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Four New Shows on the Food Network


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Perhaps I am in the minority...I like the idea of the FN and enjoy some of their shows very much... Just want them to keep raising the bar...not lowering it....

Have you been watching it since the beginning? It has been on a swift downhill catapult since the first few years. I think most of us are in agreement that they are lowering the bar all on their own. If it were the other way around, I believe we'd all be thrilled about the network. It's just not about the food anymore and that's what I have a problem with. For showmanship and bubbling personalities and beautiful sets I can tune into "Friends" or "E News Live" or some "reality" show. For a food network, I want to see some damn fine food, be it low brow comfort or high brow cuisine. I'm tired of plowing through the muck.

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Perhaps I am in the minority...I like the idea of the FN and enjoy some of their shows very much... Just want them to keep raising the bar...not lowering it....

Have you been watching it since the beginning? It has been on a swift downhill catapult since the first few years. I think most of us are in agreement that they are lowering the bar all on their own. If it were the other way around, I believe we'd all be thrilled about the network. It's just not about the food anymore and that's what I have a problem with. For showmanship and bubbling personalities and beautiful sets I can tune into "Friends" or "E News Live" or some "reality" show. For a food network, I want to see some damn fine food, be it low brow comfort or high brow cuisine. I'm tired of plowing through the muck.

I find myself second guessing the idea that it's not about food anymore. It is about food. Food is at the forefront of every single one of these shows that we criticize here on eGullet. Be honest...Yeah Paula Deen is an annoying blend of Savannah charm and your least favorite auntie but she's cooking decent food. I hate that, and I'm not sure why. Bobby Flay is cooking, Emeril is cooking, and Gordon Elliot is chasing butter across the world. It's about food. Try to think of one of these personalities that has totally forgotten about food, or obviously couldn't give a shit about food. I really can't. The associations that sometimes arise when watching these shows are what I can't tolerate. I see a whole lot of trend following, ass-kissing, PC sycophantic goo, bad acting and pop culture packaging. Us purists know that it's not like that--or do we? Why are we so bitter?

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Is Bobby cooking again? I've only seen re-runs, and ball park cuisine etc. Emeril, I can not bear to set eyes or ears on, so I don't care what he's doing with food. And again, the same butter's been around the same globe making the same stops for EVER!

Yes, it's about food, but it's wrapped in a lot of tinsel. I mean, even Sara Moulton who I LOVE is bugging me these days. She's gotten so B. Smith.

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Is Bobby cooking again?  I've only seen re-runs, and ball park cuisine etc.  Emeril, I can not bear to set eyes or ears on, so I don't care what he's doing with food.  And again, the same butter's been around the same globe making the same stops for EVER!

Yes, it's about food, but it's wrapped in a lot of tinsel.  I mean, even Sara Moulton who I LOVE is bugging me these days.  She's gotten so B. Smith.

I hate all of those assholes I listed trust me. But if you're trying to make the point that The Food Network is trying to get away from food you'd be making an uninformed remark. Look at all sides of your arguement. Don't just make stock responses....

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I meant that they were getting away from food and making it about performance and tv style and tv trends. And I don't believe I am making uninformed remarks. I am remarking on what I have been seeing on the network for the past ten or so years. In what way is that uninformed?

Can you show me where my responses are "stock?"

I'm not here to debate my opinion, just to state it.

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Have you been watching it since the beginning?  It has been on a swift downhill catapult since the first few years. 

Yes, I have watched FN since the beginning...I remember Emeril in How To Boil Water... and Pasta Every Night...and a lotta other tough stuff to swallow :wacko: ...

I just disagree that the whole network is basically not worth watching.... it has moments of delight and entertainment.... I never would have discovered Mario Batali, A. Bourdain, Jacques Torres, and yes Iron Chef.... If a network can be dedicated to weather and game shows, it surely can focus on food..... Let's just have more variety and spice on the menu... :cool:

Edited by TrishCT (log)
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All FTV employees on this board: kiss my ass. That goes for Bourdain, too. If Bourdain were serious about real food, he'd say "f*ck FTV" and sign with PBS. (second edit: maybe not)

FTV/Scripps-Howard/HGTV/DIY, you're like school on Saturdays. No class. You're obviously Kraft/ConAgra's b*tch. (edit: sorry, I forgot to add YUM brands)

I hope you go bankrupt and all your execs go to jail for fraud. FTV is not about food anymore.

Edited by dave88 (log)
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spencer, who would want to be jacqui?!?  her job was to be abused and ignored by booby flay.  i couldn't watch the show as i felt so bad for her.  :sad:

IMO, Jacqui is the ONLY reason to watch HOTG. :wub:

As for FoodTV, there are three shows I really like: Molto Mario, Good Eats, and A Cook's Tour. (Okay, Mario Eats Italy is fun too.)

I also like the cooking shows on PBS. No commercials, no Emeril.

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Caught the last half of the new "How to Boil Water." The chef, Frederick van Coppernolle, was instructing his novice sidekick, Lynne Koplitz, on how to prepare pasta and a red sauce. The two seem pleasant enough, and there are additional helpful hints printed on the screen. I thought the last segment where she asked him how to correct certain mistakes -- sauce too thin or too dry -- was a good idea.

Immediately following was the supposedly new show, "Lighten Up." I say supposedly because as soon as it came on, I recognized the episode as a repeat of an old series. It's a sort of female version of "9-1-1" with the added twist that the woman who comes to the rescue -- I don't remember her name -- was formerly overweight and now, slim and trim, goes around showing overweight people (men and women) how they can change the way they cook in order to lose weight.

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Immediately following was the supposedly new show, "Lighten Up."  I say supposedly because as soon as it came on, I recognized the episode as a repeat of an old series.  It's a sort of female version of "9-1-1" with the added twist that the woman who comes to the rescue -- I don't remember her name -- was formerly overweight and now, slim and trim, goes around showing overweight people (men and women) how they can change the way they cook in order to lose weight.

That's Kathleen Daelmans (sp?). I think it was called Cooking Thin, or something like that.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Immediately following was the supposedly new show, "Lighten Up."  I say supposedly because as soon as it came on, I recognized the episode as a repeat of an old series.  It's a sort of female version of "9-1-1" with the added twist that the woman who comes to the rescue -- I don't remember her name -- was formerly overweight and now, slim and trim, goes around showing overweight people (men and women) how they can change the way they cook in order to lose weight.

That's Kathleen Daelmans (sp?). I think it was called Cooking Thin, or something like that.

Indeed, you're correct.

Pathetic how "Cooking Thin" is considered new programming on FTV Canada. Grr. And yes, the show is horrid.

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FTV/Scripps-Howard/HGTV/DIY, you're like school on Saturdays.  No class.  You're obviously Kraft/ConAgra's b*tch.  (edit: sorry, I forgot to add YUM brands)

Scripps-Howard has put a lot of money into FoodNetwork and their other cable products over the years. Haven't made much money, from what I've read.

I'd bet hard core foodies aren't enough to sustain a 24/7 product. My cable system only carries FN for 16 hours a day. Sells the rest of the time to Ron Popeil, tummy stretchers, and no money down real estate.

My sense is they're cutting back on original investments in new programming and buying cheaper syndication / foreign origin materials. The 1992-1995 Martha Stewart block is an example

Does anybody have a rate card / guarantee with the viewership by program? The supplementary sheet will give you the demographics

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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FTV/Scripps-Howard/HGTV/DIY, you're like school on Saturdays.  No class.  You're obviously Kraft/ConAgra's b*tch.  (edit: sorry, I forgot to add YUM brands)

Scripps-Howard has put a lot of money into FoodNetwork and their other cable products over the years. Haven't made much money, from what I've read.

I'd bet hard core foodies aren't enough to sustain a 24/7 product. My cable system only carries FN for 16 hours a day. Sells the rest of the time to Ron Popeil, tummy stretchers, and no money down real estate.

My sense is they're cutting back on original investments in new programming and buying cheaper syndication / foreign origin materials. The 1992-1995 Martha Stewart block is an example

Does anybody have a rate card / guarantee with the viewership by program? The supplementary sheet will give you the demographics

I think the paid advertising on late at night is a network thing because it's the same from my end, too. I don't see how buying new, syndicated shows cuts expenses as opposed to showing old shows produced by themselves or showing newer versions of the same shows as they did with some shows. How long has it been since they aired Two Hot Tamales? They replace that with "Date Plate" which is a new show, perhaps produced by someone else (who knows.. they never run any credits). Doesn't make sense. They are copying other network television show formats trying to take market share and not succeeding. This is not what attracted people to the channel in the first place.

I have a feeling there's a corporate order to try to bump up the shows to an Emerilized standard, where entertainment takes precedent over food. All these new shows have the same look to them and none are of any substance other than perhaps showing how to make viewers sea-sick or dizzy and annoyed. This formula wasn't the way the channel built its core audience. It's their fault for going in over their heads (DIY, HGTV, etc.) and not being able to cover their ass. Now, I could care less if FTV goes belly-up. There isn't anything worth watching. I know, I know... "A Cook's Tour." I just don't see FTV worthwhile when PBS airs much better quality food shows. Don't forget, Scripps isn't some small company. It's revenue certainly could be on par with PBS, yet the quality of PBS and the lack there-of on FTV is the difference. FTV has sold-out.

Hard-core foodies weren't the only ones watching from the early days. Still, the viewership grew and grew. As the viewership grew and Emeril flourished, the network cancels all the good shows and uses the Emeril formula to try an gain even more viewers. All this has done is alienated the foodies and left them with Emeril and his fans.

FTV, you need to, as the Beatles once sang, "get back to where you once belonged." Or at least lose that constantly moving camerawork.

(edit: just because)

Edited by dave88 (log)
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Good points, Dave.

But, Scripps is in business to make a profit and maximize the value of its magazines, newspapers, etc. That means they have to find demographically attractive viewers and flood them with advertising. There's ample evidence FN is struggling to find those attractive viewers

In contrast, Corporation for Public Broadcasting / PBS is a welfare junky, with 2/3 its revenue ($216mn in 2002) coming from the government in spectrum allocation, and much of the rest coming from states / foundations, and member stations etc. Individuals contribute a relatively small percent of public TV's revenue, perhaps 20% in many markets?

It's easier to deliver higher quality programming if the quantity of viewers reached is unimportant.

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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Good points, Dave.

But, Scripps is in business to make a profit and maximize the value of its magazines, newspapers, etc. That means they have to find demographically attractive viewers and flood them with advertising. There's ample evidence FN is struggling to find those attractive viewers

In contrast, Corporation for Public Broadcasting / PBS is a welfare junky, with 2/3 its revenue ($216mn in 2002) coming from the government in spectrum allocation, and much of the rest coming from states / foundations, and member stations etc. Individuals contribute a relatively small percent of public TV's revenue, perhaps 20%  in many markets?

It's easier to deliver higher quality programming if the quantity of viewers reached is unimportant.

Really, I understand that FTV is in the business to make profits through whatever means, though I wouldn't be so quick to trash PBS for being a "welfare junky." Their most popular shows now, such as "This Old House," etc. have become much, much more subtly commercial. Bob Vila was fired for hawking Craftsman wrenches. Now all TOH episodes are ad's for GM or whatever. Again, the original show has been lost to corporate, well, capitalism. This absolutely has to do with ratings and it keeps PBS on the air, but it also jeopardises quality at the expense of the viewer's intelligence. Christ, maybe I should be pissed at PBS too, but FTV has made me so bitter that I can't do anything but attack with gutter vitriol its execs and their decision-making.

(edit: typo after misspelling after grammatical error and It's still not quite right)

Edited by dave88 (log)
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Immediately following was the supposedly new show, "Lighten Up."  I say supposedly because as soon as it came on, I recognized the episode as a repeat of an old series.  It's a sort of female version of "9-1-1" with the added twist that the woman who comes to the rescue -- I don't remember her name -- was formerly overweight and now, slim and trim, goes around showing overweight people (men and women) how they can change the way they cook in order to lose weight.

That's Kathleen Daelmans (sp?). I think it was called Cooking Thin, or something like that.

Indeed, you're correct.

Pathetic how "Cooking Thin" is considered new programming on FTV Canada. Grr. And yes, the show is horrid.

Well, I've been corrected both here and on the "Lighten Up!" thread. The repeat I saw was "Cooking Thin" -- if that is, indeed, the correct title -- and not the new "Lighten Up!" So confusing. But I guess the basic idea for both shows is the same: how to get thin.

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My FTV press kit is a couple of years old now :blush: but their key viewership at that time was, unsurprisingly, yer affluent 25-54 adults - and the 18-24 group was under 5% of their audience. Then, the new regime at Scripps was promising more 'interesting' and 'adventurous' shows about loving food (all of their personalities proclaim their love of food!). Now on the good side, that got Bourdain's passport stamped. Course, it also took Ming out of his kitchen and sent him off chasing ostriches. :rolleyes:

I still enjoy some shows, but agree with others that some are overproduced - e.g. 4 me: Mario Eats Italy. I'm crazy for Molto Mario and I love Italy: But I can barely watch the good stuff for the hokey, jokey material.

The new network 'model' seems to be TLC - find a 'star' like Trading Places and build around it. Well, Emeril is no longer the hottie and I fear someone's new strategy is derivative of the worst sort. What else is Date Plate but Elimidate with food?

Maybe we could send them some better borrowed ideas? Say, a food version of the McGlaughlin (sp?) Group with FG surrounded by Pepin, Bourdain, and 2 more of your choice. :wink:

h

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aah, but in a truly byzantine twist of food reality meets ring-dings, those Lighten Up cook(ies) are actually refugee producers from Rosie O'Donnell, as are a few of the mugging cameramen. Check the font on the supers and color scheme in set design; it's so 1998 afternoon TV my teeth began to ache just in the brief scramble to find the remote. I'm for running back to PBS. As long as the America's Test Kitchen host promises to never again mangle the word "margarita", I'll be okay.

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frozen veggies, dried spices, blech and yech but that's how it was here in America's real kitchens. 

Ive been cooking for 30 years and use both of these...and I havent killed anyone yet.

that I didnt intend to in the first place :cool:

but seriously.....people are enamored by the concept of firehouse cooking. Yknow how much of the frozen and dried stuff we use in a year? And I do at home too. I just dont have the luxury of the fresh stuff round here. So I keep a ton of Whole Foods frozen spinach in the freezer. Ditto French cut green beans when I make my moms recipe with them. I dont have patience to shred two pounds of the damned things.

Also, almost *every* firehouse kitchen Ive been in has a bottle of Gravy Master and a box of what is that bay flavoring...Old Bay?

And we crank out some damned good meals in those kitchens.

Sorry this is off topic.

Edited by nyfirepatrolchef (log)
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Also, almost *every* firehouse kitchen Ive been in has a bottle of Gravy Master and a box of what is that bay flavoring...Old Bay?

And we crank out some damned good meals in those kitchens.

Sorry this is off topic.

Not off topic at all. At this very moment, several food producers are probably scouting firehouses for hunky guys who love to cook. We'll probably see that show in the fall on FoodNetwork with Jill Cordes hosting.

I wonder if anybody's doing a Baywatch cooking program for FoodNetwork? Incredibly sculpted women who long to cook (in their bathing suits, of course) for surfer dudes. Might be more suitable for MTV, tough...

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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