Pick of the Litter (TV series)

Last updated

Pick of the Litter
Pick of the Litter Title.png
Genre Docuseries
Developed by
Composer Dave Tweedie
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Don Hardy
  • Dana Nachman
  • Mary Celenza
  • Josh Braun
  • Dan Braun
Running time30 min
Production companies
Distributor Disney Platform Distribution
Release
Original network Disney+
Original releaseDecember 20, 2019 (2019-12-20) 
present (present)

Pick of the Litter is an American documentary streaming television series by Dana Nachman and Don Hardy for Disney+ based on 2018 film of the same name, also written and directed by the duo, that began streaming on December 20, 2019. [1]

Contents

Premise

The series follows six potential guide dogs named Paco, Pacino, Raffi, Amara, Tulane, and Tartan and how they are nurtured, trained, loved, and shepherded along the way forward potentially changing a blind human companion’s life and working as their guide dog. [2]

Production

In August 2019, Kidscreen reported that Disney+ commissioned a six part series Pick of the Litter inspired by 2018 film of the same name attaching the film's writer-directors Dana Nachman and Don Hardy along with Mary Celenza, Josh Braun and Dan Braun as executive producers with ABC Studios producing the series. [3] [4]

Shortly after the trailer for the film released, Disney put out an idea to adapt the film into a series and the negotiations began for making the series. When the idea about this series is pitched to Chris Beginner, CEO of Guide dogs for Blind he accepted as it would make more people aware about their organisation. Instead of doing again the same thing what they did with the feature, the directing duo decided focus on the period of the transition from getting the puppies from puppy raiser homes to twelve weeks of training they undergo for becoming a guide dog by focusing on specific litter.

As the production doesn't want to disturb the training process, they used smaller camera on a gimbal that then goes into a monopod that can be flipped upside down. Another challenge they had faced is if the puppy raisers will be willing to open their homes for the documentary. [5]

Episodes

No.Title [6] Directed byOriginal release date
1"Meet the Dogs"Don HardyDecember 20, 2019 (2019-12-20)
Focuses on the six puppies and their puppy raisers and the bond between them. It also focuses on how the dogs undergo the evaluations to become guide dogs for the blind before advancing to professional training.
2"Off to Puppy College"Don HardyDecember 27, 2019 (2019-12-27)
Focuses on how the puppies are recalled to the guide dog facility for their training and their medical tests at the center. It also touches on how visually impaired individuals can opt for a guide dog.
3"Training Begins" Dana Nachman January 3, 2020 (2020-01-03)
Focuses on how the puppies are trained as guide dogs, including undergoing testing with their trainer blindfolded. It also focuses on how puppies selected for breeding undergo distraction and other testing.
4"Next Level Training"Don HardyJanuary 10, 2020 (2020-01-10)
Focuses on advanced levels of training from phase three to phase seven, where guide dogs in training have to use all their skills to pass the test in phase eight. It also focuses on the match-making process between dogs and clients.
5"Meet Your Match"Don HardyJanuary 17, 2020 (2020-01-17)
The dogs in advanced training take their final exams in the hopes of being matched with clients.
6"Together at Last"Don HardyJanuary 24, 2020 (2020-01-24)
The graduating dogs meet with their puppy raisers before they go home with their new partners.

Release

The first episode premiered on Disney+ on December 20, 2019 with the following episodes debuting weekly on Fridays. [7]

Marketing

The first poster and trailer for the show were released on November 19, 2019. [8]

Reception

Common Sense Media rated the series 4 out of 5 stars, stating: "There's a lot of love flowing between humans in this series, and trainers and everyone else who comes in contact with the dogs treats them with heartwarming compassion, playing with them and petting them in between training sessions. The nature of training means that trainers will only have dogs for a limited period of time, and the moments when they have to return the dog to the program or give them to a client are painful; we see crying and hear about how difficult it is to say goodbye". [9]

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References

  1. "Disney+ chases "Pick of the Litter" docuseries". Reelscreen.
  2. "Docu-series 'Pick of the Litter' about Bay Area guide dogs coming to Disney+". abc7news.
  3. "Disney+ chases Pick of the Litter docu-series".
  4. Conte, Erin (October 12, 2019). "The 30-day countdown begins! PICK OF THE LITTER... On Disney Plus... Watch for the Launch!!! @DanaNachman @IamDonHardy @evilcannoli @KTFfilms @ErinC2011 @disneypluspic.twitter.com/1LpM8NOJOh".
  5. Turchiano, Danielle (December 18, 2019). "'Pick of the Litter' Team Talks 'Magic' in Making Guide Dog Matches".
  6. "Episodic Photos". DTCI Media.
  7. "Every guide dog has its day. Start streaming the #DisneyPlus Original Series Pick of the Litter on Dec. 20.pic.twitter.com/dLPWqrGxJL". November 19, 2019.
  8. "Ruff, rewarding, real — this is the path to becoming a guide dog. Pick of the Litter, a #DisneyPlus Original Series, premieres Dec. 20.pic.twitter.com/7ewFCogYny". November 19, 2019.
  9. "Pick of the Litter - TV Review". www.commonsensemedia.org. December 12, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2020.