LAST CALL: TV program could be the cat's meow

While some say TV has gone to the dogs, the people at Meow Mix would beg to differ.

While some say TV has gone to the dogs, the people at Meow Mix would beg to differ.

Meow TV, set to appear in the fall, is slated to become the first TV show targeted not toward cat owners, but cats themselves.

According to Meow Mix CEO Richard Thompson, 22% of pet owners watch programs they think their pets will enjoy, and since Meow Mix's mission is "keeping cats happy, the company is looking to fill the void in feline broadcast entertainment.

"Meow TV will feature things of interest to cats - a lot of bright colors, bouncing balls, fish, birds, and squirrels - but will also have information and fun facts for cat owners. said Laura Barrett of Lime Communications.

"Hopefully owners will watch it too. Especially since they're the ones in charge of the remote control.

Publicity for the half-hour program kicked off on July 17 with an eight-city quest for two human voices - one adult and one child. "They are going to be the voices of the show, and speak in English and in meows - cat language, Barrett said.

About 300 hopefuls auditioned for celebrity judges Race Taylor of New York's WPLJ and All My Children star Finola Hughes, who performed in the original production of Cats. They were escorted to the event in the Meow Mix mobile, a feline shaped vehicle amply equipped with speakers to broadcast the well-known Meow Mix jingle.

In addition to human stars, the Secaucus, NJ-based company is looking for the "Vanna White of cats to host the program, Thompson said.

"The big question will be how to judge the success of the program when its primary audience can't speak, Barrett said.

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