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Food Network & Cooking Channel 2012 Season Upfront Announcement

From their Press Release at :



Food Network and Cooking Channel, both part of Scripps Networks Interactive, offered up their 2012 lineups of new and returning series with a total of 22 new series and 35 returning series between the two networks.

Food Network new primetime series:
• Meat Men is a previously-announced series highlighting well-known New York butcher and meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda. Premieres April 9 at 11p.
• Cupcake Champions pits 16 of Cupcake Wars' best and most memorable winners against each other in a competition to name the top cupcake champ. Premieres May 13 at 8p.
• Invention Hunters follows Steve Greenberg and Patrick Raymond who are "invention scouts" as they search America for the next great kitchen gadget invention. Debuts May 14 at 9p.
• Mystery Diners shadows a group of undercover operatives as they go into restaurants, bars and food service establishments with hidden cameras to find out what is really going on when the boss is not around. Premieres May 25 at 10p.
• The New Anne Burrell Project (wt) sees Anne putting four executive chef candidates through the toughest job interview of their lives with the goal to see which one is ready to run the restaurant. Premieres in June 2012.
• Bobby Flay's Opening Night (wt) has Flay offering advice to first-time restaurateurs to help make their crucial opening night a success. Debuts July 2012.
• Chopped: Grill Masters goes to the Arizona desert where 16 grilling pros are pitted against each other in this five-part tournament series. Premieres July 22 at 10p.
• $24 in 24 Hours (wt) in this new series Jeff Mauro (Sandwich King) visits cities across America to show viewers how to experience great food by spending only $24 in one day. Debuts August 2012.
• Undercover Critics follows Alex Guarnaschelli (Chopped), Troy Johnson (Crave) and Simon Majumdar (Next Iron Chef) as they go undercover as restaurant critics with hidden cameras to reveal the good and the bad of established restaurants. Launches September 2012.
• Sugar Dome follows three teams comprised of three artists working in different mediums battle to create never-before-seen food art masterpieces. Premieres October 2012.
• Blind Dinner Party is hosted by comedian Margaret Cho where seven strangers of diverse backgrounds join together to break bread and see if they can reach common ground through food. Debuts October 2012.
Food Network new daytime series:
• Trisha's Southern Kitchen is a previously-announced six-episode series featuring country music superstar and cookbook author, Trisha Yearwood as she prepares favorite meals in her own kitchen. Premieres April 14 at 1030a.
• Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen features Paula Deen's son as he creates family dinners. Debuts June 16 at 1030a.
• Sunny Travels (wt) follows Sunny Anderson traveling the country to find the best home-cooked recipes. Debuts July 2012.
• The New Sandra Lee Project (wt) features Sandra Lee offering her fans a new take on her cooking and entertaining tips. Premieres fall 2012.
Food Network returning primetime series:
• Chopped All-Stars season two opens April 8 at 9p.
• Food Network Star makes an eighth season comeback on May 13 at 9p.
• Extreme Chef season two launches August 2012.
• The Great Food Truck Race is back for a third season August 19 at 9p.
• Halloween Wars is set to debut a second season October 7 at 9p.
• The Next Iron Chef: Redemption debuts a fifth season November 4 at 9p.
Food Network returning daytime series:
• The Best Thing I Ever Made is back for a second season April 8 at 1130a.
• The Pioneer Woman returns with a third season in fall 2012.
Cooking Channel new primetime series:
• Roadtrip with G. Garvin travels with Chef Gerry Garvin (aka 'G') as he takes viewers on a tour of his native South and its food specialties. Premieres May 29 at 9p.
• The Culinary Adventures of Baron Ambrosia features Baron Ambrosia, the self-styled "Culinary Ambassador to the Bronx" as he travels beyond the Bronx to discover culinary delights in other cities. Debuts June 1 at 10p.
• Eden Eats follows Eden Grinshpan who travels throughout America discovering the global culinary scene in each new US city within a 24-hour period. Premieres August 2012.
• Cheap Bites is hosted by New York City chef and food writer Eddie Huang as he locates the best food deals in different Americas places. Debuts August 2012.
• Eat the Street discovers in each city the single street where one can find restaurant after restaurant with host Chuck Hughes. Premieres September 2012.
• Man, Fire, Food features Roger Mooking (Everyday Exotic, Heat Seekers) as he explores cooking at its most basic. Premieres September 2012.
• My Grandmother's Ravioli is hosted by Mo Rocca who, though he is a foodie, doesn't know how to cook. Mo will discover treasured recipes by visiting America's Grandmothers and Grandfathers. Debuts fall 2012.
Cooking Channel returning primetime series:
• Easy Chinese is back with a second season June 2 at 830p.
• Not My Mama's Meals makes a second season return in August 2012.
• Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen returns for a third season in September 2012.
• Symon's Suppers is set for a second season in September 2012.
• Unique Sweets has a third season on tap starting October 2012.
• Extra Virgin returns for a third season in fall 2012.
Cooking Channel returning daytime series:
• The Perfect Three is back with a second season beginning May 12 at 230p.
• Kelsey's Essentials returns for a fourth season in fall 2012.
• Drop 5lbs With Good Housekeeping has a second season set for January 2013.

For what it's worth....

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  1. You lost me after "Cupcake Champions". Snore.

    1. when they are deciding what the idea for a new show will be, do they just throw all the descriptions of their current shows in one hat, and the names of their chefs in the other, and then draw one from each and put them together?

      1. $24 in 24? Really? That is just NOT a way that I want to visit a new place!

        The only thing that sounds interesting to me is Next Iron Chef: Redemption. Sounds like it might have former contestants who were eliminated. I hope Anne Burrell is in this group because I truly believe she is the only FN personality who could actually be an Iron Chef. She'd sure as hell be more interesting and entertaining than Garces, Forgione, and Zakarian combined!

        1. I don't see Chuck Hughes, David Rocco or Bill Granger...so Cooking Channel is off my radar and FN hasn't surprised me in five years. What began as two distinct food channels (even with the same home office) has quickly blurred into one predictable lineup. Sad day for me.

          6 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            looks like chuck is taking on eat the street?

            thats an unfortunate change for him if true.... he's too good in the kitchen for that

            1. re: HillJ

              Notice that there are only 3 shows listed for daytime Cooking Channel. Surely that isn't all that they are playing during those hours. I expect that they will continue to play the FN Canada shows, if only as repeats of the ones they have already shown.

              Don't write off the channel until you have actually seen the daily lineup.

              1. re: paulj

                Good point, paulj. I hope you're right! New episodes of those shows would be wonderful.

                1. re: paulj

                  id also think that they wouldnt be able to play Triple D marathons for 4 hours in a row during primetime two nights a week, buuuuuuuuutt....

                2. re: HillJ

                  David Rocco has a new show on right now, called Amalfi Getaway. It started last month.

                3. What does (wt) mean in your descriptions?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: dmjordan

                    I believe it stands for the entertainment industry's term "working title" for projects that may end up having a different name when they premiere.

                    1. re: Justpaula

                      Yep, it means Working Title. I just copied from their Press Release and I should have explained that, sorry.

                      Inside joke: there is a production company in Hollywood called Working Title Productions. Okay, so it's not all that funny.

                      1. re: acgold7

                        I have no doubt that there is a CH or two out there who is dreaming up titles for "The New Sandra Lee Project" just to entertain themselves and giggle.

                        Anyway, I think I might give Bobby Flay's show a look-see. Years ago he really grated on my nerves. Yet, despite being so over-exposed on FN that I have no idea how he has time to do anything else, he somehow sort of grew on me. He has built successful restaurants and seems like a pretty down-to-earth guy, so I am curious what he advice he will have. I know my DH will want to check-out the show about Pat LaFrieda. We do enjoy Chopped so the Grill Masters will be some nice light Summer fare . I really wish Anne Burrell would have just won Next ICA so she doesn't have to do a show that sounds EXACTLY like another show. Although, she probably would anyway. I have a thing for gadgets and inventions (I mean I even watched that show with the infomercial guys), so I have to admit I will see what the Invention show is about.

                        The thing I don't get about FN is why they use the same people over and over. I understand that these seem to be fan favorites, but aren't there other celebrity chef type wannabees out there???? I guess it comes down to attracting advertisers?

                      2. re: Justpaula

                        Learn something new every day. Thanks!

                    2. Missing:

                      Ina Garten
                      Giada DeLaurentis
                      The Neeleys
                      and...Rachael? wow.

                      I also thought that Mexican Made Easy was returning to FN.

                      But my eyes are not too good right now, maybe I am missing them. Or perhaps they are just not announced.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: nikkihwood

                        My guess is that the press release was just about NEW shows on the networks.

                      2. worst part:

                        all these stupid ideas for shows, and yet no evidence of a new alton brown show.

                        16 Replies
                        1. re: mattstolz

                          That is rather curious. Surely he can't be satisfied with his ICA hosting duties. But I can't imagine if he wanted to do another show that they wouldn't find a place for him. I'd be happy with more Good Eats.

                          1. re: Justpaula

                            more good eats would be IDEAL. but if they can keep finding spots for roger mooking, sandra lee, mo rocca, nadia g, alex g. and the ENTIRE. DEEN. FAMILY. (as well as about 50 shows for bobby flay... which at least i dont mind those) then they should at least be able to find something (thats not feasting on asphalt) for alton. makes me sad.

                            1. re: mattstolz

                              AB is really a curious star on FN. He's been on FN for a long time, is well respected and well liked and popular too it seems. Yet, he has really only done one show, which is unlike all the other popular stars, who have double digit number of shows in the same time frame. His flagship was Good Eats, and there is not much else. I don't think of him as the star on either ICA or The Next ICA. I like his roles, but those are not HIS shows. I know he did the feasting series but that was a couple of shows at best. It counts, but it's nothing like Guy taking off for example.

                              If he is not doing more on FN, I would think its because he is not wanting to do more and doing something else that might be important to him outside FN. I know he has a kid, but I don't know the age. I get a sense that when he burst on the scene in the late 90's, he was cutting his teeth and making his name. Well, that's all done now. I'm sure he is financially set, and secure in his career so that he can evaluate his next moves more carefully. Just my take.

                              1. re: Rocky Road

                                I agree with everything you said. I was thinking about it too and thought that he is a food nerd, not a chef - and I love him for it. So, he is well suited to his role on ICA, feeding the viewers information about what they are seeing in action. Good Eats was awesome, and perfect for him and clearly a passion, but I bet he feels a little BTDT and doesn't want to do it again - and really, he covered just about EVERYTHING already. I actually enjoyed the first season of Feasting on Asphalt, but didn't stick with the second. So, as a food nerd/not-chef what else could he do? He *could* do any number of the programs listed above, but I would like to think that AB might see some of those ideas as below his standards. Perhaps there is a limit to what he could do on FN and that is why we haven't seen more of him on the network. Because lord knows FN will milk any of its stars for three or more series each per year.

                                So, yeah, I agree that mostly it is because he doesn't want to do it. It is a shame. As a food lover and nerd of various sorts, myself, I appreciate him and look forward to seeing something else from him in the future.

                                ETA - I think it would be neat if he were involved with that invention hunting show. He is a gadget guy and I would be interested to see his take on things.

                                1. re: Justpaula

                                  haha i have a feeling that it would destroy AB doing the invention hunting show. i am imagining so many unitaskers.

                                  i dont actually want him to do a new show. i just want more Good Eats! its my favorite show ever. I dont even care if he just revisits old things with updates. just love watching the show

                                  1. re: Justpaula

                                    He's written quite a few books, so he must really enjoy that part. I don't own any so I don't know if they are any good but I would suspect they are. He's done about 10 books in 10 years. Maybe that's his thing.

                                    His own website has the following quote on the home page: "There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction" - Winston Churchill

                                    I think he worked behind the sceens in TV prior to to his breakout. It will be interesting to see what he does. It could be nothing, he could be settling in to enjoy his sucess. I know I would.

                                    1. re: Rocky Road

                                      just saw a preview for the next NFNS and it looks like he's one of the judges for that. i always like when he gets to sit at the judges table on ICA and Next ICA

                                      1. re: Rocky Road

                                        Celebrity chefs frequently have ghost writers. For instance, there is no way Ravhel Ray actually came up with recipes for all of her cookbooks all by herself.

                                        1. re: John E.

                                          What's the relevance of ghost writing to this subthread on Alton? Aren't all of his books based on his shows? The one volume that I have is clearly a print edition of some his GO episodes. Of course his shows are a group effort, though clearly he's the head honcho.

                                          1. re: paulj

                                            I was responding to the "10 books in 10 years" point. I did not say AB had a ghostwriter but I did recently read a story about how a lot of 'celebrity chefs' use ghostwriters. I did not even actually speculate that AB had a ghost writer, I simply wrote a post that may or may not have a connection. It happens all the time on these threads.


                                        2. re: Rocky Road

                                          Alton is reported to have said that the books and speaking engagements make up for money lost in producing Good Eats. Good Eats is his own production, not FN's (though FN may have all the distribution rights).

                                          When he announced the end of Good Eats he mentioned a couple of hour long specials (the dark chocolate episode may have been the last of those), and that he have various other projects in the works.

                                          In addition to Good Eats he did several travel series, on motorcycle and sailboat.

                                          While fans keep demanding more shows just like their favorites, the producers and stars of the shows do run out of ideas and steam. Maybe we should start a thread giving Alton new ideas for GE, both the key ingredient, and story line. Dirty Jobs kept asking views for ideas; Mythbusters also depends on ideas from viewers.

                                    2. re: mattstolz

                                      i thought that tnfns was alton's new project, and he seems to want to move away from food tv "host" role toward food tv "judge" role, if that makes any sense.

                                      the incredibly annoying mo rocca seems to be trying to become the next alton/food show host-man.

                                      but the other folks on your list actually cook (w the exception of s. lee) rather than host/comment. some of them are really talented and some of them suck, but i don't really get why you've lumped them together as you have. do you just not like any of them? or are you saying they are generally unpopular?

                                      1. re: soupkitten

                                        i dont know how mo rocca could justify taking altons spot ever, considering the entire basis of My Grandma's Ravioli is "Im a foodie but i dont know how to cook." i really wish he'd stop getting shows. it was just enough of him when he was an infrequent ICA judge.

                                        I lumped all those together because they are all shows i really cant stand watching. mooking and alex g i actually think are very talented chefs, however, mooking's "obedient ingredient" and the "im trying really hard to be kinda steamy and sultry" persona that alex g takes on just dont work for me.

                                        1. re: mattstolz

                                          okay, i am actually quite close to calling myself a r. mooking fan, but imma let you slide, because i agree w you that any/all materials produced by mo rocca should be banished from the earth, and be returned and henceforth consigned to the sixth circle of hipster hell from whence they came. jeepers creepers that guy is irritating.

                                          1. re: soupkitten

                                            another mooking show i could definitely live with before another mo rocca show.

                                            1. re: mattstolz

                                              I find Mo Rocca annoying enough to change the channel, but then again there are several others that also fall into that category such as Bitchin' Kitchen, Sandra Lee, Ted Allen, and anything to do with cupcakes.

                                2. Thanks for posting. $24 in 24 is $40 a Day without seating dining.

                                  1. am I the only one who can't tolerate bitchin kitchen? Between the host's jerky movements and the quick camera cuts I find myself getting a headache. However, I did make her mushroom risotto with gorgonzola and it was really good...mmmmm......

                                    3 Replies
                                      1. re: justme123

                                        im just confused by her accent. have i just not met enough italian-canadians to recognize it when i hear it, or is it really weird?

                                        1. It's to the point where it's just not the same FN that it used to be Have no desire to watch any of their new shows. Still watch Barefoot C and Anne Burrell and that's about it.

                                          1. So Cooking Channel is now the Food Travel Channel and Food Network is now All Day Food Fights? This trend of giving a cable channel an "identity" by homogenizing its programming is getting way too specific. Soon we'll have the Ticonderoga Pencil Collectors Channel, because you know, everyone has used a pencil so it's gotta be popular.*

                                            * © 2012 MplsM ary

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: MplsM ary

                                              What do you based that generalization on? CC line up is similar to the existing one. I don't see that many more competitions on FN daytime.

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                • Roadtrip with G. Garvin travels with Chef Gerry Garvin (aka 'G') as he takes viewers on a tour of his native South and its food specialties. Premieres May 29 at 9p.
                                                -Travel with food

                                                • The Culinary Adventures of Baron Ambrosia features Baron Ambrosia, the self-styled "Culinary Ambassador to the Bronx" as he travels beyond the Bronx to discover culinary delights in other cities. Debuts June 1 at 10p.
                                                -Travel with food

                                                • Eden Eats follows Eden Grinshpan who travels throughout America discovering the global culinary scene in each new US city within a 24-hour period. Premieres August 2012.
                                                -Travel with food

                                                • Cheap Bites is hosted by New York City chef and food writer Eddie Huang as he locates the best food deals in different Americas places. Debuts August 2012.
                                                -Travel with food

                                                • Eat the Street discovers in each city the single street where one can find restaurant after restaurant with host Chuck Hughes. Premieres September 2012.
                                                -Travel with food

                                                • Man, Fire, Food features Roger Mooking (Everyday Exotic, Heat Seekers) as he explores cooking at its most basic. Premieres September 2012.
                                                -Actual cooking

                                                • My Grandmother's Ravioli is hosted by Mo Rocca who, though he is a foodie, doesn't know how to cook. Mo will discover treasured recipes by visiting America's Grandmothers and Grandfathers.
                                                -Travel with food

                                                1. re: MplsM ary

                                                  From what I saw of the Baron's pilot show on CC, I'll be watching that. I learned how to make a Portuguese bread soup from him (plus some help from the web)

                                                  Mo's show is primarily about cooking, not travel. The pilot wasn't half bad. He may travel to people's kitchens, but it is still about them cooking (and sharing family). His Foodography is pretty informative.

                                                  Mooking is a bit silly in Heat Seekers, but his own Canadian produced show is a good instructional one.

                                                  Many of the current primetime shows on CC are travel, featuring restaurants, food trucks, and tracking down variations on various foods. In fact I can only think of one primetime studio cooking show (BK).

                                            2. That list is a whole lot of awful. I guess besides competition shows, Food Network is going all-in on "hidden cameras". The only show that I'll try out is Meat Men since I've always liked Pat LaFrieda when he has spots on other FN shows.

                                              15 Replies
                                              1. re: Bunson

                                                Yes, lots of competitions. But what would excite you? Especially in a short description?

                                                "XXX famous chef teaches you to make marvelous salads while standing on your head in the shower"?

                                                Haven't we seen all the possible permutations on instructional shows by now? Even Good Eats has run out of material.

                                                1. re: paulj

                                                  Just waiting for when there is enough demand to do a how-to show on molecular gastronomy for home cooks.

                                                  If they let me design a show, it's probably be sort of a working class version of East Meets West with Asian-influenced interpretations of dishes from the American heartland.

                                                  1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                    BTW, whatever happened to Ming? I never see him on TV any more, unless I just lost track of him. He is a chef I wouldn't mind seeing more of. Aside from his cooking and style I admit to having a little crush on him. :)

                                                    1. re: Justpaula

                                                      Simply Ming on PBS/Create is where you'll find him on your TV dial.

                                                      1. re: Justpaula

                                                        I am really hoping he shows up on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption

                                                      2. re: FoodPopulist

                                                        every once in a while, blais pops up with a special. He had a pilot on science channel, and then just last week he did "Reinventing the Meal" on cooking channel. I liked that one. Hope its not a one-time-deal cuz it was pretty good.

                                                        1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                          Most of what I know about molecular gastronomy is from TV, such as ICA.

                                                          Here's Nadia G's recipe for mojitos with 'sweet basil caviar'

                                                          But is this subject better taught via TV or via print and online text and videos?
                                                          announces an online journal of gastronomy
                                                          and another

                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                            I just propose it as TV that hasn't been seen before. I'd probably watch it even if I didn't plan on using it. Done right, it could have entertainment value for the masses and educational value for the few.

                                                          2. re: FoodPopulist

                                                            Interesting. Then FN can come out with a line at Kohl's that has fire suits, burn kits and various gas tanks.

                                                            Oh the possibilities

                                                            1. re: Manassas64

                                                              I thought Mythbusters had the corner on fire suits. :)

                                                          3. re: paulj

                                                            I'd like to see a half hour show that visits and showcases a small organic source farm. You see a lot of these places mentioned on restaurant menus and retail stores(like The Local Butcher Shop) but a lot of time it's just a name and most people probably don't go home and try to learn more about the places.

                                                            Or a show that tries to explain or de-mystify the science behind foods that are often clouded in controversy - genetically engineered crops, farm raised salmon, fois gras, pink slime, etc

                                                            Food Network and shows on other channels have been around long enough where anyone with just a little bit of interest have learned about types of food and how they're prepared from all over the world. We've had ingredients and celebrity chefs and food from other countries hammered into our heads over and over, but how many of those people really know all that much about where the food they're eating that day is coming from? I'd like to see a shift where some shows pop up that start educating people more about sustainable organic farming and being more aware about what they're eating. Granted a lot of these networks are funded by large companies that would kill these shows off before they ever start filming but I think that's an area where many people are still unaware/misinformed.

                                                            1. re: Bunson

                                                              I can think of some shows along this line:

                                                              - CreateTV (PBS) had one where the hosts worked with volunteers to organize a feast using locally (and usually organic) ingredients. The dinner often took place on the edge of someone's field. Each episode took place in a different local (Vancouver Island, Virginia mtns, Brookline, etc).

                                                              - there's cook on CC who tries to get a hands on experience in producing some item, e.g. oysters, cranberries, goat cheese.

                                                              - CreateTV also had 'chefs a field', with chefs and children going to area farms

                                                              - there was an announcement of a PBS program that was going to tackle controversial food issues. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/842352

                                                              Personally I can only take so much of these shows. They quickly become preachy. It's ok for the host to express a 'local/organic/free range is better' opinion, but after the 10th time it becomes as old as EVOO and sammies. Do you want this sort of programming because you want to learn about the issues, or because you want to spread the 'gospel' as you see it? :)

                                                              A series like Nova or Frontline may handle controversial issues better than FN. They at least have a reputation for taking hard looks, without becoming spokesmen for either some industrial group or a anti-industry group.

                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                Thanks for the info on the shows! The only PBS show I record/watch regularly is Avec Eric and my comment about wanting to see more about local/organic farms came from that show. The most interesting part of that show for me is the first half where he visits the people who provide his ingredients (I fast forward through his cooking segment). When he visited Love Apple Farms (which provides Manresa with their produce) which is practically in my backyard, and I had no idea it even existed, it was a revelation. I could watch TV like that all day and seeing more of these organic farms has inspired me to rip out the backyard lawn area and put in planter beds (in process now).

                                                                The controversial food part I agree in that these types of shows often get preachy and skewed one way or the other. I really wish there were more shows that tried to take an objective view and try to present facts on both sides of the issue where the viewer would want to learn enough to make an informed decision.

                                                                1. re: Bunson

                                                                  I forgot about Eric. His Travel Channel buddy also makes some farm visits, as does Andrew. If you want to see the dirty side of farm work, there's always Dirty Jobs.

                                                        2. The show that I wish woulda picked up more steam (and more episodes) is the Four Coursemen. Really liked the concept behind the show, and it was something that there isnt much of on either channel. Four friends source all their ingredients locally, and think of really inventive ways to prepare them. wasnt just someone standing in a kitchen, or stuffing their face with fattening food, or a challenge show. plus you could tell the four people on the show were really passionate about what they were doing!

                                                          1. A bunch of meh. Chuck should never take a day off. Now that would be a network lineup.


                                                            1. sadly, none of the new stuff interests me.