Americans spend an average of five hours a day watching TV. Human Americans, that is. The folks behind DogTV aim to add to that.
Billed as "the perfect baby sitter for dogs who have to stay home alone," DogTV isn't a TV channel about dogs; it's a TV channel for them. Many dog owners already leave the tube on for their pets when they go out, but until now there's never been programming custom-made to keep dogs company.
Airing 24 hours a day, DogTV will show short clips of canines in a variety of situations — chasing each other, riding in the car with their owners, napping, and, perversely, being visited by the mailman. There will even be animated sequences of bats flying at the screen, for some reason. The stated goal is to provide your four-legged friends with relaxation and stimulation — just like human TV! — for that portion of the day when owners aren't around. The channel, which will cost $4.99 monthly, launches on DirecTV this week; it will also be available through online streaming and Roku boxes.
Valerie Harper films TV movie in Canada
Incurable brain cancer isn't keeping actress Valerie Harper from working.
The UP cable channel said Thursday that Harper is filming a TV movie in Canada. Shooting began this week and is expected to end Aug. 11. UP said the movie, "The Town That Came A-Courtin'," is expected to air in January. The movie is based on a novel by Ronda Rich and also stars Lauren Holly, Cameron Bancroft and Lucie Guest. Harper portrays the owner of a bed-and-breakfast who is trying to help kindle a romance between the widowed mayor of a Southern town and a successful author. Harper, the 73-year-old sitcom star of "Rhoda" in the 1970s, announced in March that she had been diagnosed with a rare brain cancer. She was told by some doctors that she had as little as three months to live. Barbara Fisher, programming chief at UP, said Harper was not making any statements about her health. Harper's representatives had no immediate comment. "The Town That Came A-Courtin'" will air in January.
LeAVING: NBC's "Parks and Recreation" is losing two of its cast members. Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones will leave the series after the 13th episode of the upcoming sixth season. They play characters Chris Traeger and Ann Perkins. In an e-mail, executive producer Mike Schur said: "Heading into this year, with the two of them contemplating parenthood, it felt like the natural time to move them into the next phase."