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Food TV On The Rise


PDC
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Interesting article in Broadcasting and Cable here:

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6530810.html

Looks like the moves they made over the last year that were so heavily bashed by the NY Times in folks around here may have been quite savvy after all

Key quotes from the article:

"The network is projected to grow ad revenue by 7.4% in 2008 and 9.4% in 2009 to $446 million, according to SNL Kagan research. Operating revenue is projected to grow 8.1% in 2008 and 9.4% in 2009 to $567.6 million. While the network's total day viewing dipped 5% in 2007 to an average 556,000 total viewers, it was up 3% in prime to 799,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research."

and

" In January 2008, its median age in prime was 45.6; in 2003, it was 50.3, according to Nielsen."

and finally (don't look, Emeril fans)

"Media buyers are responding kindly, many saying that the cutting back of Lagasse—who maintains a development deal with Food, and will continue to produce new episodes of Essence of Emeril through 2008—perhaps improved the network's standing with some clients.

“[The network has] grown to the point where they're bigger than some of their talent,” says Bill Holba, who works with packaged good products as VP/associate director of national broadcast for Initiative. “And they've got a corner in the market that no one's taking away at this point.”

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Finding the current lineup at Food TV a complete waste of energy, brain cells and time does not make you a "hater". It makes you a discriminating viewer or a savvy home cook.

Beavis and Butthead were quite popular for awhile. And yet I don't think they defined comedy.

If you enjoy seeing how wrappers fit on candy bars, more power to you!

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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Looks like the moves they made over the last year that were so heavily bashed by the NY Times in folks around here may have been quite savvy after all

Bashed because simply adding to the bottom line is not all that matters to most people. Owners and executives at Scripps have a different focus-add revenue. When people who enjoyed the quality, originality, and instruction that FN provided in their early years see that BAM, Yumm-O, and reality shows have made it a caricature of its former self are bound to revolt somewhat.

Not that there is anything wrong with making money, becaus I own a business too, but I'm a private company, and I don't have to answer to share holders. I can make a decision that may lose money this quarter, but I know it's good for the company, and it's longevity while staying true my original vision. Executives in a public corporation do not have this luxury.

It also appears that the masses want to watch Dinner Impossible, or learn how to make somewhat homemade food rather than learn to truss a bird, or discuss, and learn about consumme's.

eG is not the masses-yet. :shock:

Jeff

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I have no doubt that the people who run the Food Network know what is best for their bottom line and act accordingly. All I can say is that there is very little on there that I find interesting nowadays. As such, I very rarely watch it. To me, the most interesting food shows now are on PBS.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Finding the current lineup at Food TV a complete waste of energy, brain cells and time does not make you a "hater". It makes you a discriminating viewer or a savvy home cook.

Beavis and Butthead were quite popular for awhile. And yet I don't think they defined comedy.

If you enjoy seeing how wrappers fit on candy bars, more power to you!

I didn't say all the programming was good, merely that it was profitable. My jab was more at all the amateur TV execs (and embittered ex-talents and their pals) who post about "The death of the food network" and "Boy those people are stupid, they're driving away all their viewers" here and elsewhere on the Internet. It's an interesting parellel: many people who can properly heat up a can of soup think they "can cook", and many people who watch television think they know how to run a network. Neither is true.

But please, keep the vitriol coming. It is entertaining!

Edited to add: I also find it fascinating when someone chooses to define themselves as a "discriminating viewer" based on what they do not watch as opposed to what they do.

Edited by PDC (log)
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If their prime time numbers are up, then they are giving the people what they want. It appears that people want BAM & Yumm-o and reality shows. I do not consider myself one with the people so when I can I watch America's Test Kitchen and other programs on PBS.

Everytime I watch regular prime time TV I feel my IQ drop couple of points, if I make the mistake of tuning to C-Span I turn into a slobbering idiot. ;)

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If their prime time numbers are up, then they are giving the people what they want. It appears that people want BAM & Yumm-o and reality shows.  I do not consider myself one with the people so when I can I watch America's Test Kitchen and other programs on PBS.

Everytime I watch regular prime time TV I feel my IQ drop couple of points, if I make the mistake of tuning to C-Span I turn into a slobbering idiot. ;)

This actually reminds me of another point about media consumption: everyone says they "don't watch TV" and yet by all measures people are consuming more video than ever between television and the Web. Funny.

Funnier is a phenomenon that's seen when individual media markets move from a diary-based measurement system where people write down what they watch (or think they watch) to a system where machines record what televisions are actually tuned to. Anyone want to guess what the results are? To make a gross oversimplification, let's just say PBS isn't exactly helped and reality shows aren't exactly hurt.

However, today's media-savvy consumers are catching on. Nielsen has met a lot of resistance when they've asked to meter PC usage in their TV sample homes. I guess people don't want others to see what they're REALLY using the Internet for. Those "other" people of course. I'm sure egulleters only go online to come here, do legitmate research, etc. :biggrin:

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If their prime time numbers are up, then they are giving the people what they want. It appears that people want BAM & Yumm-o and reality shows.  I do not consider myself one with the people so when I can I watch America's Test Kitchen and other programs on PBS.

Everytime I watch regular prime time TV I feel my IQ drop couple of points, if I make the mistake of tuning to C-Span I turn into a slobbering idiot. ;)

This actually reminds me of another point about media consumption: everyone says they "don't watch TV" and yet by all measures people are consuming more video than ever between television and the Web. Funny.

Funnier is a phenomenon that's seen when individual media markets move from a diary-based measurement system where people write down what they watch (or think they watch) to a system where machines record what televisions are actually tuned to. Anyone want to guess what the results are? To make a gross oversimplification, let's just say PBS isn't exactly helped and reality shows aren't exactly hurt.

However, today's media-savvy consumers are catching on. Nielsen has met a lot of resistance when they've asked to meter PC usage in their TV sample homes. I guess people don't want others to see what they're REALLY using the Internet for. Those "other" people of course. I'm sure egulleters only go online to come here, do legitmate research, etc. :biggrin:

But those tv recording devices aren't necessarily saying who is watching what in a household, are they? We have 5 people in our home and at least one tv is frequently on though rarely on the FN. I tend to watch sports and tivo shows that I want to watch so I can watch them when I can. There aren't too many of those though. The rest of my family tends to watch things completely different, especially my 8yo son.

Edited by docsconz (log)

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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If their prime time numbers are up, then they are giving the people what they want. It appears that people want BAM & Yumm-o and reality shows.  I do not consider myself one with the people so when I can I watch America's Test Kitchen and other programs on PBS.

Everytime I watch regular prime time TV I feel my IQ drop couple of points, if I make the mistake of tuning to C-Span I turn into a slobbering idiot. ;)

This actually reminds me of another point about media consumption: everyone says they "don't watch TV" and yet by all measures people are consuming more video than ever between television and the Web. Funny.

Funnier is a phenomenon that's seen when individual media markets move from a diary-based measurement system where people write down what they watch (or think they watch) to a system where machines record what televisions are actually tuned to. Anyone want to guess what the results are? To make a gross oversimplification, let's just say PBS isn't exactly helped and reality shows aren't exactly hurt.

However, today's media-savvy consumers are catching on. Nielsen has met a lot of resistance when they've asked to meter PC usage in their TV sample homes. I guess people don't want others to see what they're REALLY using the Internet for. Those "other" people of course. I'm sure egulleters only go online to come here, do legitmate research, etc. :biggrin:

I'm still not really sure what your point is and how it really differs from what people are saying in this topic. The Food Network may be making money, but it is in spite of (or maybe because) most of it is drivel.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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But those tv recording devices aren't necessarily saying who is watching what in a household, are they?

They do. Nielsen introduced a people meter system a couple of years ago which tracks individual viewing so Nielsen can separate household viewing information to get better demographic info.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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This actually reminds me of another point about media consumption:  everyone says they "don't watch TV" and yet by all measures people are consuming more video than ever between television and the Web.  Funny. 

However, today's media-savvy consumers are catching on.  Nielsen has met a lot of resistance when they've asked to meter PC usage in their TV sample homes.  I guess people don't want others to see what they're REALLY using the Internet for.  Those "other" people of course.  I'm sure egulleters only go online to come here, do legitmate research, etc.  :biggrin:

I watch TV but I watch programs like "the Universe" on the Hitler um, History Channel or catch a show on SciFi or Comedy Central. The Science Channel has some good programming too. I guess it's a generational thing but I don't find Reality TV very appealing. Although, I do watch COPS from time to time to see if I can recognize anyone. You just never know when a relative might show up. :laugh:

I don't want to know where anyone surfs on their PC, the web being what it is and participation in it's content so anonymous. That's a rabbit hole I just don't want to go down. Yes, I just come here to mama Egullet, where everything is safe and warm. :biggrin:

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If their prime time numbers are up, then they are giving the people what they want. It appears that people want BAM & Yumm-o and reality shows.  I do not consider myself one with the people so when I can I watch America's Test Kitchen and other programs on PBS.

Everytime I watch regular prime time TV I feel my IQ drop couple of points, if I make the mistake of tuning to C-Span I turn into a slobbering idiot. ;)

This actually reminds me of another point about media consumption: everyone says they "don't watch TV" and yet by all measures people are consuming more video than ever between television and the Web. Funny.

Funnier is a phenomenon that's seen when individual media markets move from a diary-based measurement system where people write down what they watch (or think they watch) to a system where machines record what televisions are actually tuned to. Anyone want to guess what the results are? To make a gross oversimplification, let's just say PBS isn't exactly helped and reality shows aren't exactly hurt.

However, today's media-savvy consumers are catching on. Nielsen has met a lot of resistance when they've asked to meter PC usage in their TV sample homes. I guess people don't want others to see what they're REALLY using the Internet for. Those "other" people of course. I'm sure egulleters only go online to come here, do legitmate research, etc. :biggrin:

I'm still not really sure what your point is and how it really differs from what people are saying in this topic. The Food Network may be making money, but it is in spite of (or maybe because) most of it is drivel.

My point is twofold:

#1. To point out how wrong the people who have posted on eG and other food forums that the various strategic decisions that FN has made will result in driving away viewers and therefore dollars. Apparently the opposite is true. So, now the tack that is being taken is "nobody who is smart, you know, one of US, would ever watch that drivel". To which I say..

#2. Bunk, because I can't think of anywhere else on the web save their own site where FN is MORE discussed than here. It reminds me of a great line from Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (though this was about movies): "The Internet is a place where people go to share pornography and to anonymously bash movies and stars they supposedly despise yet can't stop talking about".

And I do love it when people get all righteous about their media consumption and fire off angry posts before going home, cracking open a Bud and watching American Gladiators. :biggrin:

(No, no I know...nobody HERE does that. Forget I mentioned it. That's those other people. The great unwashed.) :raz:

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If their prime time numbers are up, then they are giving the people what they want. It appears that people want BAM & Yumm-o and reality shows.  I do not consider myself one with the people so when I can I watch America's Test Kitchen and other programs on PBS.

Everytime I watch regular prime time TV I feel my IQ drop couple of points, if I make the mistake of tuning to C-Span I turn into a slobbering idiot. ;)

This actually reminds me of another point about media consumption: everyone says they "don't watch TV" and yet by all measures people are consuming more video than ever between television and the Web. Funny.

Funnier is a phenomenon that's seen when individual media markets move from a diary-based measurement system where people write down what they watch (or think they watch) to a system where machines record what televisions are actually tuned to. Anyone want to guess what the results are? To make a gross oversimplification, let's just say PBS isn't exactly helped and reality shows aren't exactly hurt.

However, today's media-savvy consumers are catching on. Nielsen has met a lot of resistance when they've asked to meter PC usage in their TV sample homes. I guess people don't want others to see what they're REALLY using the Internet for. Those "other" people of course. I'm sure egulleters only go online to come here, do legitmate research, etc. :biggrin:

I'm still not really sure what your point is and how it really differs from what people are saying in this topic. The Food Network may be making money, but it is in spite of (or maybe because) most of it is drivel.

My point is twofold:

#1. To point out how wrong the people who have posted on eG and other food forums that the various strategic decisions that FN has made will result in driving away viewers and therefore dollars. Apparently the opposite is true. So, now the tack that is being taken is "nobody who is smart, you know, one of US, would ever watch that drivel". To which I say..

#2. Bunk, because I can't think of anywhere else on the web save their own site where FN is MORE discussed than here. It reminds me of a great line from Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (though this was about movies): "The Internet is a place where people go to share pornography and to anonymously bash movies and stars they supposedly despise yet can't stop talking about".

And I do love it when people get all righteous about their media consumption and fire off angry posts before going home, cracking open a Bud and watching American Gladiators. :biggrin:

(No, no I know...nobody HERE does that. Forget I mentioned it. That's those other people. The great unwashed.) :raz:

I don't know who "everyone" is. You may very well be right about most or even all of what you say, except that all I have said is that I tend not to watch it, because I don't find much on there of interest to me. Obviously a lot of people must find it interesting. They are primarily in business to make money. Good for them. Even if all your points are correct, it doesn't mean that the vast majority (notice I didn't say all) is still drivel. :smile:

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I don't know who "everyone" is. You may very well be right about most or even all of what you say, except that all I have said is that I tend not to watch it, because I don't find much on there of interest to me. Obviously a lot of people must find it interesting. They are primarily in business to make money. Good for them. Even if all your points are correct, it doesn't mean that the vast majority (notice I didn't say all) is still drivel. :smile:

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As such, I very rarely watch it. To me, the most interesting food shows now are on PBS.

The most interesting food shows have always been on PBS, for lo, these many decades.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Finding the current lineup at Food TV a complete waste of energy, brain cells and time does not make you a "hater". It makes you a discriminating viewer or a savvy home cook.

Beavis and Butthead were quite popular for awhile. And yet I don't think they defined comedy.

If you enjoy seeing how wrappers fit on candy bars, more power to you!

I didn't say all the programming was good, merely that it was profitable. My jab was more at all the amateur TV execs (and embittered ex-talents and their pals) who post about "The death of the food network" and "Boy those people are stupid, they're driving away all their viewers" here and elsewhere on the Internet. It's an interesting parellel: many people who can properly heat up a can of soup think they "can cook", and many people who watch television think they know how to run a network. Neither is true.

But please, keep the vitriol coming. It is entertaining!

Edited to add: I also find it fascinating when someone chooses to define themselves as a "discriminating viewer" based on what they do not watch as opposed to what they do.

Vitriol? I have it in spades but you didn't see it here. You used the word "haters". I think you were hoping for fireworks.

I don't know anyone who thinks they're driving viewers away. Has anyone said that? They're driving us away but that doesn't seem a concern. It's been pointed out many times that there's room for both foam and steak at the table but FN has made it clear it doesn't care. I don't care, either. It's not like we lost some fabulous resource or font of information.

I wish them well, I hope America learns a little more about cooking, but I have some living to do and won't be wasting much time pro or con on Food TV.

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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I think Food Network was started as an entertainment value, not necessarily for educational content. While you can pick up some little tricks here and there, the true foodie or chef wouldn't get much out of it.

That's why the have the perky young girls( or large you know whats) as their main female hosts. They have the hip younger/cool guys to host many of the shows.

While I for one, along with my family enjoy watching shows like Alton Brown "Good Eats" or "Secret Life of" or "Unwrapped", I am so happy to see the end of Emeril. He was just on too much.

Now, if they'd only get rid of Rachel Ray and Paula Dean (yeeaaaaaaaahwwwwl) I am so sick of seeing Rachel Ray everywhere, not only on cracker boxes, but in the book stores and please, 4 or 5 shows on the same network? I almost never watch Food TV for that very reason. Oh and do you think Bobby Flay could scale back a bit too?

It's the same thing on their challenges. You get tired of seeing the same competitors in the categories. I watch the cake challenges, well, because, I'm a caker, but we sometimes watch the BBQ ones. They need to bring in "new blood" on the challenges.

But, on the flip side of that, they've made millionaires out of these people. And for the challenge winners, they've been able to bump their bottom line pricing to a little more just because they were on there. Great place for exposure.

I'm not trying to bash Food TV, just airing my opinions. The former White House exec pastry chef kept calling Food TV as the comedy hour of food at the Oklahoma Sugar Show. :)

Edited by atcake (log)
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Excuse me (or not) but you brought on the "vitriol" when you categorized anyone displeased by Food TV's steady trend of "dumbing down" its programming as a "hater" - now that's vitriol.

As others have said, many if not most of us are quite capable of appreciating what Food TV does well, and we don't fault them for running their business as they see fit, but a total lack of interest in RR, Sandra Lee, or endless episodes of "Unwrapped: The Hot Pocket!!!" does not a "hater" make. I'm not interested in the network's success or failure, I simply want watchable, informative shows about food.

Finding the current lineup at Food TV a complete waste of energy, brain cells and time does not make you a "hater". It makes you a discriminating viewer or a savvy home cook.

Beavis and Butthead were quite popular for awhile. And yet I don't think they defined comedy.

If you enjoy seeing how wrappers fit on candy bars, more power to you!

I didn't say all the programming was good, merely that it was profitable. My jab was more at all the amateur TV execs (and embittered ex-talents and their pals) who post about "The death of the food network" and "Boy those people are stupid, they're driving away all their viewers" here and elsewhere on the Internet. It's an interesting parellel: many people who can properly heat up a can of soup think they "can cook", and many people who watch television think they know how to run a network. Neither is true.

But please, keep the vitriol coming. It is entertaining!

Edited to add: I also find it fascinating when someone chooses to define themselves as a "discriminating viewer" based on what they do not watch as opposed to what they do.

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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  • 1 month later...

Honestly, the reason for the dumbing down of food network is pretty simple:

The VAST majority of people don't actually want to learn how to cook.

Especially not Monday through Friday. Myself, I love to cook. But like most Americans, cooking is not my job. I leave my house at 6:30 every morning, and am lucky to get back, kids in tow, by 6:30 at night. 12 hours of my day are spent at work or commute, and my wife's job is just the same. When I get home, I'm cooking something quick, or else my kids will find things to snack on and be full of granola and fruit loops before dinner is on the table. I have worked hard to have healthy and fast alternatives to cook, but none of them have or can have elaborate prep or long cooking times.

And in reality, though *I* am more interested in cooking on the weekends, I'm usually not watching cooking shows, because I'm spending some hours with my family. And I'm really more the norm, closer to 'average', than the eGs who throw elaborate weekend dinner parties or go out wining and dining at the high end eateries. Food Network plays to people like me in lifestyle, but who have almost NO desire to cook. They like to eat, and they like games, and they like to pretend, but mostly they just want to watch to see who's cake will explode, or what Guy is going to shove in his mouth on the next episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (word of warning: I actually like this show. I have an obsessive love of diners, drive-ins, AND dives. Call it my indy rock roots, but I'd rather eat a mountain of biscuits and gravy at Star Seeds cafe in Austin than dine at Uchi. And I loves me some Uchi).

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Edited to add: I also find it fascinating when someone chooses to define themselves as a "discriminating viewer" based on what they do not watch as opposed to what they do.

Nothing wrong with that, it's a two way street. Being a discriminating anything means you are picky. Naturally that means avoiding many things. In this case NOT watching most what FTV has to offer and only watching the 2 or 3 shows that you actually enjoy.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I have yet to find a FTV program I can say I like ...honeslty they all get on my nerves...for all my life I have watched pbs cooking shows and learned so much ..when I lived in Panama I watched cooking shows and learned Spanish and how to improve my cooking skills at the same time...I wish there was something on FTV that would draw me in but every time I turn it on there she is Rachel or Paula ..and all I want to do is Kack!... it is like nails scraping on a chalkboard listening and watching them ..I dont care for the line up and have tried to make it through many of the shows but can't ...the channel ...well since it has the line up I dont care for ...I dont care for it either!

PBS cooking shows sadly have not had any great draw for me either anymore

I am old school I guess ...

and old school is not popular evidently has no commercial value either

I think I fall in to the catagory of folks who want to learn something new when I watch a cooking show..not just be entertained badly...

I hate when folks say did you see "blah blah's show" and I say "I dont watch FTV" and they say "I thought you loved to cook you really should watch it"

blech ....call me a "hater" but really I could care less it exists or is even on tv ...I just don't watch it

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Starting in college I used to watch Food Network all the time. By then, I already liked to cook and did so frequently, though I've improved over time (not by watching FN). While there are a couple things I'll tune into nowadays if I find it (still enjoy watching Iron Chef, and sometimes learn a "why" of cooking from Alton) I find like many of you I'm not that interested anymore.

My mom, however, whose cooking I adore, can't get enough of FN. She is one of those exceedingly rare viewers who will watch a few shows, see some things she likes and go immediately to her computer to print the recipes, then make them that day or the next. And she's added some great recipes to her repertoire this way.

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My mom, however, whose cooking I adore, can't get enough of FN. She is one of those exceedingly rare viewers who will watch a few shows, see some things she likes and go immediately to her computer to print the recipes, then make them that day or the next. And she's added some great recipes to her repertoire this way.

I have to wonder if that is really as rare as you think it is.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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My mom, however, whose cooking I adore, can't get enough of FN. She is one of those exceedingly rare viewers who will watch a few shows, see some things she likes and go immediately to her computer to print the recipes, then make them that day or the next. And she's added some great recipes to her repertoire this way.

I have to wonder if that is really as rare as you think it is.

She can't be. A lady at work was going on and on about FTV and she likes all the shows. Well, except Guy's, so there is hope for her. She loves the Challenges and cake competitions.

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I haven't watched an entire show on FTV in years, but Mario and Emeril were in part what got me started cooking. This was after 40+ years of just eating whatever. I got sick of Emeril's act pretty fast, but I stuck with Mario for a while and did indeed sometimes go straight from the TV to the computer to print the recipe I had just seen him perform. My other inspiration at that time came from a gift subscription to Cook's Illustrated. Their experimental approach appealed to the scientist in me very much. Now I am a pretty good cook.

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