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Food Phonies


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#1 Xanthippe

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Posted 08 June 2003 - 04:42 PM

Matthew,

We appreciate the opportunity to "get the inside scoop" from you; your perspective, experience, and knowledge will certainly help to clarify many of the questions/issues we bandy about here.

Can you pinpoint a pivotal moment when Food TV programming began to dumb down? What drove the decision to produce shows such as "The Best Of," "Unwrapped," and "The Top 5"?? Why have some of the true culinary professionals been replaced with, for lack of a better term, food phonies?

Is there hope for The Food Network???

Thank you for your participation and time.

#2 Stone

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 11:53 AM

"Dumbed down?" That's a pretty loaded question. Remember, the Food Network exists first to make money, and second to provide programming to a wide range of people -- not all of whom spend their every waking moment on eGullet. Many people are more in need of a 30-minute meal show than they are of a show that explains how to make haute cuisine (assuming that one has a sous chef to slice/dice and make three or four demiglaces so they're ready when Mom gets home from work and/or picking up the kids after soccer practice). And other people are interested in food issues that are funny and pop-culturish, but not necessarily serious. Take a look at the threads on eGullet -- a huge percentage of them are, well, "dumbed down."

#3 mstillman

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 01:55 PM

yup.

food network has a lot of viewers and they try to make programming that covers the needs/interests of said audience. the ultra food enthusiast/cook is a smaller percentage of viewer than the person who just thinks food might be interesting or wants to make more interesting food than they normally make...IMO

oh, i was fired October 11, 2000. My views and insights about Food Network only cover the time I was gainfully employed by them. I cannot be construed to know anything about current Food Network programming or business strategy that has been developed after my time there. My views and opinions are my own and cannot be considered fact.

#4 mstillman

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 02:10 PM

i would also say that you need a show like Best Of...a survey show looking at restaurants around the country. it is a breezy profile of places with interesting stories for the most part. Inmy opinion, a true restaurant review show would be hard to do...so if you can't review you have to profile and high-light.

no harm there at all. every show can be better, but i have no empirical problem with "Best Of"

oh...i was fired October 11, 2000. My observations and comments are my own. They in no way can be construed to be informed by current programming or business strategies employed by Food Network. I dont have that information. I speak only with the experience I had while I was gainfully employed at Food Network.

#5 bilrus

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 02:19 PM

oh...i was fired October 11, 2000. My observations and comments are my own. They in no way can be construed to be informed by current programming or business strategies employed by Food Network. I dont have that information. I speak only with the experience I had while I was gainfully employed at Food Network.

:wink: Aren't lawyers great?
Bill Russell

#6 Xanthippe

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 04:15 PM

:wink: Aren't lawyers great?

They are indeed, bless 'em!

And just to clarify: I do not think "Best Of" is, in and of itself (a show surveying restaurants across the country), a terrible idea; what I object to are the personalities of some of the hosts of such programs. No culinary cred. Too breezy, bouncy, perky, white bread. Food Network has done a very good job making food and cooking accessible to a much larger demographic than that of the "ultra food enthusiast/cook" mini-niche; for that, the network should be commended. But I stand by my assertion that the food phonies seem to be multiplying on TFN -- and I don't like it.

Thanks for your time, Matthew.

#7 Stone

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 04:33 PM

what I object to are the personalities of some of the hosts of such programs.  No culinary cred.  Too breezy, bouncy, perky, white bread.

I didn't get that from your post. Good point. But as with network news, a talking head just reads what other people write. The trick is to find someone people want to listen to.

#8 mcdowell

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 04:45 PM

And just to clarify:  I do not think "Best Of" is, in and of itself (a show surveying restaurants across the country), a terrible idea;

Alan Rickman used to have a show on that was similar to Best Of that was much better and more focused. With Best Of, I feel like I'm reading People Magazine - not a bad thing, but something I only do when waiting to have blood drawn.

I watch FoodTV these days only when I have nothing better to do, or as background noise while doing something else.

Cooking shows? Saturday's on PBS, Discovery channel occasionally, and Home & Garden TV late at night.

All that said, my 10 year old really loves Unwrapped, where we get to see the same machine every week make some different processed food stuff in somebody else's factory. My question: do the company's featured on Unwrapped pay for the exposure?

#9 Xanthippe

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 08:08 PM

what I object to are the personalities of some of the hosts of such programs.  No culinary cred.  Too breezy, bouncy, perky, white bread.

I didn't get that from your post. Good point. But as with network news, a talking head just reads what other people write. The trick is to find someone people want to listen to.

I'll concur, Stone -- it really wasn't clear from my post how I feel about the personalities. And your point about talking heads is a good one, as well.

McDowell summarized my attitude perfectly: a show such as Best Of is indeed like reading People Magazine. He'll pick it up while waiting to have blood drawn; I'll thumb through it while I'm getting a pedicure.