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What would you do to fix the Food Network

A recent article implies that Food Network's ratings have been on a steady decline since they got rid of Paula Deen. I'm inclined to think they were already falling but nobody had reason to report it.

Personally, I'm happy to see Deen gone, I never really liked her shows and her personality grates on my nerves. But I also dislike a lot of FN programming. The "cut throat" competition shows have had their run. Get rid of them. And I'm not looking forward to Guy's new supermarket/cooking competition show. Ugh. Bring back real cooks, not "rock star" chefs. Do these chefs really need 4 or 5 shows each? I don't think so.

Do you think there is a way to fix Food Network and bring back viewers?

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  1. I've seen reports of Scripps Interactive earnings every now and then. My memory of the last one (pre-PD flap) was that FN, while still the largest viewership, was down somewhat in the past year, while HGTV was up. But over a number of years the reality/competition emphasis that you dislike has been a winner for FN. FN is too big (viewership and advertising fees) to survive on the 'real cooks' that CH posters seem to want.

    Even on CH, there is more interest in the FN competitions than the instructional shows (there or on PBS).

    1. For me, the downhill of the Food Network was when they decided to show cooking contests constantly all day and not cooking shows. Not sure what happened.
      However I am very happy with The Cooking Channel, but i for the life of me can not understand why it is not broadcast in HD. The only thing i watch on FN now is DDD. Thank god for DDD.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Shasty

        How many episodes of DDD are there? It seems like the FN runs a DDD marathon every other day! Only so many fist-bumps, hoo-wa's, and flavor towns, a person can take!

        1. re: kpaumer

          Even worse is when his episodes go on "special trips" to "unknown flavor towns", like North Pole, AK. Really? When I think of Alaska, three things come to mind: great smoked salmon, really cold weather, and Sarah Palin.

        2. re: Shasty

          ' to show cooking contests constantly all day and not cooking shows' - you sound like a typical Prime Time viewer, projecting what you see in the evening onto the rest of the day.

          What is the show line up for this afternoon? I see instructional shows from 12-6. In fact the only competition before 6pm is a Cupcake wars at 11am.

          http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/progr...

          1. re: Shasty

            Shasty, The Cooking Channel is in HD - at least in the upstate NY Time Warner cable system.

            1. re: breadchick

              Sadly not the case here in South Jersey on Comcast...I wish it was HD here but it's not.

            2. re: Shasty

              I agree!

              I have never understood the nexus of food and competition. To me food is about nurturing and more a thing of cooperation and sharing.

              1. re: rainey

                Sadly we're in a country and culture obsessed with competition and winning.

                Hey, if people can race lawnmowers and bathtubs, why not cooking ? [sarcasm]

                1. re: rainey

                  What's the nexus of food and tv? Is tv about cooperation and sharing?

                  Once we get past Halloween, we'll start seeing Thanksgiving and Christmas specials. Shows with lots of talk about sharing with friends and family. And don't forget the secret ingredient - love!

                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/trishas-so...
                  Trisha's Thanksgiving special
                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/the-pionee...
                  Ree's

                  1. re: paulj

                    If that stuff works for you then enjoy it. Sincerely. But to me it's just mindless saccharine pap and only marginally better than the pointless competition.

                    I haven't found the FoodNetwork worth bothering with since they gave people like Sara Moulton and David Rosengarten the boot. And that's why.

                    1. re: rainey

                      I really miss those two! I learned something new every time, and neither of them seemed like they were trying to "out-cool" the viewing audience (see DDD). They were teaching and demonstrating cooking techniques and recipes with grace, patience, and good humor.

                2. re: Shasty

                  Yes, STOP all the competition shows! Iron Chef is good and a classic, but the rest are getting really old! I love Barefoot Contessa, but not sure she had produced a new show in years. And, I love DDD, but reruns aplenty! It's all reruns, which I don't even mind as much as all those stupid competition shows.

                3. It looks like they can't find exciting cooks with great show personalities who can replace people like Paula Deen. Each year, they have the competition to pick out a good cook with likeable personalities who can replace people like Giada, Paula, Rachael and Ina but the new ones can't seem to excite the audiences.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Monica

                    Isn't this what Next Food Network Star is for? Yet, it never seems to pan out.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      It's what NFNS purports to be about. I would assert that it is just a ratings driver itself. It is, after all, a competition.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9041...
                        from a discussion last June about NFNS winners and purpose of the competition.

                      2. re: Monica

                        I still have high hopes for Demaris - I think she's talented and charming.

                        What do you think?

                        1. re: Monica

                          I recently saw an interview with Alton Brown about Cutthroat Kitchen, and he basically said that competition shows are the main ratings driver for FN. I don't even see them making new cooking shows except for Ina Garten.

                          Whatever the NFNS winners do, it probably won't be cooking.

                        2. Get rid of most of the competition shows like cupcake wars ect and bring back actual cooking programming. I'd really like to see some international chefs cooking their native cuisines. They need to widen their cast of hosts. I don't want to see mostly Bobby Flay and Giada. Get rid of the required story lines, " this week I'm hosting the book club so I'm making ABC". It's fake and I don't need a reason to cook a good recipe.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: rasputina

                            I was living in the Czech Republic, and wrote many, many letters to the them telling them that a show about Eastern Europe food would be excellent. There were many expats in Prague and they would love to show the different foods from their countries, but no return email, they just don't seem to care. I hate the shows where they are rushing to make the food! Cooking is an act of love! Not a race!!!
                            I don't watch the channel anymore now that I am back in the states.

                          2. Give that guy that they force fed as if they were making human foie gras a chance at a real show. He seemed like a nice guy with more to offer then eating 100 habanero chilis in one sitting.