Thursday, March 12, 2009
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL
THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 2009 AT 11:00 AM PST
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL’S DOG WHISPERER CESAR MILLAN BECOMES A U.S. CITIZEN
Popular TV Star and Best-selling Author Sworn in This Morning in Los Angeles
(WASHINGTON, D.C. — MARCH 12, 2009) Cesar Millan — star of the Emmy-nominated National Geographic Channel hit series Dog Whisperer and best-selling author — took the oath today to officially become a U.S. citizen. Cesar, who passed his citizenship test earlier this year, attended the swearing in-ceremony this morning with dozens of others in Montebello, Calif., just north of Los Angeles. Cesar was joined by his wife Ilusion and two sons, Andre and Calvin, who attended to cheer him on (they are already U.S. citizens).
“This is the ultimate culmination of living the American dream,” said Millan. “Becoming an U.S. citizen has been a goal of mine since I first came to this great country. I have much to thank this country for, and all of the success it has afforded me and my family, and now I am proud to be a citizen.”
Millan, who shot to fame in 2003 when his series premiered on the National Geographic Channel, was born in Mexico. He has a special gift for rehabilitating dogs and training their owners. His unique talent with dogs first developed on his grandfather’s farm in Mexico, where he learned at a very young age the importance of respecting Mother Nature. He chronicles his childhood in Mexico and how he crossed the border as a young man in his first best-selling book “Cesar’s Way.” He has been a legal resident of the United States since 2000.
Cesar is currently working on his fourth book, to be released this fall, and starts filming this week for the sixth season of Dog Whisperer.
Dog Whisperer — which celebrated its 100th episode last fall — is a staple of NGC’s Friday night programming. The second and third seasons of Dog Whisperer each received nominations for the Primetime Emmy for Best Reality Series. The show continues to document Cesar’s amazing rehabilitations of problem dogs, and will also include special episodes such as an upcoming look at puppy mills.
About Cesar Millan
With more than 20 years of experience working with canines, Cesar has been called a “Dr. Phil for dogs,” and for good reason. He receives as many as 100 calls a week from owners desperate for help. By the time people call Cesar, they are confronting a crisis with their beloved pets. He is their emergency responder, and often their last resort. Often, the dogs Cesar works with are “red zone cases” that trainers or veterinarians have told the owners to put down. Cesar believes every dog deserves a chance at rehabilitation before such drastic measures should even be considered. His pack of dogs are largely dogs no one thought should be left alive — and they now live in harmony as part of Cesar’s pack, and make frequent appearances on the show.
Millan was made an honorary member of the International Association of Canine Professionals and was presented The Michael Landon Award for Inspiration to Youth Through Television at the 28th Young Artist Awards.
Cesar’s most recent book, "A Member of the Family," released in October 2008, is his third New York Times best-seller. Other things Cesar include these: The first three seasons of Dog Whisperer are available on DVD; Cesar and his wife Ilusion have founded the nonprofit Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation, providing financial support and rehabilitation expertise to shelters throughout the United States; Cesar has an exclusive product line available at Petco; and he is giving online seminars, “Sessions with Cesar,” an interactive coaching course. More information can be found at www.cesarmillaninc.com.
About Dog Whisperer
Each episode of Dog Whisperer follows dog behavior specialist Cesar Millan as he goes directly into the homes of dog owners — without any prior information about the dog’s case — and documents the remarkable transformations that take place under Cesar’s calm, assertive guidance.
The hugely popular series has grown into a pop culture phenomenon, including parodies on “South Park” and “Saturday Night Live”; references on popular shows including “Jeopardy!” and Bravo’s hit series “Work Out”; appearances on “Oprah,” “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Martha Stewart,” “Today Show,” “The View” and “Live with Regis and Kelly”; and a guest star role for Cesar on the hit series “Ghost Whisperer.”
Dog Whisperer is produced by MPH Entertainment and Emery/Sumner Productions for National Geographic Channel. Executive producers for MPH Entertainment are Jim Milio, Melissa Jo Peltier and Mark Hufnail. Sheila Possner Emery and Kay Bachman Sumner are producers. For the National Geographic Channel, senior executive producer is Char Serwa; senior vice president of special programming is Michael Cascio and executive vice president of content is Steve Burns.
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National Geographic Channel
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channel (NGC) is a joint venture between National Geographic Ventures (NGV) and Fox Cable Networks (FCN). Since launching in January 2001, NGC initially earned some of the fastest distribution growth in the history of cable and more recently the fastest ratings growth in television. The network celebrated its fifth anniversary January 2006 with the launch of NGC HD which provides the spectacular imagery that National Geographic is known for in stunning high-definition. NGC has carriage with all of the nation's major cable and satellite television providers, making it currently available to more than 69 million homes. For more information, please visit www.natgeotv.com.
Chris Albert, National Geographic Channel, 202-912-6526, CAlbert@natgeochannel.com