. created a custom animated segment, allowing Scooby-Doo to "accept" his award from "NCIS" actress Pauley Perrette.
Dogs receiving star treatment at the show got to bring a plus-one — a person to handle the other end of the leash, Horowitz said. Organizers expected about 100 dogs and 1,000 people to attend.
"America loves our four-legged creatures. They are a big part in the life of humans. They make us laugh, cry and tug at our heartstrings," Horowitz said. "This is a way to say thanks."