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The (temporary) return of "A Cook's Tour"

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Watching ACT last night reminded me of how much of a better show ACT was than NR is. I think only having a half hour kept Tony away from doing too much of the shtick that drags down NR.

Don't get me wrong, NR is a solid show, but as so many of you said on the Holiday Special thread the scripted comedy bits are, well, let's just say not good.

If Tony could do a one-hour revisit of the annual pig feast at the Merielles (sp?) home in Portugal that would be amazing.

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I caught part of the Russia episode flipping channels. The video quality was lacking to say the least. My old recordings looked much better.

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Cook's Tour has a lot more food content (as a percentage of the whole) than NR. Maybe NR being on the Travel Channel is part of the reason for having a lot of travel content that really has little to do with food.

I caught some last night, too. Not sure when the episode I saw was shot, but Tony looked noticeably younger, too.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Whatever keeps Bourdain on TV and not apologizing for his comments or behavior is cool by my book

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It had been so long since I'd seen A Cook's Tour I'd forgotten how good it was.

And jsmeeker, I agree with you, we were remarking how much younger Tony looked then. Years pass for all of us, I suppose.


Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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So they aren't going to continue with the reruns?

FN is re-running them Tuesday nights at 11p, beginning 1/1/08.

I logged onto Food Network's A Cook's Tour page, under feedback, and, while congratulating FN for re-running ACT, also suggested they release it on DVD for those not fortunate enough to remembered to tape the eps when they first aired.

Anyone else who thinks it might be a cool idea can fill out the comments on the attached form:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/about_us/t...7_62448,00.html

Hey, it would be a nice chunk of change for FN. Maybe even a chunk for Tony. More importantly, we get ACT.

I know Bourdain feels NR is vastly superior to ACT - bigger budget, longer running time, more creative control, etc. - but seeing them again on Tuesday night, I can't help but think how good these shows were in their own right, and how Bourdain himself evolved throughout them - not just as a person experiencing the greater world for the first time, but as a writer, culinary ethnologist, and general human being. OK, my 2 cents.

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I too went on the FN page to leave positive feedback...had forgotten how much i enjoyed ACT. If he looked that much younger in ACT I have to wonder how much I've aged in the past few years... :wacko:


ksoss

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Because FN has no interest in providing material only the high-end crowd enjoys. We account only for such a small percentage of FN viewership that they systematically removed anyone with any culinary fervor and replaced those chefs/educators with the Rachael Rays, the Sandra Lees, and the Michael Chiarellos. FN initially thought home-viewers would enjoy watching and learning from true professionals. FN was wrong. The common viewer can't relate to artisanship and would rather watch Sandra Lee pour taco seasoning on dog food. That is why Anthony Bourdain is no longer on FN.

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Because FN has no interest in providing material only the high-end crowd enjoys.  We account only for such a small percentage of FN viewership that they systematically removed anyone with any culinary fervor and replaced those chefs/educators with the Rachael Rays, the Sandra Lees, and the Michael Chiarellos.  FN initially thought home-viewers would enjoy watching and learning from true professionals.  FN was wrong.  The common viewer can't relate to artisanship and would rather watch Sandra Lee pour taco seasoning on dog food.  That is why Anthony Bourdain is no longer on FN.

And, as Bourdain has stated, there were other issues, too - the show's format was too short, his producers were constantly pushing him to do "performing seal" kinds of things, and FN wanted him to do more "barbecues across the backyards of America:" kind of thing, which he refused. So, basically, he took his marbles and left. His antipathy towards FN has only grown, because of their foisting of RR, Sandra, etc., down our throats - compounded with the addition of shows like The Next Food Network TV Star (being rerun as a marathon today, as a matter of fact), and the discontinuance of primo chefs programs (Mario Batali's, being one prime example.) :hmmm:

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And, as Bourdain has stated, there were other issues, too - the show's format was too short, his producers were constantly pushing him to do "performing seal" kinds of things, and FN wanted him to do more "barbecues across the backyards of America:" kind of thing, which he refused.  So, basically, he took his marbles and left.  His antipathy towards FN has only grown, because of their foisting of RR, Sandra, etc., down our throats - compounded with the addition of shows like The Next Food Network TV Star (being rerun as a marathon today, as a matter of fact), and the discontinuance of primo chefs programs (Mario Batali's, being one prime example.)  :hmmm:

Is this right before "Decoding Ferran Adria"?

Bourdain has balls.


Edited by Greystreet (log)

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. . . his producers were constantly pushing him to do "performing seal" kinds of things. . .

Kind of like the "entertainment" segments on his new show? Or his Christmas special?

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. . . his producers were constantly pushing him to do "performing seal" kinds of things. . .

Kind of like the "entertainment" segments on his new show? Or his Christmas special?

No, worse. Like trying to get him to praise food that sucked, and be all perky and vanilla. There was one episode (either Oaxaca? Pueblo?) where he went to the restaurant of a new, young chef, and the food was appalling. But, as Tony was in the guy's restaurant, with family, friends and colleagues of the guy watching in Mexico and NYC, Tony could not bluntly diss the food, so he clammed up. His producers at the time were trying to get him to be all upbeat and cheery and praise the food, and he couldn't - and wouldn't - do it. So he just got very tight-lipped and "non-performing". Being pushed into those of situations made AB very unhappy, as he stated unequivocably. He might do doofy segments now, but at least there by his own choice, and he isn't being made to lie. If the food sucks, if his fixer screws him and messes up the shoot (i.e., Sicily), or if anything else horrendous happens, then that's what we see.

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And, as Bourdain has stated, there were other issues, too - the show's format was too short, his producers were constantly pushing him to do "performing seal" kinds of things, and FN wanted him to do more "barbecues across the backyards of America:" kind of thing, which he refused.  So, basically, he took his marbles and left.  His antipathy towards FN has only grown, because of their foisting of RR, Sandra, etc., down our throats - compounded with the addition of shows like The Next Food Network TV Star (being rerun as a marathon today, as a matter of fact), and the discontinuance of primo chefs programs (Mario Batali's, being one prime example.)   :hmmm:

Is this right before "Decoding Ferran Adria"?

Bourdain has balls.

Not sure what you're asking - the A Cook's Tour issue was ongoing in 2002-2003, while AB was shooting the series. He shot the Ferran Adria documentary/episode in 2005/2006, I think (although it didn't air until much later, as an episode of NR).

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I thought he had already shot the Ferran Adria ep as a kickoff for season 3 of ACT, then negotiations with FTV fell apart and he kept the episode independent of them . . . ?

And, as Bourdain has stated, there were other issues, too - the show's format was too short, his producers were constantly pushing him to do "performing seal" kinds of things, and FN wanted him to do more "barbecues across the backyards of America:" kind of thing, which he refused.  So, basically, he took his marbles and left.  His antipathy towards FN has only grown, because of their foisting of RR, Sandra, etc., down our throats - compounded with the addition of shows like The Next Food Network TV Star (being rerun as a marathon today, as a matter of fact), and the discontinuance of primo chefs programs (Mario Batali's, being one prime example.)   :hmmm:

Is this right before "Decoding Ferran Adria"?

Bourdain has balls.

Not sure what you're asking - the A Cook's Tour issue was ongoing in 2002-2003, while AB was shooting the series. He shot the Ferran Adria documentary/episode in 2005/2006, I think (although it didn't air until much later, as an episode of NR).

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I didn't watch it. I was way too busy cooking all day to sit and watch a little tv. In fact, I didn't even know it was on to be honest.


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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I didn't watch it.  I was way too busy cooking all day to sit and watch a little tv.  In fact, I didn't even know it was on to be honest.

I caught the mini-marathon; and my Tivo also picked up a single episode, from Singapore, airing last night. I never watched the show when it was new, so I'm glad I got to catch up on them. I think I remember seeing on the guide that there were going to be a few more episodes shown over the next week.

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I saw an ad last night that stated it is back full time.

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I thought he had already shot the Ferran Adria ep as a kickoff for season 3 of ACT, then negotiations with FTV fell apart and he kept the episode independent of them . . . ?

You know, I'd really have to check about that. I thought he was already done with FN, shot the Ferran "docu-sode", released it on DVD/VHS because he had no other medium for it, but then later aired it as an NR episode - why not? He had it in the can already. The FN issue had been ongoing way before the Ferran documentary - Tony wasn't going to be given an hour time slot, and he wasn't going to be given the budget (or the creative control) to go shoot in exotic locales - FN definitely wanted him to do a variant of Food Nation, all domestic, etc. - so I doubt Tony even had it in his mind to try and get FN to air the Ferran show. If I recall, Tony and his partners felt it important enough to put up their own money, etc. and shoot Ferran, and then try to package it however they could. Which is why it never aired on FN, the DVD came out well before it aired on the Travel Channel as an NR episode, etc.

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I love that FN is advertising Cook's Tour as part of "Boys Night" Its like Tony never left!


**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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I'm pretty sure he gives the details in the back of Nasty Bits as a post script to the Adria writeup. I'll check if you haven't already! :wink:

You know, I'd really have to check about that.  I thought he was already done with FN, shot the Ferran "docu-sode", released it on DVD/VHS because he had no other medium for it, but then later aired it as an NR episode - why not?  He had it in the can already.  The FN issue had been ongoing way before the Ferran documentary - Tony wasn't going to be given an hour time slot, and he wasn't going to be given the budget (or the creative control) to go shoot in exotic locales - FN definitely wanted him  to do a variant of Food Nation, all domestic, etc. - so I doubt Tony even had it in his mind to try and get FN to air the Ferran show.  If I recall, Tony and his partners felt it important enough to put up their own money, etc. and shoot Ferran, and then try to package it however they could.  Which is why it never aired on FN, the DVD came out well  before it aired on the Travel Channel as an NR episode, etc.

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I saw an ad last night that stated it is back full time.

That's really lame. yeah, I know, they own it and it's their rights, blah, blah, blah, but . . . just a shady move on their part. They'd still have him if they hadn't chased him off or wanted him hosting people's backyard barbecues.

Then again, on the plus side, hopefully I'll get to read Tony's thoughts on this pretty soon once he gets wind of it . . .

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I saw an ad last night that stated it is back full time.

That's really lame. yeah, I know, they own it and it's their rights, blah, blah, blah, but . . . just a shady move on their part. They'd still have him if they hadn't chased him off or wanted him hosting people's backyard barbecues.

Then again, on the plus side, hopefully I'll get to read Tony's thoughts on this pretty soon once he gets wind of it . . .

I believe Tony is trying to ascertain to whom the rights will belong after June and, if not him or his original partners (Chris Collins and Lydia Tenaglia, who are STILL his partners). The lawyers are busy, as we speak.

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