NATPE Hears Pet Sounds

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Just think of it as Citizen Canine.

Culver City Studios, home to such classic films as Gone With the Wind, Citizen Kane and the original King Kong, is trying to get into the TV production business.

With the promise of a personal pet consultation (a $3,000 value) and a signed copy of Hollywood pet therapist Warren Eckstein's book, Culver was trying to tempt journalists at NATPE in Las Vegas to check out its first foray into syndication, Heavy Petting.

Eckstein, who hosts a radio show in Canada, hopes to move to TV with a show Culver describes as "Dr. Doolittle meets Dr. Phil." Eckstein will dispense pet advice "from a pet's point of view" and "take viewers into the psyche of their pets, as a means to help pet owners resolve their pet problems: Broken Home Syndrome: How Divorce Affects Pets, Surviving a Pet's Mid-Life Crisis."

According to the studio, the Los Angees-based Eckstein's clients have included the pets of David Letterman, Cheryl Tiegs, Lily Tomlin, Geraldine Ferraro, Al Pacino and the late Rodney Dangerfield.

The show is being pitched for fall 2006.

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