In the mid-'90s, Daniel FitzSimons was surfing around cable during long breaks in the O.J. Simpson trial. Not surprisingly, he didn't find anything he wanted to watch. But as an avid dog lover, he knew what he'd tune into if it were available — a 24/7 channel of adorable puppies playing. He even made a pilot and tested the idea, and viewers in Connecticut who were lucky enough to see it overwhelmingly enjoyed it — even more than news shows. But FitzSimons never got funding for his channel.
When I first heard this story in a documentary a few years ago, I couldn't believe. With all the boring stuff on cable, how is it possible that Puppy TV never became a thing?
Well, now it has: Except it's with kittens ... in Iceland.
The highly rated show is already a hit for its parent channel Nutiminn, and it's called — wait for it — "Keeping up with the Kattarshians."
"It was a cute idea from a colleague of mine, Þórhallur Gunnarsson. One day he said to me he really wanted to do a show involving cats living in a little house. Everyone else started laughing, but I said, 'Let's do this.' I have my own TV production company, so we decided to work on it together," Inga Lind Karlsdóttir told Broadly.
The kittens aren't just in the business of being adorable and reducing our blood pressure: Guðni, Ronja, Briet and Stubbur — the first round of kittens in the house — are raising awareness of animal adoption in Iceland. The Icelandic Cat Protection Society, whence the kittens came, has reported that all four of the adorable beasts have found forever homes after just a week on TV.
That doesn't mean the show is over; new furry felines have replaced them, and new feline stars have entered their own cat-tastic reality show.
It's not hard to understand why a reality show about kittens living in a dollhouse feels extra-charming right now — it's a solid antidote to the reality on our other screens.
"It's fun when they go crazy and ruin the house, but it's also calming to watch them sleep. It's good for the soul," says Karlsdottir.