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Food Network Ratings Down...

  1. So the formula of same crap different day doesn't work in the long term...who'da thunk it?

    1. Giant Rice Krispies sculptures are not popular? No way! Whining, mean-spirited judges aren't popular? Shocked, shocked.

      1 Reply
      1. re: monavano

        LOL no kidding, I hate those challenge shows.

      2. So, is anybody surprised?

        3 Replies
        1. re: skippy66

          They need new faces...everyone has grey hair and fat bellies. And everyone is also moving to the online food video blog scene where there is no editing just straight raw footage of restaurants and food in general...like mine!

          1. re: Chuonfood

            I totally agree, fat and grey, I bet I have seen the same Barefoot Contessa stuff at least 5 to 6 time each program, and Giada the same. I don't watch the Food Channel much anymore because the programs are so boring!!!!!

            1. re: Chuonfood

              Wow, thanks for letting me know that hair color and waist size are the important factors in cooking ability.

          2. I used to watch the Food Network a lot, not so much for recipes but for bits and pieces of techniques. I much prefer the Cooking Channel now, though. It's far less about the personalities and far more about the food. I hope it stays that way, too.

            1. Good.

              Maybe they can bring back some actual cooking shows now. I vote for the immediate reinstatement of Taste with David Rosengarten.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Josh

                I totally agree with you Josh. I think he's the Wine Editor for Saveur Magazine now. I absolutely loved his show - not so much the set, though, I remember it being kinda sparse. I would watch, buy, or subscribe to anything he's affiliated with.

                1. re: Whinerdiner

                  i second (or maybe third) the nomination!

              2. i don't think the problem is even the lack of focus on food. Radio has the exact same problem in my opinion - NO CONTENT, no interesting personalities. It is formulaic and simply boring. The only decent personality they ever had was Bourdain and they drove him off pretty freaking quickly. The Food Network has no balls - they can do cooking shows, but they need edgy personalities with something to bring to the table - and I don't mean in the way they do the next star show because those people are BORES too. There are no honest people on Food Network - it is completely fake - i want to see REAL people with something to say. They're on freaking cable, they have so much latitude.

                1. I've noticed posts seem to be down here too. Perhaps the oversaturation of all things food related is over. The food bubble may have burst.

                  Another reason, outside of people being tired of the same old crap, is that people are still struggling. They may be seeking actual recipe related content to help stretch the budget. Not just fluff.


                  1. They need new ideas. Of course, I still watch FN avidly, but I'm tired of seeing who can eat the biggest burger or outrageously meaty/oversized food. This really isn't the direction that most foodies want to see America heading.

                    I think they need a vegetarian or show about more sustainable eating. I tried to propose such a topic to them (even had a small pilot set up), but it didn't work out.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Veggie Liv

                      Except the most popular 'biggest burger' show is on Travel Channel.

                      How are sustainable eating shows on CreateTV doing?

                      What proportion of 25-54 audience that the advertisers want are 'foodies'?

                      1. re: paulj

                        Yes, but FN now has "Outrageous Food" that also features even larger burgers/foods than "Man vs. Food" and more oversized people eating them. They also have a similar show called "Meat and Potatoes." Both of which are still on and making me (and probably other people) change the channel. If they were popular, people would be watching them.

                    2. The article doesn't mention the fact that Food Network is also the owner of the Cooking Channel. While they may have diluted the main brand, I would suspect that the combined ratings for both channels are higher than Food Network ever had by itself.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Bob Brooks

                        I think both channels have programs we could do very nicely without: Bitchen Kitchen, Foodjammers, cake/cupcake wars, Mo Rocca and his "Playmate" tabletop sprawls...and the list goes on.

                      2. I really loved the food Network- until last year. I am sick of all those competition shows that have nothing to do with creative cooking (but more to do with building ability). I am also sick of some sort of weird "memo" they all seem to get at once...like it's "pork spareribs week" or "healthy cooking week" or "lamb week". More and more it is about their families, vacations they take, weekend road trips, holiday specials, etc. I don't give a rip. Really. Maybe others feel the same way.

                        I would like them to just cook interesting meals.

                        1. Overall cable subscription is down (along with the rest of the economy). Less cable subscribers means less potential viewers. That being said, if FN never aired another damn reality/competition program it would be a step in the right direction.

                          1. While I'm enjoy the heck out of Cooking Channel right now (new programming for me; even if many of the shows have been around in other markets for some time) FN is riddled with repeats. But, more now than ever, you can find interesting food programming on at least 14 separate cable channels...and the Internet certainly offers thousands of ways to tune into your favorite chef, culinary interest or restaurant exploration.

                            More choices has to have an impact.

                            1. im pretty sure this is much more a function of them having to split time of normal audiences with their new Cooking Channel than anything else

                              1. I am fed up with the repeats so I find I don't watch it as much as I used to. I like Chopped but it's the same old episodes, ditto with all the other competitions like Challenge, then Throwdown etc etc.

                                1. Also PBS has been steadily increasing their lineup of quality and higher-brow weekend cooking shows for a while now.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: dach

                                    I don't see how the Saturday afternoon lineup on PBS can make much difference in prime time viewing habits the rest of the week.

                                    Which PBS shows do you have in mind? ATK and Ming are the only ones on this afternoon's lineup on one local station. The other has its own 'KCTS cooks' fund raising show. The reruns on CreateTV get old pretty quickly.

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      even before i knew about PBS i avoided foodnetwork on weekends haha

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        I DVR shows, and only have so much time to watch cooking programs. Most cooking programs I watch are on PBS -- excepting Top Chef and the occasional ICA and Secrets of Restaurant Chef. Among those PBS I've watched Avec Eric, ATK, Lidia's Italy, Bayless's Mexico One Plate at a Time, Spain on the Road Again, Everyday Food. Julia Child. Even some Martin Yan.... createtv.com lists PBS portfolio of cooking howto shows. There are quite a large number and variety, far more diverse and "quality" than foodtv. More than enough to fill my cooking show "hunger" itch.

                                        Unfortunately what cooking program are shown depends on each PBS station. I've got a couple of PBS channels in my area (NYC) so I get a good selection of shows.

                                    2. No surprise. It started to go bad when they stopped showing Batali's show.

                                      I set my DVR to pick up Hubert Keller, test kitchen, Rick Bayless, Lidia B, and Scandinavian cooking (which I watch for the amusement more than cooking inspiration). None of them are on the food network.

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: AdamD

                                        Cooking Channel has some Batali reruns. Do think that will suddenly boost their ratings? What did Batali's Spanish road trip do for PBS?

                                        1. re: paulj

                                          Not saying that they should bring him back, just saying that is when the channel started to take nose dive IMHO. Chronologically speaking.

                                          1. re: AdamD

                                            I suspect right around that point was where they were changing course. Not sure if everyone thought it was a nosedive, though.

                                            1. re: AdamD

                                              You and I are just a few of their potential viewers. Just because we find current offerings less appealing than ones 10 years ago does not mean others feel the same.

                                              While I probably watch less FN now, I don't have a rosy view of their past offerings. The only Batali show that I watched with any regularity was Multo Mario, with the silly sidekick. His instructional show, with a few audience members had a daytime slot, and I only got a glimpse of it.

                                              Come to think of it, Melting Pot was the only instructional show that I watched with any regularity, and that was mostly because it touched on other cuisines. In the same vein I liked (and still do) Iron Chef Japan. Most of the rest were entertaining background fluff (e.g. Gordon Elliot's Door Knock Dinners). Good Eats was on then, but that's still on.

                                              Now I'm just as much a fan of ICA and Chopped.

                                              It is unclear whether this recent drop accounts for Cooking Channel or not. It's still a Scripts channel.

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                The recent drop is no doubt caused by several factors, and shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, since viewership overall is going down, due to variety of multimedia outlets vying for eyes. Pretty simple stuff. Why some people try to suggest that it's because the channel isn't as good as it used to be or because its programming doesn't appeal to them is beyond me. It's juvenile, and shows a complete and utter lack of understanding of how these things work, causation, and correlation.

                                                1. re: tommy

                                                  OK. A person cannot state his subjective opinion that it is because the channel is not as good as it used to be, notwithstanding a complete understanding of how these things work, causation, and correlation?

                                                  1. re: AdamD

                                                    You can state whatever you'd like.

                                          2. re: AdamD

                                            IIRC Molto Mario has been off FN for quite a few years, but I think the downhill slide started before that. Think about how long Paula Deen, Aunt Sandy, Robin Miller et al have been on the channel.

                                            IMO they MUST improve the Cooking Channel brand by stopping the recently introduced large blocks of Rachael Ray and Bobby Flay. Grrrr. @#$&*(%*@. How about a LOT more ethnic and regional (North) American cooking?

                                            As far as PBS-CTV's New Scandinavian Cooking show goes, I enjoy the scenery and breathtaking natural landscapes even when interrupted by gratuitous cooking ....

                                          3. there's only one show i watch regularly on FN anymore, and that's Chopped. my DVR is still set to record new ICA episodes, but i have a backlog of them that i haven't watched, it bores me now. i need to change my cable package to include Cooking Channel...

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              yes u do...then we'll have so much (more) to talk about!!

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                right, because i need to spend even MORE time on CH... ;)

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  Your replies are getting predictable! HA!
                                                  because i need to spend even MORE time on CH (as if you're alone in THAT)

                                            2. Food Network has been going downhill since almost every program has turned into some kind of competition show. The only recently new show on Food Network that's held my interest is The Best Thing I've Ever Ate.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Bunson

                                                oh, right...guess i watch 2 FN shows. i do like "Best Thing."

                                                1. re: Bunson

                                                  What's on the line up tonight? The only competition I see is a half hour throwdown.

                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                    Monday is a good night - DDD and Best Thing, tomorrow is Chopped, Cupcake Wars, Challenge with a couple of Ace of Cakes thrown in. Wed you get Worst Cooks and Restaurant Impossible,..they actually cut down on showing those "Challenge" shows which at one point seemed to be on every night right in the middle of prime time.

                                                    1. re: Bunson

                                                      Seemed to be, or actually were. There could be a difference.

                                                      Doesn't most of the country have a DVR at this point? I have no idea what time or day most shows are on. Other than American Idol.

                                                2. Like a lot of other folks, I've gotten bored with the same old line-up at FN. I still DVR ICA and enjoy DDD, but for the most part watch the Cooking channel where the shows are new to me, The Travel Channel, or PBS.

                                                  1. I used to be a huge fan of the Food Network. During it's inception (is that the right word?), I found Taste to be extremely interesting (even though Boomgarten sometimes annoyed me), I loved "Two Hot Tamales"..those two women really had a good knowledge and good recipes. Rachel Ray was even more tolerable and Pauler Deen was just "Paula" back then and was not a caracture of herself with the heavy accent. Mario Batali was great. "Ready, Set, Cook" was delightfully cheesy and entertaining. Emeril was better before the big "BAM". Alton Brown, as always, was interesting--and even Iron Chef was better--I loved laughing like crazy at the dubbed commentary! As "food" shows gained popularity and the chefs/hosts of the shows became celebrities, the dumbing down started inching in. The worst was the food network star. Although he drives me nuts, Guy Fieri was the only contestant in the history of that pathetic show who really was a star of sorts. Now he is just annoying with the use of his "that's money" and his glasses on backwards.
                                                    Cooking Channel is better--but is chock-full of repeats--as as Food Network.
                                                    PBS/Create is my new "go-to" for cooking shows. Love Jacques Pepin, Eric Reipert, the old Julia Child/Jacques Pepin show, Rachel Allen et.al. I wish that somewhere in the "creative" minds of these producers--a really informative show regarding cooking techniques, cooking meats, roasts, etc..would come about. I'm less about the entertainment and more about the education.
                                                    'nuff said!

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: jarona

                                                      I look to books for education, TV for entertainment.

                                                      1. re: tommy

                                                        If you can call American Idol entertainment. :-)

                                                        1. re: tommy

                                                          I, too, look to books for education. In addition, as I'm a visual learner, I enjoy instruction on TV--if appropriate, such as cooking--or handy work around the home. My travels abroad have also given me a vast education--on history, on how others live, etc. Education should not be limited to books.

                                                          1. re: jarona

                                                            Then you know to look to PBS and other stations that lean toward eduction rather than entertainment.

                                                        2. re: jarona

                                                          I found Taste to be extremely interesting (even though Boomgarten sometimes annoyed me)
                                                          that was David Rosengarten. i had forgotten about that show. sigh, i do miss the good old days when FN was worth watching.

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                            Rosengarten was (IMO) a snobby prig at times, but at least he also genuinely knew things and taught.

                                                            1. re: Bada Bing

                                                              I enjoyed him back in 98 or whenever it was.

                                                              But I've surely learned more in those 13 years than any one of his past or future shows would ever teach.

                                                              Other than a travel show.

                                                              And even a novice cook with half an interest is pretty well-informed (easy these days) and doesn't need those basics.

                                                              1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                no doubt about it, he sometimes had his nose so high in the air i wondered if he was trying to snort a cloud...but yes, i tolerated the attitude because i learned a lot watching his show, and back in those days we didn't have numerous options the way we do now!

                                                          2. I've noticed the caliber of shows on FN have steadily gone downhill. I remember being so excited when my cable provider finally decided to carry the channel. Now I'm watching Cooking Channel more.

                                                            I'd like to know why FN has taken off my absolute favorite show "Good Eats." You're lucky to run into a rerun late at night, let alone any new shows at the normal time.

                                                            If I never see another TNFNS show (LAME) It will be too soon. The only shows I like are Anne Burrell's two, adn Best thing...

                                                            Nope, it's Cooking Channel and Travel Channel + Bravo for TC for me!

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: rocks67

                                                              I've noticed the quality has gone up. Funny, that.

                                                              1. re: rocks67

                                                                If I recall correctly Good Eats is not a FN production, at least not in a direct sense. It's Alton's own baby. How many new shows he produces a year depends as much on his own time constraints as any demands from FN execs. How long has it been on the air? Could it be that he's running out of new ideas, or just has other projects that he's more excited about?

                                                                According to this WIki article, season 14 (2010) had 13 new episodes. That's lower than some years, but same as season 5 and 6.

                                                                I was going to ask about the slow stream of new episodes on Travel Channel, but looked them up on WIki. No Reservations had 29 new episodes last year (6th season), and BF 9 (5th). Impressions and memories are not always the best record of these things.

                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                  Do you find Wiki a reliable source?

                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                    I do. Because people are very quick to point out the mistakes of others. It feeds into the ego of the public, which is one reason it works.

                                                                    1. re: tommy

                                                                      A resource loaded with errors feeds the ego? tommy you and I, we see things differently. But, I can respect that.

                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                        I dunno. Is the listing of episodes far off? It could be. TV shows are probably one of the subjects which most people don't care about. But see an entry about when Jagger was arrested for possession of weed, and I'm sure the date will be exactly right.

                                                                        Anyway, this is neither here nor there. My bad.

                                                                    2. re: HillJ

                                                                      Better than my memory! Is there a better source for this kind of information? Encyclopedia Britannica circa 1950 perhaps?

                                                                      Obviously you should use it with caution when researching controversial subjects, but for something this it should be pretty good. All it takes is one or two fans of the show to keep the page up to date. And when in doubt you can always look at the editing history.

                                                                      Most of the posts on this thread tell us very little about why FN ratings are down in the past year or two. They just give evidence of why a select few of potential viewers don't watch it as much as they did (or thought they did).

                                                                  2. re: rocks67

                                                                    I gave up on cable because FN stopped being what I liked, one instructional half-hour after the next, in order to transform itself into the Official Network of the Food Olympics. Between Guy Fieddi (sic) on FN and Sean Hannity on FNN, I got mad as hell and wasn't going to take it anymore. And don't get me started on that asinine "Chopped."

                                                                  3. I blame the lack of new Good Eats episodes and plethora of "vs" shows.

                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                    1. re: aynrandgirl

                                                                      So you think that the general public would like Good Eats more than the competition shows? I talk to a lot of people and I don't think that's the case. Do you have any info to support that? People you know, whose interests, presumably, are broad and diverse, have told you that they prefer Good Eats over the competition shows? Or is this just how you feel personally. Just wondering, because like i say, I talk to a lot of people. Could be a cultural/location type of thing as well.

                                                                      1. re: tommy

                                                                        As the title of the thread is "Food Network Ratings Down", I would have to say that a "lot of people" are NOT big fans of the competition/food stuffing shows.

                                                                        I think the problem is that TPTB at FN would LIKE FN to appeal to the general public--hence the proliferation of the competition shows that the "coveted young male demographic" supposedly loves, but most of US would prefer more of a niche product that actually focuses on cooking.

                                                                        With 100s of cable channels available, there should be room for a serious FOOD network.

                                                                        1. re: coney with everything

                                                                          Do you think FN blindly followed the crowd in giving more time to competitions? I don't. A while back I interviewed with a company that analyzes viewing trends by using data from cable converter boxes. While not 100% reliable (did you go to bed with the cable box still on and tuned to MTV?), they still have a pretty good idea of which shows attract views and which don't. They still have to guess at what will attract more views, and when a particular trend gets saturated.

                                                                          Cooking Channel appears to be their attempt to attract your type. Is it succeeding? Judging from reactions on other threads, CHOW views can be exceedingly picky. The show has to have just the right type of seriousness. BK may attract serious cooks among the under 30s, but repel their grandparents. Two Fat Ladies are re-re-runs from the 1990s. Some CHOW people have such an aversion to BF and RR that they write off the whole channel. There are lots of dislikes, but few realistic ideas for better shows.

                                                                          This forum may one way of influencing the networks - that and your choice of food bloggers. Several new shows on CC feature individuals who have become well known for the blogging and videos. Popularity in one media does not automatically translate to another. But the same can be said for giving cookbook authors TV shows or v.v.

                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                            Cooking Channel is not as widely distributed as Food Network. I don't get it in my cable area (even paying for the fancy premium cable-it's just not offered as an option) and have been bugging them to offer it every month for the past 6 months, to no avail. Yet my family, who live just 2 hours away and have the same cable provider, do get it. I haven't invested any time looking at actual viewership stats, but do wonder how the CC numbers factor in availability/markets.

                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                              "Do you think FN blindly followed the crowd in giving more time to competitions?"

                                                                              No. They blindly followed some "expert" at a marketing firm. Forecasting and research and focus groups work, until they don't. Did you ever see the Simpsons where Homer designed a car? That's what happens when your vision is driven solely by market research.

                                                                              And I think that's where they find themselves today...followed the recommendations and CYA'd their little MBA selves only to end up with a "marketable" product with the soul of a rock and the authenticity of Velveeta. If you watch NFNS, you heard them talk about the contestants' "stories" as much as (or more than) cooking ability.

                                                                              Cooking Channel in my cable world is a premium channel. I'm not paying anymore for TV, I watch too much already :) but if it were on basic cable, I'd give it a go.

                                                                              And the bottom line is that FN ratings are DOWN so the research was not infallible.They did something to annoy their audience, or they've split the vote with CC.

                                                                              1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                Or maybe the buzz is gone and all the focus on creating new buzz is happening over at the CC. Last night I was watching a program about popular culture and the emphasis placed on generating and keeping buzz. It made me think of this thread and the very nature of long term popularity...which is bound to change...has FN lost it's buzzzzzz

                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                  Food Network seemed like it was trying to cash in on the reality show/competition/elimination ratings wave - The Apprentice, Survivor, Dancing With The Stars, American Idol, Top Chef, The Ultimate Fighter, etc etc etc that so many networks had success with and probably figured that since Iron Chef was one of their flagship programs that "more of that" couldn't fail.

                                                                                  1. re: Bunson

                                                                                    Bunson, doesn't it all seem like too much of a good thing ultimately happens all over tv. Oversaturated ideas. Every network has their version of reality tv...even....animal planet!!!

                                                                                    Take popular movies. The original film scores big, the sequel kicks up some sand but by the time "Rocky" is onto the 10th comeback the producers are lucky to recoup their millions on vhs....too much piggybacking. It sure seems that many of us are tired of the reruns, the lack of new material.

                                                                                    disheartened....and good writers want to work!!!!!

                                                                        1. re: Sharoneonta

                                                                          Keep in mind that this NYT article is 3 yrs old - only partially relevant to the current trends.

                                                                          " More significant, its signature weekend block of instructional programs, known collectively as “In the Kitchen,” has lost 15 percent of its audience in the last year, to 830,000 viewers on average."

                                                                          How many Chow writers watch this instructional block?

                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                            My point was that this was when most of the re-structuring was done. Bourdain expands on what happened in his new book.

                                                                        2. The problem with The Food Network is there shows are geared toward women, which is great if that's their goal in a niche market.

                                                                          If TFN were smart, they'd go back to basics by creating cooking shows. Also, the shows should appeal to men 18 to 44. Generally, the male demographic is where the money is in the household.

                                                                          I would bet Good Eats, Iron Chef (Japan) and DDD was developed to appeal to males, while Barefoot Contessa, Sandra Lee, Giada... etc appealed towards females.

                                                                          20 Replies
                                                                          1. re: dave_c

                                                                            There's a implication here that the very successful executives at the Food Network don't understand demographics. That's amusing, but likely not the case.

                                                                              1. re: Sharoneonta

                                                                                My wife is smart and enjoys Barefoot Contessa and Giada. I'd imagine there are many more examples that would squash your theory.

                                                                                1. re: Sharoneonta

                                                                                  I don't watch Barefoot, as she ran out of ideas along time age and has since jumped the shark. I don't watch Giada since I cannot STAND her over enunciation of Italian foods. While she has some okay ideas, she's no master chef. I don't watch any competition shows because they are nothing but reality show drama and are designed for the dumbing down of America. I will never watch Sandra Lee because she's a hack also designed for the dumbing down of America.

                                                                                  Occasionally I'll catch an episode of Good Eats. That's pretty much it for me. Food Network left the arena of food education long ago only to join to the venue of riduculous and reality based slop for programing. I'm not surprised the ratings have tanked.

                                                                                  By the way, using two people (you and your wife) is hardly proof or a sample large enough to be asserting any sort of validation to your wishful opinion.

                                                                                  1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                    I assume you're referring to me, even though you haven't used the features of this board correctly.

                                                                                    Assuming you were, here is how it breaks down:

                                                                                    Someone says women like X
                                                                                    Someone else says smart women do not like X
                                                                                    I provide an example where a smart woman does like X

                                                                                    Therefore, the assertion that smart women do not like X is not valid.


                                                                                    1. re: tommy

                                                                                      Someone says women like X

                                                                                      Someone else say smart women do not like X

                                                                                      I provide and example where a smart woman does not like X

                                                                                      Therefore, the assertion that smart women do not like X is valid.

                                                                                      Funny how that works both ways. :-)

                                                                                    2. re: FoodChic

                                                                                      Somehow, I don't think Giada (and the twins) are geared toward women.

                                                                                      1. re: Sharoneonta

                                                                                        There are many shows that are geared towards women where the stars where low cut clothing.

                                                                                        Unless Giada went Baywatch on us, she's not doing anything different.

                                                                                        1. re: Sharoneonta

                                                                                          DW likes Giada but I find her annoying at best. For cooking advice and when I do an ingredient search, I'd be most inclined to look at Ina Garten's first becasue they are pretty simple.

                                                                                      2. re: Sharoneonta

                                                                                        I'm entering a PhD program for clinical psychology this fall. I'm female. I own every Ina Garten book she's ever written. I'm plenty smart, thank you very much.

                                                                                        1. re: celfie

                                                                                          My impression of the audience for Giada is, someone who does not work, has limited exposure to real Italian regional foods, dreams of the "fantasy California lifestyle", and does not travel to Italy routinely. Just my observation.

                                                                                          1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                            Is that your impression? Or observation. Two different things.

                                                                                            That's a very narrow and specific demo. A show like this couldn't survive on such a small portion of possible viewers, nor would it be designed to.

                                                                                            1. re: tommy

                                                                                              Maybe it is just my evaluation of the direction that the writers/producers on FN are going, compared to the oft discussed, now "classic" series, (Batali, Lagasse, et al).
                                                                                              Another thought, are the planners at FN tending to a new crop of potential Ferran Adriàs and Joel robuchons, now that cooking has been super elevated to the level of those that walk on water?

                                                                                              1. re: tommy

                                                                                                'does not travel to Italy routinely' - that's a much broader demo than its complement! Limited exposure to 'real Italian regional food' is basically the same demo. That applies to most of the readers on Chow. Reruns are usually aired during working hours, so the 'not work' might be valid. The California fantasy is more limited, but who doesn't have that fantasy while working a boring job in a northern winter.

                                                                                                Ospreycove either fits that demo, or considers him/her self to be an expert on regional Italian food - based on frequent trips to Italy, or regular viewing of CreateTV. And the fantasy probably takes place in Venice Italy rather than Venice, California. :)

                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                  paulh, My appreciation of "Cibo Regione" da Italia", comes from spending time at our seasonal home in Sulmona,Abruzzo. As far as a fantasy for Venezia, there is none. I would like to see FN become more aware of the differences in foods/sources/ methods of prep than the current tack towards glam, sparkle and the faux creations written in by the episode script outliners. I cannot relate to "a boring job in a Northern Winter; We spend our winters on Longboat Key, Fl.
                                                                                                  Good luck in all of your endeavors.

                                                                                                  1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                    Is this the place in Sulmona? :)

                                                                                                    Are there any good Italian cooking shows? Ones that feature feature regional cooking (either in Italy itself, or some exotic foreign country like the USA)?

                                                                                                    There have been shows in the USA dealing with regional Italian cooking. I alluded to Lydia on CreateTV. FN had a series by Mario. CC is playing another of Mario's productions (from 2003); maybe they'll pull this Italian one out of the archives next. The Travel Channel guys have focused on different parts of Italy (Venice, Rome, Sicily etc). I bet most of the audience for those shows has not been to Italy at all.

                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                      paulj...Yes that is it!! After the restoration that took several years to achieve such perfection.
                                                                                                      Most of the Italian cooking shows are a trip, you must feature a hostess who is scantily dressed, and screams with forced emotion about the "Bella Cucina". Even the sports (soccer) programs are hosted by big busted young women. I guess it is just cultural.........Right Silvio?
                                                                                                      Lydia and I met in Seaside Florida about 12 years ago, she was the guest Chef at a charity dinner hosted by "Bud and Alley's in Seaside. Then she was a control freak with endless energy. Since I am name dropping....lol Marcella and Victor Hazan live across the way from us. They rarely go out anymore in town; but last Sunday her son Giuliano was the guest chef at a dinner for the Asolo Rep. Theatre, and they both attended. So much for my bloviating!!!!

                                                                                        2. re: dave_c

                                                                                          >>>>I would bet Good Eats, Iron Chef (Japan) and DDD was developed to appeal to males, while Barefoot Contessa, Sandra Lee, Giada... etc appealed towards females.<<<<

                                                                                          I am male, and my favorite among all of these is Barefoot Contessa. It's simple. She cooks like me. Next, I like Giada, but only Everyday Italian. Third was Good Eats, but only for a week at a time. The friends in costumes drive me insane any longer than that.

                                                                                          1. re: Jay F

                                                                                            I am female and my two favorites are Giada (only Everyday Italian, as well) and Ina--they are good cooks, reliable recipes. The challenge shows are reprehensible: Disney Princess Cakes? Cupcakes? What a waste of energy--electrical and physical! Gastronomical challenge shows the same---who wants to watch a show that only lacks a vomitorium to be complete? Once the FNC channel talent become over-exposed and you have to view them when checking out at the grocery store, I'm out of there.

                                                                                        3. I've often wondered if I could ever cut it as a FN host. You have to act so damn silly with "yummy", "creamy", "perfect!" and of course, do the obligatory foodgasm complete with eye rolling every time you eat anything. It's all so self-congratulatory. Plus, I just don't have a million growing-up-in-the-kitchen-stories to tell. Mom cooked. Period. Polish food? Not really a big turn on.
                                                                                          I just couldn't do it.

                                                                                          1. Well, I know of one viewer they lost completely. We cut cable. ;)

                                                                                            1. Recent article on the shift from education to enterainment in food shows


                                                                                              'That shift from education to entertainment has driven higher ratings for the category, a change in the audience makeup and has led to more shows on more networks.'

                                                                                              This looks at more than FN, and gives an overall rosy picture of the ratings of the entertainment type of show.

                                                                                              "Smith said the Cooking Channel’s target viewer is the “Julie Powell” character from Julie & Julia."

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                It's times like these in a thread I wish a FN insider was an active member of CH.

                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                  But even if they were a CH, I doubt we'd get much honesty. I suspect there would be a lot of line towing.

                                                                                                  1. re: FoodChic

                                                                                                    OTHH, could be insightful. I'd love some insider feedback. Horses mouth always appeals to me.

                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                      I'm with you. If we could get real stories, real scoop...I'd be all over it! :-)

                                                                                                2. re: paulj

                                                                                                  Really? Julie Powell is insufferable though. But I think I get the point they're trying to make.

                                                                                                3. If you think about it, given that FN now has added Cooking channel lineup without having had to add significant production capacity, if any, we should be looking at the combined viewership of the two channels as compared with FN in prior years, given the costs of operation of each year compared.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: junescook

                                                                                                    Very good point, junescook. They've split up their viewers between the two.

                                                                                                    As far as the reruns on Cooking Channel, I don't mind them at all because I've never seen them. I didn't have cable until just a few years ago, so the only cooking shows I'd seen were on PBS. Unfortunately, I've also never seen the old Batali shows that everyone likes so much!

                                                                                                    1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                      Right, plus the rest of the lineup comes largely from FN Canada.

                                                                                                  2. Contrast this with articles from a year ago:
                                                                                                    "The year 2009 was the best year ever for Food Network with record ratings, impressions and hit shows. "
                                                                                                    How could 2009 be their best year ever when, according the most of the opinions on this thread, FN dumped their favorite instructional shows long ago?

                                                                                                    Top shows in 2009 were The Next Food Network Star, The Next Iron Chef, Chopped" and "Best Thing I Ever Ate. Even the Saturday instructional block In the Kitchen did well.

                                                                                                    Here's another short article looking at the 2010 decline

                                                                                                    Another commentator points out
                                                                                                    "FN, of course, has seen stellar jumps in viewership in previous years –- so a small decline is not catastrophic. "

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                      It's amazing to me that people who are into cooking actually need "instructional" cooking shows. There's very little to anything in these types shows that I don't already know, and I'm not a great cook by any stretch.

                                                                                                      I learn more about cooking from watching DDD and chopped.

                                                                                                      1. re: tommy

                                                                                                        I think I can get ideas for dinner, but generally don't glean further knowledge from most of the FN show. In fact, yesterday I was watching a few minutes of Nigella Express and saw her make "one of her mother's favorite (easy) dishes".
                                                                                                        It was scalded milk poured over torn bread that had a little sugar sprinkled on top. Perhaps it's a UK comfort food, but not only did I find it a bit unappealing, but ridiculously simple. Again, it's not skill-building.
                                                                                                        I mean, hey, my mom stirred together ketchup and mayo and called it French dressing. Just sayin'

                                                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                                                          The same goes for me for any cooking show, regardless of the channel.

                                                                                                          Whatever we see on DDD pretty much drives what we're having for dinner on weekend nights.

                                                                                                          1. re: tommy

                                                                                                            (I got the DDD cookbook for Xmas last year....and kept it. Don't make me hand in my CH card!)

                                                                                                          2. re: monavano

                                                                                                            I've never been inspired to try Nigella's recipes, but I LOVE to listen to her as she cooks: her descriptions, the adjectives and verbs she chooses paint such lovely visuals and are such a treat to the ear, after being aurally bombarded with "the bomb", "yummo," "smack yo mama," and such inane drivel. She elevates cooking to an art, like a treasured poem. I'd love to hear her do the commentary for "Man vs Food!"

                                                                                                            1. re: mothrpoet

                                                                                                              I totally agree! She's a bit self-deprecating and doesn't try to oversell it like most other hosts, which is why when her recipes get way too simple, I'm disappointed.
                                                                                                              I'll add BAM and Off The Hook! to your list ;-)

                                                                                                      2. Not surprising. How many Challenges to make a Disney cake, awful episodes of Chopped or Rachael Ray can normal people take?

                                                                                                        I am also not really a fan of the Cooking Channel. Like some of the shows, but they seem to show one new show a month. How many times can they keep showing the same episodes of Ultimate Eats, Foodography, etc? They are a new channel and it seems like they have a grand total of about 15 episodes of programming.

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: ESNY

                                                                                                          Look at any channel. How many shows are fresh episodes? Good Eats is in its 14th season, with 13 new episodes. They highest has been 22 new episodes in a season. So even if i's shown just once a week, they still will show more repeats than fresh shows. No Reservations has a higher number of new shows each season, but still, you get blocks of 3-4 repeats followed by one new episode. NR celebrated their 100th episode during the recent 6th season.

                                                                                                          New shows cost money to produce, and many fail after the 1st season. So it makes sense that a new channel will fill its 18/7 hours with a mix of old and newish shows bought from other sources (BBC, old FN, Canada FN), a modest number of their own productions, and lots of repeats.

                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                            I don't notice the repeats. I Tivo what I want to watch, and find that there aren't enough hours in my week to watch even 5 hours of new programming a week. I can't imagine setting aside enough time to watch even more, but maybe I'll consider it.

                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                              But this is supposedly a brand new channel with "fresh thinking". And at any given hour during "prime time" there is a 75% chance that the show is already a repeat for the Cooking Channel. I'm not even talking about the shows that already aired on FN Canada, i'm talking about re-run after re-run of the show on the Cooking Channel only.

                                                                                                              Look at their prime time lineup this week, arguably when they should be broadcasting new shows. From Jan 30 to Feb 5 between 8pm and 11pm, there are five episodes of Foodography (2 of the chocolate episode and 2 of pork), five of Unique Eats (3 different episodes), all of which have been shown dozens of times in the past month.

                                                                                                              How can they expect to gain any critical mass of followers when they don't show at least any new programming (even new for the Cooking Channel)?

                                                                                                              Its like those awful shows on the travel channel, Burger Paradise, Breakfast paradise, etc. Who watches those shows after the 50th airing that month?

                                                                                                              1. re: ESNY

                                                                                                                Being brand new does not make it any easier, or cheaper, to produce a large amount of fresh programming. Repeats are not as good as new programs for attracting viewers, but more often than not they are better than none.

                                                                                                          2. Curious why SO many people on CH hate Chopped, yet love Top Chef. Personally, I like both shows. I think there is room on FN for both recipe type shows and competition type shows.

                                                                                                            With the current recession, many people are cutting back on cable packages, or switching from tv to Internet, so not suprised to see a ratings dip, especially after earlier very fast growth.

                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Cherveny

                                                                                                              i haven't noticed a lot of hate re: Chopped. i personally love it - at this point it's the only FN show i make an effort to watch...well, that and TNIC when it's the season for it. i can't sit through any of the Challenge shows, i just find them painfully boring.

                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                The next iron chef is a fun show. I actually do like challenge sometimes, but think it's more looking for the times when someone fails horribly. (caketastrophies just are funny for some reason :) ) it's. Good show to have in the background while doing stuff on the web, etc.

                                                                                                                As for chopped hate, several posts in this thread, plus been a number of random posts I've seen in other threads on this board. Maybe I'm just unlucky and finding the threads that don't like chopped.

                                                                                                                1. re: Cherveny

                                                                                                                  Top Chef is one of my top 3 "reality" shows, while I can't stand Chopped. Chopped is filmed in the same dark/drab kitchen with each round being basically identical. "Make something good out of three ingredients that make no sense together". It's repetitive and has a very game-show feel to it. Also like others have said, the Chopped judges are just bad TV to watch, and I don't like Ted Allen as host.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                    Exactly. There is no excitement or variety in Chopped. It's one-trick pony. And Ted Allen is very robotic.

                                                                                                              2. re: Cherveny

                                                                                                                I think part of the hate on Chopped, actually a big part, is the judges. By and large, they're pricks who need to take the stick out. The contestants are interesting, and have great stories. They work so very hard in impossible situations, with impossible ingredients.
                                                                                                                It's the judges that just suck the life out of the show. I'm looking at you, Alex and Scott.

                                                                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                  As the saying goes - every good story needs a villain. You wouldn't feel as much sympathy for the contestants is producers didn't give them impossible ingredients, and if the judges just offered praise. The producers are nameless and faceless, but the judges are there to hate.

                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                    Also, by the judges keeping up the pressure, it drives the contestants to make better food, and it leads to some good comedic effect when they push for fine dinning dishes when given crap for ingredients. The judges do often praise when something goes right too. Some judges particular beefs can be funny though, like conant and raw onions.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Cherveny

                                                                                                                      I actually asked Scott about his so called dislike of raw onions and he explained that he does not dislike raw onions, but that he wants to see more from the chefs other than throwing in raw onions into a dish, remember there is a lot of editing for those shows....BTW he loves bagels with smoked salmon and raw onion

                                                                                                                      1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                                                                                                        BTW he loves bagels with smoked salmon and raw onion
                                                                                                                        one more reason for me to like him!

                                                                                                                    2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                      I get the conflict angle, but Alex's face just oozes pure hatred. It's enough to make me turn the channel, which I don't believe is what the producers are looking for.
                                                                                                                      I liked Simon Cowel (sp?) on American Idol, and miss his blunt honestly dearly, but the Chopped judges, to me, just act like a$4holes.
                                                                                                                      ETA: I've seen an epi or two of Alex's Day Off and she, in a very bizarre fashion, comes across as treachly. I mean, "putting eye liner and mascara on your food"? Blech.

                                                                                                                    3. re: monavano

                                                                                                                      Monovano, I'm with you. I cannot watch Chopped any more. I cannot abide a program that thrives on belittling and bemeaning these professionals that are doing their own creative best in the short time and circumstances they are allotted. And ofentimes the chef who leaves out one of the ingredients is rewarded for it. I find the judges arrogant and I do not feel entertained by watching them humiliate real working chefs.

                                                                                                                  2. This should come as no surprise. the HuffPost article mentions, "their cherished lineup of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Chopped, The Best Thing I Ever Ate and Unwrapped."

                                                                                                                    I'm apparently in their key demographic and the problem with all four of these shows is that they're all gimmicks that can't last. How many greasy spoons, no matter how classic, do you want to watch Guy Fieri scream his way through? Chopped, as I mentioned earlier, is boring and drab and essentially the same show every episode, save for the odd combo of ingredients. How robotic Ted Allen ever got on TV is beyond me. I don't care to find out what the best thing someone else ever ate, so I've never watched that and same with Unwrapped ... no interest in learning how factory food is made.

                                                                                                                    The rest of their lineup seems to be filled with endless hours of people in competition to make cakes that move and spin.

                                                                                                                    I'd rather watch Bourdain pontificate on the state of the world while eating his way through some third-world county on the Travel Channel or a bunch of eager young chefs sweat it out to be Top Chef on Bravo.

                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: taos

                                                                                                                      I am outside any TV exec's preferred demoographic profile as I am an old white guy. But, I have money, am reasonably intelligent (at least by my standards), and have a TV with satellite.

                                                                                                                      I do watch TC, Chopped and Bourdain. But as an earlier poster said, give me the PBS shows. For the most part the hosts on PBS thankfully lack the slick packaging of Giada, the fake perkiness of Rachel, the Flay condescension. Dredge up old episodes of Justin Wilson (my personal all-time favorite), Jacques Pepin, Martin Yan, or Keith Floyd (the Brit who invented the TV cooking show). You'll learn something about cooking and its history.

                                                                                                                      When we do get Cooking Channel as a monthly freebie on Dish we like to watch Chuck's Day Off. A damn fine show, IMO.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Mayor of Melonville

                                                                                                                        FN, to me has become way too lifestyle vs. instructional. Now for butchering tips Ducky on NCIS is better than anything on FN.

                                                                                                                      2. re: taos

                                                                                                                        " and the problem with all four of these shows is that they're all gimmicks that can't last."

                                                                                                                        I'm not sure this is a problem and not a strength.

                                                                                                                        You don't like at least 2 of those three shows, so I'm unsure how you're able to opine on what their problems are, considering they are all successful and have enjoyed multiple seasons.

                                                                                                                        1. re: tommy

                                                                                                                          Did you even read the article upon which this entire thread is based?

                                                                                                                          The ratings are down for those four shows.

                                                                                                                          The Huffington Post article the OP posted says this:

                                                                                                                          "...their (Food Network] primetime ratings for women 18 to 49 and 25 to 54 -- their key demographic -- fell 9% last month, mainly on their cherished lineup of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Chopped, The Best Thing I Ever Ate and Unwrapped."

                                                                                                                          I was responding to the article since I'm in that demographic and explaining why I don't watch any of those four shows.

                                                                                                                          1. re: taos

                                                                                                                            Mainly due to the same episodes running over and over again. FN if you want to keep an audience engaged you'll need to keep the shows fresh and lively. How many x's can any demographic watch the same stale programs (& btw while paying cable for the priv.)? Watch the ratings swell the minute new shows are added....any new show...is better than the same old repeats. Like food, tv gets stale quickly :L)

                                                                                                                            1. re: taos

                                                                                                                              "This should come as no surprise. the HuffPost article mentions, "their cherished lineup of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Chopped, The Best Thing I Ever Ate and Unwrapped.""

                                                                                                                              This should come as no surprise why? Because you don't like them?

                                                                                                                        2. this food network needs some fresh blood. it's enough with staging inane contests to find personalities. It's obvious that the host doesn't even matter to them because the production team uses a cookie cutter approach in developing new programming. every one of their hosts seem like soulless corporate shills - EVERY ONE OF THEM. Bourdain has been so successful because despite his shtick he is honest and has a vision. It's no wonder he wanted out of this stupid food network. The food network's shows are just filler to pop in and out of during commercials on other channels. Why don't they have more regional programming? Why don't they have more contemporary themes? I mean look at the network's attitude towards indian food during TFNS - they were so concerned with accessibility that authenticity was completely ignored. Take a risk! No one has any long term vision and so they will continue to have mediocre ratings. They're so desperate to maintain their core audience that they alienate everyone else - well it looks like the housewives have had enough too

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: celfie

                                                                                                                            Well said...very well said!

                                                                                                                          2. Dear Food Network,
                                                                                                                            For Christmas, I would like a cooking show that teaches beyond the basics, is hosted by someone who has many years of experience in the restaurant industry/cooking (not just a good-looking winner of a competition), who has something interesting to teach us ( I am now 41, so I know how to crush garlic, peel onions, zest lemons, chop fresh thyme, and wash my hands), does not say Y'all all the time, does not know what EVOO means, that makes me discover food from different places (this does NOT include drive-ins from the next state over), and that does not show someone stuffing their faces with oversized portions of food. I do not EVER want to see a cupcake competition, and if I wanted to see a restaurant makeover, I would watch HGTV. I do not want to see the recycling of past loosers of previous competitions.
                                                                                                                            p.s. we all know how to make Marinara sauce, mayonnaise, vinaigrette,sear scallops/salmon/chicken, and wash our hands after touching raw meat!
                                                                                                                            Your truly
                                                                                                                            Santa Clause

                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: hypomyces

                                                                                                                              You'd best find another resource for the educational needs that you require. Books, internet, PBS programming (although that's pretty basic too).

                                                                                                                              You'll be happier once you accept that FoodTV isn't for you.

                                                                                                                              The Elves.

                                                                                                                              1. re: tommy

                                                                                                                                They need to bring back Jacques Pepin!!!!!

                                                                                                                                1. re: petek

                                                                                                                                  When did Jacques appear on FN?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                    Probably never. I mean bring him back to T.V in general.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                        Nice! I could watch Him cook all day.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: petek

                                                                                                                                          Why don't you then? I'm sure VHS tapes of his various shows are dirt cheap.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: tommy

                                                                                                                                            My local library system lists 8 of his DVDs and as many books. I first read his Technique via a library copy.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: tommy

                                                                                                                                              Maybe I will tommy..maybe I will

                                                                                                                                  2. re: tommy

                                                                                                                                    In that case,
                                                                                                                                    I would like a 140 000 BTU wok burner with the Garland G-Series Restaurant Series Range
                                                                                                                                    p..s. you don't have to wrap it.
                                                                                                                                    Your truly,
                                                                                                                                    Santa Clause

                                                                                                                                2. Yes, eating gargantuan size food is disgusting. I've seen a commercial with Tom?, the not winner of NFNS unhinging his jaw like a python in order to take a bite of a hamburger the size of a hub cap. MMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!! he exclaims!!
                                                                                                                                  What did you get? A bit of meat with bun? You can't even get all the ingredients and flavors so how can this be good? Because it's big? That burger was probably cooking through on the griddle since last Tuesday, getting drier than the Sahara and you think that's a good burger?

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                    Total disrespect of food!
                                                                                                                                    That is what all that gargantuan crap is and what does it say for the people that eat it?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                                                                                                                      It clearly says that you are better than them.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                                                                                                                        I can't imagine enjoying it because you should be able to get all the ingredients in your mouth in each bit, but when it's so big? You simply can't, even if you could unhinge your jaw!

                                                                                                                                    2. The competition shows are the worst. Who cares who can make something with the "secret ingredient" of squid ink? I don't care if someone can make a cake that looks like the statue of liberty--how does it taste?

                                                                                                                                      Everything runs its course. I still like Good Eats, but can see if people are tired of it. At least you might pick up something interesting along the way.

                                                                                                                                      I can see that some people might compare the competition shows to sports, which I watch all the time. But in sports, the payoff is who wins the game. To me, in cooking, the payoff is getting to eat the food. When I watch a cooking show like America's Test Kitchen, if I like the recipe, I can actually give it a try.

                                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Shann

                                                                                                                                        "Who cares"? Is that a real question? The answer is: plenty of people.

                                                                                                                                        Surely you can understand that not everyone shares your particular worldview and interests, yes?

                                                                                                                                        Watching sports is about the most pointless pastime. But I can appreciate that some people like to do it.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: tommy

                                                                                                                                          Sports fans will not watch Michael Jordan playing a game of 'horse.' Those kinds of programs get on TV, yes, but are not on prime time and nobody is discussing them on sports blogs.

                                                                                                                                          Who cares is a legitimate question on Chowhound. "Plenty of people" also keep Applebee's in business. It isn't the answer to the question.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                            "Plenty of people" is obviously an answer to the question. What is your answer if "plenty of people" isn't an answer? LOL!

                                                                                                                                            Now if the questioner is really interested in knowing more about those people, then there might be some sort of meaningful dialog. But that's not a usual experience on Chowhound. Chowhound, like every other internet platform, is more about giving people the opportunity to say "I hate this" and "that's stupid." It's just so darned easy to not actually go through the work of forming an opinion, but yet still having one. And it feels so good to proclaim that ones taste is more advanced than those people who play "horse."

                                                                                                                                            As far as your tidbit on sports, I don't know what you mean.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: tommy

                                                                                                                                            Yes. It is a real question. The conversation was about why the food network ratings were down. I did not realize that you were the only one entitled to an opinion on the subject.

                                                                                                                                            Am I right, maybe, probably not. But this seemed to be a conversation where people shared their own opinions about why ratings were down. Food Network has seemed to go away from cooking shows to competitions shows. You may denigrate sports all you like, but your opinion is no more valid than mine. I can appreciate that some people may like to watch the competition shows, but if the ratings are in fact going down, then maybe not as many people like them as preferred the cooking shows.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Shann

                                                                                                                                              "but if the ratings are in fact going down, then maybe not as many people like them as preferred the cooking shows."

                                                                                                                                              Or, the fact that ratings are down across all networks could indicate that there are more and more options vying for attention. And of course if those other ratings have dropped more than Food TV's, then one could easily make the argument that FoodTV is doing well.

                                                                                                                                              "Even worse for the Food Network, their primetime ratings for women 18 to 49 and 25 to 54 -- their key demographic -- fell 9% last month, mainly on their cherished lineup of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Chopped, The Best Thing I Ever Ate and Unwrapped."

                                                                                                                                              There's only 1 competition show here.

                                                                                                                                              "Yes. It is a real question."

                                                                                                                                              To answer your question, again, lots of people. To dismiss those who like those shows in order to voice your opinion is a perplexing choice.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Shann

                                                                                                                                                You only have to go back a year or two to find reports about FN ratings being up (see my Feb 1 post)

                                                                                                                                                What changed from 2009 to 2010? Most of the people who attribute the decline to a lack of good instructional shows are hankering for the good old days of 2000, not the peak in 2009. ICA is on its 9th season. Molto Mario was last filmed in 2004.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Shann

                                                                                                                                              Funny you should mention both secret ingredients and ATK. Chris occasionally appears on NPR The Splendid Table has mc for an impossible ingredients challenge. Lynne is supposed to come up with an attractive menu based on 3 ingredients that a listener has on hand (e.g. goat cheese, kale, and blueberries). Chris judges whether she is successful or not.

                                                                                                                                              I like recipes that I can use too, but most cooking shows are too slow paced for me. Or the recipes are already familiar or don't suit my tastes or needs. Competitions like Chopped or IC (both) expose me to new ingredients and methods. Sometimes I even ask what would I do in that situation. A few of the cake competitions are interesting to the model-maker in me.

                                                                                                                                              While it possible that FN has gone overboard on the competitions, that type of show has worked for them in the past. It would just as easy for them to go overboard with the instructional shows. Most of their daytime lineup is instructional.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                and it's all garbage
                                                                                                                                                it would be one thing if these shows were good but they're terribly safe and made to appeal to the lowest common denominator. there is no defending this garbage.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: celfie

                                                                                                                                                  I guess I'm the lowest common denominator and enjoy garbage. LOL! That's pretty funny.

                                                                                                                                            3. The problem with the food network is that the head of programing thinks we are all idiots that need catch phrases and stupid stories about how "I used to cook this with my mom and you can all relate to that right?". You've seen him on Next Food Network Star with his stupid face you'd like to punch blathering on about how the audience needs to be be able to relate to the host and needs to connect with them on a personal level. How about this, HIRE HOSTS THAT CAN FUCKING COOK!!!!!! Every good host leaves the network, Mario Batali Anthony Bourdain etc. Every good show on the food network was produced by a different network Top Chef, Kitchen Nightmares(the British version) etc.

                                                                                                                                              Also, why does the Food Network think that we need to see someone rolling their eyes back in their head to show that something is delicious. the Best Thing i Ever Ate drives me crazy with the eye rolling, lip smacking and the mmmmmmmmm sounds. Do they think we wouldn't understand that it tastes good without all that bullshit. One last thing, to the Neelys, GET A F-ING ROOM!!!! And to Giada, PUT YOUR TITS AWAY.

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: tdeane

                                                                                                                                                also don't try to americanize good foreign shows (ie: iron chef)

                                                                                                                                                a good, genuine show is The Heat with Mark McEwan (food network canada) - even though mcewan is a bastard. That's how a reality food show should be done

                                                                                                                                                here's a clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5Bzup...

                                                                                                                                                it's not BS even though mcewan's got his shtick going

                                                                                                                                                1. re: tdeane

                                                                                                                                                  You have got to be kidding me. This OP has gotten seriously off the rail.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tdeane

                                                                                                                                                    "And to Giada, PUT YOUR TITS AWAY"

                                                                                                                                                    She is simply "decanting" them so they can breathe... If they should ever need resuscitation I'm available to play doctor... ;-D>

                                                                                                                                                  2. Folks, this thread is getting pretty personal and unfriendly, so we're going to lock it now.