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  1. ← So aren't the two channels related. Just a lateral move from one sister network to the other. I guess the demographics are different on FL than on FN. ← Fine Living is becoming a publicly Nielsen-rated network in the fall so they're trotting out all the old FN warhorses to drum up interest. Molto Mario has been on there, Thirsty Traveler and the original Iron Chef (retitled Iron Chef Japan and sans Backdraft music) are in late night Monday-Friday. Emeril Live replaced back to back Molto Mario runs at 7pm, not sure where they'll park Molto Mario next. Martha Stewart has a show as well.
  2. My point was not to suggest Harold Dieterle be head judge instead of Bourdain so your argument is irrelevant. The measuring stick here is Collichio. The criticism of Harold's opinion based on his experience vs. Bourdain's is ludicrous; it's like saying that, oh, David Wright can't say Willie Mays was better than Duke Snider because Wright hasn't played baseball for as long at a high level as either of the people he's comparing. I, on the other hand, don't take the show that seriously. It's just another food competition show so I'm fine with Bourdain as a judge. People who think Top Chef is somehow "better" than any other cook-off might disagree. That's all I'm saying. Oh, and I've eaten at both Perilla and Les Halles. Have to give the nod to Perilla (knowing full well that will get me crucified here in egulletland).
  3. Thanks for the link; classic bourdain at his best. I too am perplexed by choosing frozen scallops. There are few things worse than frozen wet pack scallops. The quickfire was good although one would think that some of the contestants had never cut their own steaks before. I thought the PB Mash was going to be a disaster and was suprised that it was so well received. I'm not going to make that dish anytime soon though. Harold had some pretty harsh words about Bourdain's subbing for Tom last week on his TC Season 4 Blog. Harold's Blog With any luck Bourdain will feel compelled to respond. I too think Lisa will be out next week but one never knows... ← Ouch, pretty harsh Harold. Let me know when you have put in the years on the line, written books, had a sitcom and several TV shows. Jerk. ← I think you just proved Harold's point. Many years on the line yes, great food writer yes, successful media personality no doubt. Great chef? No. Nor has he ever claimed to be. I suppose one's opinion as to Bourdain's credentials for being a head judge on this show depends on how seriously one takes it. If you think it's just another foodertainment show, no problem. But if you think it's somehow serious about food, that it's more than Food Network Challenge or something, then you need someone of higher qualifications as a judge. Harold obviously takes the show pretty seriously so to him it's a problem.
  4. Personally, I got worried that Bourdain would boycott the judgement after the chefs were shown drinking Michelob in the stew room.
  5. I can live with discreet product placement, but there's no way I'd let them plant a 3-pound block of Velveeta in MY pantry. Not now, not ever (!) Couldn't live with the shame. ← Hey, TV shows cost money. Product placment is no more offensive than the price column on the menu of a restaurant. Hate product placement? Watch the Food Network, they don't do any!
  6. Speaking of the product placement, did anyone else notice that the competitors were drinking Michelob in the "sweat room" while awaiting judgement? I bet Bourdain threw a shoe at the TV!
  7. Wait, you're coming FROM Montreal TO NYC for a bachelor party? Wow, that's like the people who live in Manhattan but commute to NJ for work.....
  8. In terms of how Bourdain saw his previously uncommercialized, unsponsored blog now suddenly being sponsored by Michelob, yes, that would be "a threat". As for NR, the situation is entirely different. A production company produces a show, under contract, for a network. Even though for-profit networks derive most of their income from advertising, at that point, the people producing the show are paid by the NETWORK - not a specific sponsor. When NR airs, blocks of air time are bought by individual companies selling a product - again, there is no one sponsor, and neither Tony nor, say, Zimmern, are required to endorse or do any shilling for a particular company. Further, when a show is bought by a commercial TV network to be aired, it is with the full understanding that there will be commercials run through it at the breaks - a full understanding reached ages before the show goes into production, naturally. That is the business of for-profit TV.What Tony is ticked off about, as I understand it, is that (1) a blog that he writes for free, for fun, is now being sponsored by a corporate entity, and (2) Bravo did so without a heads-up to him. Since Tony had no say in what was going to be done to his blog once he sent it in, and being associated with the commercial sponsorship of it - even passively - is anathema to him, Tony is therefore NOT going to write the blog any more (see the last comment from Bourdain, above). Neither with NR - nor with the blog - does a corporate entity come running up to Tony with buckets of filthy lucre and drop it in his lap, screaming, "Here! NOW would you please let us plaster your dark visage all over our Pilsner glasses! Let us start mass-producing the Bourdain Ginzu 8" hollow ground Santoku knife!" But he does get paid through his contract with The Travel Channel to produce NR, he does get paid for his speaking engagements and appearances (though not for plain old book signings, which are promotional), and he does get paid from his book royalties (which the book signings pump up). I'm sure Bourdain HAS had offers to endorse plenty of stuff, BTW, or for merchandizing - but the very fact that we haven't SEEN any endorsements, merchandizing, etc., etc., with Bourdain's face on it should tell you right there he isn't doing any. And now, as he's just said, he won't write the sponsored Top Chef blog. That should settle the integrity question right there, don't you think? ← Hoo boy. Let's get a few things straight: 1. I don't recall ever questioning anyone's integrity. My original post merely linked to an article announcing Bravo's decision to sell sponsorship to Bourdain's blog to Michelob with a comment tossed in about product integration since Top Chef is a show that does a fair amount of it. I don't know why Bourdain would be pissed off that someone would think he'd drink a Michelob on screen; hell we've already seen him drink Corona and Stella both of which are crappier tasting if you ask me. 2. Anyone who thinks they're providing content to a commercial media conglomerate in any form that will NOT be commercialized is either disingenuous or naive. I'll give Bourdain and his people the benefit of the doubt and say it's the latter. 3. I suspect that the real issue here is not the sponsorship but rather the lack of compensation. And for that, I say (pardon the pun) bravo to Bourdain for not providing free content that NBC Universal to sell. After all, just click on over to the Bourdain home page on the Travel Channel (which contains a blog for which he presumably IS paid) and you'll see right there on the right that Life Takes Visa! Anyway, kudos to Tony for making a smart business decsion. Giving away content for free in the Web 2.0 era is bad business. By refusing to blog he also looks great to the portion of his fanbase that's less sophisticated about the media biz and still harbors notions that there's such a thing as "selling out" vs. "not selling out" depending on where you draw the sponsorship line.
  9. No, a sponsored blogger can, naturally, use his or her own CPU to blog. But once the marterial leaves his or her hands, the blogger/writer does not necessarily have full control about how it's formatted, packaged, edited, etc. So if Tony, working on his laptop or Blackberry, blogs a piece and sends it into Bravo, he's just sending typed words - like these, like yours - to the Bravo blog editors. Since, for the past season, Tony has been blogging Top Chef (for free just because it amuses him), and there's been no sponsorship, banner pages, ads on the side of HIS blog, etc., I'm sure he did not see foresee any changes coming - until Bravo announced that his blog was going to be sponsored by Michelob. Well, now that he KNOWS Michelob is slated to sponsor his blog, that ads, banner pages and whatever other promotional/advertising BS is going to be added to his written words, Tony is objecting. And for those of you who think he's selling out or about to, let's just see if you see Tony blog Top Chef this season, as long as there is the threat of sponsorship on his blogs. Bets, anyone? ← "Threat of sponsorship"? Now that's funny. Yes, God knows someone who makes their living in commercial media views sponsorship as a "threat". I guess NR will be running commercial free from this point forward then? Let me know when that starts.
  10. According to Broadcasting and Cable Magazine, Marco Pierre White will host what essentially is a US version of Last Restaurant Standing. The show was just ordered so they're not even shooting it yet but I'm sure a casting call will go out soon if it hasn't already.
  11. Travel Channel. I have to wonder if that is why he has no blog on Top Chef? ← Well, if one doesn't get on there soon somebody's gonna owe the real A-B (Anheuser Busch) some money back. Or some other exposure elsewhere in the Bravo site.
  12. I assume for the same reason the ovens are GE Monogram, they store everything in Gladware, and they use Kingsford charcoal... ← dead on. ← Yes, the Bravo folks want to make money on the show! Imagine that!
  13. Yep. Zimmern's shtick is seeking out and eating the most bizarre foods he can find - I think it's more a gross-out factor thing. There is no context provided for what he goes to eat. He's like a dumpy, pudgy, middle-aged wannabe Ozzy Osbourne biting the heads off bats. (OK, that's unfair to Oz!) ← And yet Bourdain did a two part crossover show with him. Willingly it seems. Do you think that was a momentary bout of bad taste of did he sell out to the Travel Channel overlords?
  14. "Flayed alive"? I doubt it. I think any endorsement would be greeted with all sorts of "well after all those years in the industry, he deserves to get paid". People tend to forgive the perceived sins of those they liked or admired to begin with. Me, I don't think there's a sin in selling out at all vis-a-vis the media business. Without advertising, television, radio and periodical print media would by and large cease to exist. That includes PBS...what you don't think the five minutes of "thanks for underwriting us" spots at the end of every cooking show aren't just commercials?
  15. Tell it to the trades. I just posted the link. And it's a real site, not some wanker in a basement.
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