Broadway’s Dog Whisperer Gets Reality TV Spotlight

Broadway dog whisperer reality series Discovery
Joan Marcus

Bill Berloni, Broadway’s go-to dog trainer for stage canines, will get a TV showcase this summer with a new reality TV series set to begin airing in August on Discovery Family Channel.

Both a well-known specialist in the Broadway industry as well as a vocal proponent of the humane rescue and training of animals, Berloni will be seen in the series in all aspects of his life, ranging from his professional work as a trainer to his activism to his life at home, where he lives with his family and more than 25 animals he’s rescued. Produced for DFC by production and distribution company Earth Touch, the series — currently known by the working title “From Wags to Riches With Bill Berloni” — will bow in August as part of “Pawgust,” the network’s monthlong focus on dogs.

Berloni, also the director of animal training and behavior for the Humane Society of New York, got his start with stage dogs as a young man when he rescued and trained the pup who played Sandy in the original stage production of “Annie.” He’s since trained rescue animals for a wide range of theatrical and screen projects, including Sony’s recent “Annie” remake. In 2011 Berloni was awarded a special Tony Honor for his work with animals onstage.

Berloni currently has dogs in Helen Mirren topliner “The Audience” and the upcoming Broadway comedy “Living on Love.” He’s now at work on “Because of Winn-Dixie,” a musical version of the novel about a young girl and her dog, with book writer-lyricist Nell Benjamin and composer Duncan Sheik. Berloni’s work on that show, now prepping for an upcoming run in Wilmington, Del., will figure into “Wags to Riches,” as will “Living on Love.”

“I don’t think my life is that crazy, but people have been calling me for years to do a reality series,” Berloni said.

Earth Touch USA’s Phil Fairclough and Sue Norton serve as executive producers for “From Wags to Riches With Bill Berloni.” On the Discovery Family side are vice president of production and development Sarah Davies, exec producer Ron Simon, general manager Tom Cosgrove and group president Henry Schleiff.

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