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Cooking Channel


Lisa Shock
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I hate to get my hopes up, but:

As the Food Network’s ratings have risen, its definition of success for new shows has changed accordingly, squeezing out space for niche shows. That is where programmers at the Cooking Channel say their opportunity lies. The new channel will have room for programs about alcoholic beverages, brunch, low-calorie eating, and food history, among other topics. A broad range of instructional shows during the day will give way to more shows driven by storytelling at night.

I think it's quite possible that many of us will be far more interested in these "niche" shows than in the more mainstream FN programming.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I think I've heard/read somewhere recently that Scripps has already pulled back from the original "cooking" concept, and is now planning on more of the "watch me travel and eat" type shows than actual demonstration shows.

I've thought about writing them and telling them that there's a whole lot of people out here who want to watch people COOK, not watch people EAT, but I figure that would be lost on the programming weenies, since they'll probably want to capture the same target audience as FN....

My guess is people who already cook, and want to learn more about the art, and science, and craft of it, aren't usually the ones buying prepared food in the freezer section at the grocery store. Jell-O probably doesn't sell a lot of refrigerated pudding cups to the people who frequent EG.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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I watch 2 shows on FN: Good Eats and Ace of Cakes. Good Eats for information; Ace of Cakes for entertainment. Wherever Scripps puts them I will follow. I don't hold much hope for more shows that actually show and explain cooking.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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  • 3 weeks later...

Count me a skeptic. Three guys who make taco vending machines and other cool stuff....hmmm. The only thing that appeals to me are the Julia Childs re-runs. Those I would watch.

Seriously ! That is exactly what I thought......"cool, old Julia and Galloping Gourmet shows !". Although I might give the Indian cooking show, and the "spice lady" a chance.

But the rest, uh, no thanks. I'll stick to PBS.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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From the article:

“The question is whether a show about three guys who are happy to be hosers in a very Canadian way will work in America,” he said. “We feel there are a lot of hosers in the U.S. waiting to find themselves on television.”

Seriously, if I wanted to watch hosers cooking, I'd have just put a mirror in the kitchen.

Interesting that the critic for the Village Voice noted that he thought Scripps should have oriented it more as an international food channel:

However, Mr. Sietsema, the Village Voice critic, said the abundance of foreign programming demonstrates that Scripps did not get it right from the start. “They should have packaged the thing as an international food channel and it would have made some sense,” he said. “They are desperate.”

Is a Canadian show about cooking Indian food substantially more "international" than Di Laurentiis cooking Italian food?

I am interested in seeing them get a chicken's head off a dead chicken, as promised. My chickens come head-on, and I often struggle to cut the thing off with one clean whack.

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I think I've heard/read somewhere recently that Scripps has already pulled back from the original "cooking" concept, and is now planning on more of the "watch me travel and eat" type shows than actual demonstration shows.

I've thought about writing them and telling them that there's a whole lot of people out here who want to watch people COOK, not watch people EAT, but I figure that would be lost on the programming weenies, since they'll probably want to capture the same target audience as FN....

My guess is people who already cook, and want to learn more about the art, and science, and craft of it, aren't usually the ones buying prepared food in the freezer section at the grocery store. Jell-O probably doesn't sell a lot of refrigerated pudding cups to the people who frequent EG.

Sorry to disapoint you, Pierogi, but I am extremely fond of the Jello Mousse cups in dark chocolate. :wub: Hey, it's 65 calories and sugar free, but it tastes decent! :raz:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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The show with the 3 hosers (Food Jammers) annoys me, as do a couple of the other Canadian shows. All of the Canadian shows have been shown on Food Network Canada. But, a few of them actually cook on their shows so maybe there will be something new to watch.

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I watch 2 shows on FN: Good Eats and Ace of Cakes. Good Eats for information; Ace of Cakes for entertainment.

We're alike in that regard. Hopefully, with another whole channel, we'll find another 46 minutes per week worth watching.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Put me firmly in the watch for the Julia Child camp, other than that I am way too skeptical to keep too much hope up. The travel channel here in the US, does so much of the "travel and watch me eat" shows I barely watch that channel anymore. (And I use to be a big fan of the travel channel back when "Lonely Planet" was on it)

I will just watch and see...

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, did anyone watch this channel yesterday in it's premier?

I caught the end of a Food Jammers episode and was amused for a couple of minutes, but I am definitely not their target audience on this one :laugh: Also caught 2 episodes of Drink Up. One I enjoyed the other was pretty good too. Was not so impressed with Foodography on ice cream, major snooze for me.

I've looked at their programming for the rest of the week and there do seem to be a few promising shows that I may end up checking out. But like FTV, it seems that their target audience is the 18-35 year old. They're missing the boat on that one. Unfortunately, in my neck of the woods the local PBS station runs very few cooking programs. I wish, I really, really wish that Scripps would model this channel after El Canal Gourmet in Latin America. Fabulous programs covering all bases form wine to dessert and literally everything in between, not just a few specialized niche markets.

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No, hosers and hipsters are not the same. I think the term became popular with Bob and Doug McKenzie, decidedly non-hipsters. (Closer to a loser, really.)

I'm obviously not their target audience because I can't believe one network put them on, never mind two.

Are there any new shows on the channel that are really great?

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I have to say, I am even more disappointed in this channel than I thought I was going to be, and that' saying a LOT.

The programming that I've scanned in the guides seems to be retreads from the early days of Food Network (i.e., Molto Mario, Sara's Secrets, Michael Chiarello, Emeril) and retreads from Food Network Canada. I don't think I've seen anything in the listings with a copyright date later than 2008 ! Now, Molto Mario, Sara's Secrets and Michael Chiarello were good shows, but like, I'VE SEEN THEM. I've seen them ALL, over and over when they ran on Food Network. I don't really need to see them again.

In my time zone, the vintage Julia doesn't run at a time that's convenient for me to watch. The evening programming seems to be a rehash of the "Unwrapped" and "Secret Life of...." model.

I did watch a new-to-me show earlier in the week. The premise was that the chef (who's also a singer/composer of rap-ish/hip-hop-ish stuff) worked with "exotic" ingredients. Like...wait for it...mango. It was a Canadian production, again with a copyright like 5 years ago. I won't be seeking it out again.

No Pam, I haven't seen ANY *new* programming. Seems to me its a scam to let Scripps flog some old, tired horses over and over and sell some additional advertising time on them, and get some additional payments from cable and satellite services to carry them.

Pass, thanks anyway.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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I can't find anyone on FN who's cooking inspires me.

Some are downright unappetizing (Cooking For Real quickly comes to mind.)

How can they think this new channel will have a good enough following to sustain it?

The real FN is a joke to real chefs.

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How can they think this new channel will have a good enough following to sustain it?

Because right now, all it is is retread of chefs that can cook :wink:

Mario, Sara, Julia, etal can actually cook. Caught a couple of the foreign import shows (Italian and Australian) earlier this week. Not bad, but the whole format is tired.

Edited by kalypso (log)
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I have to say, I am even more disappointed in this channel than I thought I was going to be, and that' saying a LOT.

The programming that I've scanned in the guides seems to be retreads from the early days of Food Network (i.e., Molto Mario, Sara's Secrets, Michael Chiarello, Emeril) and retreads from Food Network Canada. I don't think I've seen anything in the listings with a copyright date later than 2008 ! Now, Molto Mario, Sara's Secrets and Michael Chiarello were good shows, but like, I'VE SEEN THEM. I've seen them ALL, over and over when they ran on Food Network. I don't really need to see them again.

In my time zone, the vintage Julia doesn't run at a time that's convenient for me to watch. The evening programming seems to be a rehash of the "Unwrapped" and "Secret Life of...." model.

I did watch a new-to-me show earlier in the week. The premise was that the chef (who's also a singer/composer of rap-ish/hip-hop-ish stuff) worked with "exotic" ingredients. Like...wait for it...mango. It was a Canadian production, again with a copyright like 5 years ago. I won't be seeking it out again.

No Pam, I haven't seen ANY *new* programming. Seems to me its a scam to let Scripps flog some old, tired horses over and over and sell some additional advertising time on them, and get some additional payments from cable and satellite services to carry them.

Pass, thanks anyway.

This. Exactly. I ate up all the stuff that Food Network used to have with REAL chefs and don't need to see reruns. And Julia comes on while I'm at work - we don't have DVR or Tevo (sp?) or any of that newfangled stuff, so that's off. Pooh.

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The only good thing I saw today was Julia preparing salmon gravlax. What a delight to see how she still leads the standard for cooking on television all these decades after those shows debuted on WGBH in Boston.

Following Julia was Graham Kerr, aka "The Galloping Gourmet," doing his rendition of Baba au Rhum. I thought he looked pretty silly but I suppose at the time those shows aired and the height of his popularity it was fun for the audience. I didn't get much out of it.

Julia clearly shines above all the others. I saw some show the other night but I quickly lost interest and didn't care to go back and even search for the title. It had hope, but the guys presenting the show and the production and writing was so pitiful I left after about 15 minutes. They were making handcrafted sodas. Again a lot of hope--teaching people how to craft sodas at home with contemporary and unique flavors is a topic that I think would be quite popular today. But the way they presented and edited the show was just awful...

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I saw some show the other night but I quickly lost interest and didn't care to go back and even search for the title. It had hope, but the guys presenting the show and the production and writing was so pitiful I left after about 15 minutes. They were making handcrafted sodas. Again a lot of hope--teaching people how to craft sodas at home with contemporary and unique flavors is a topic that I think would be quite popular today. But the way they presented and edited the show was just awful...

I think the show was Food Jammers. I saw the soda episode on Monday. They were mildly amusing but like you, I quickly lost interest. I'm not in their targeted age range (i.e. YOUNG) and I am not especially engaged by stoners/hosers (literally in this episode) trying to be cool only to come off as contrived. For me it was kind of like the geeky version of "hey kids let's put on a show" but a lot less entertaining. There was a point in my 20, and even early 30s where the fun and novelty of this concept would have been appealing to me, not so much any more.

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While I've enjoyed some of the programs so far, I suspect there may be a language barrier of sorts. Most shows seem to have been produced in Canada or the UK. I was watching a baking show yesterday and while the host (I hesitate to call her a 'chef') duly noted the measurements in grams (as opposed to ounces) she neglected to note when placing a tart tatin in the oven to cook at 200 degrees, that it was Centigrade, rather than Fahrenheit. This could lead to, at the very least, frustration on the part of folks who weren't really paying attention.

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While I'm a sucker for any kind of cooking instructional shows, I am a little dismayed at how far and wide the Giada/Rachel model of cooking programs has spread. So even cooking shows from the UK involve attractive female hosts with low-cut blouses simplifying traditional recipes. So there was a Chinese food at home cooking show that scaled things back and the host seemed to cook minor variations on the same thing every ep. And there was a French cooking show that did the same. I guess since these are all Scripps properties it makes sense though.

I have enjoyed the Julia reruns and at least once an episode I have to marvel at the fact that these were shot in 1978 and yet as another poster said above, she's still at the fore of the pack. The Indian cooking show seems promising, even if it does still follow the Scripps model. Indian cuisine is woefully unrepresented on cooking shows though so I'm happy to take what I can get. Love watching Jamie at Home, Mario, and Sarah no matter how many times I've seen them. But I wish they'd break out 90s Molto Marios and some Cooking Live, too.

So it's a mixed bag for me. I guess they'll take a stab at more original programming at some point but I don't have much hope it'll be any good.

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