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What would you do to fix the Food Network

  • Jpan99 Oct 16, 2013 08:06 AM
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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.

      12 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: 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.

                      1. re: KailuaGirl

                        You talk about Sara as though she ceased to exist when she left FN.

                        http://saramoulton.com/
                        http://www.createtv.com/CreateProgram...

                        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-r...

                        1. re: paulj

                          Thanks!

                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.

                          1. re: JonParker

                            Coming at the end of the month
                            Southern At Heart
                            http://blog.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/2...

                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/southern-a...

                        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. 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.

                            1. If I were Miss FN, I would: A. Get rid of all the competitions..leaving Iron Chef to be a "Once-a-Month" or "Once-a-Seasonal" thing.
                              I would bring back Susan Fenegar and Mary Sue Milliken to host a Mexican-fusion cooking show. Two Hot Tamales was a great, great show and both women have really great personalities that lend well for a great cooking-instructional show.
                              I would also bring back "The Secret Life Of" With Jim O'Conner..another amiable and fun host of a fun "food show". He was FAR better than Guy Fieri.
                              It would be beneficial to have a dessert instructional/baking show with perhaps any well-known pastry chef.
                              A show strictly about cooking meat. All sorts of meat...Even Offal..which would be "offally" great, in my opinion.
                              I would really concentrate on FOOD and the preparation and cooking of FOOD and meals. Get rid of the competitions and cupcakes..bake REAL desserts instead.
                              I am a fan of those "Best thing I ever Ate"..shows so a few like that would be fine.
                              Also, a talk show about chefs and how they came to be successful in their careers..focusing on both old well-known chefs, celebrity chefs and up-and-comers and have them make a signature dish--with perhaps David Rosengarten as host or me as hostess.
                              Seriously. FN needs a revamping. Big Time!

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: jarona

                                "I would also bring back "The Secret Life Of" With Jim O'Conner..another amiable and fun host of a fun "food show". He was FAR better than Guy Fieri."

                                I loved that show too!

                                1. re: madeliner

                                  I'm so happy that someone else loved that show!! I could binge on those old episodes!

                                  1. re: madeliner

                                    And Unwrapped... I loved watching that!

                                    1. re: iluvcookies

                                      Apart from highlights like Ming and Mario, my memory of FN a decade ago was many repeats of Unwrapped and other how-they-manufacture-doritos shows. And Food Finds with Sandra Pinckney. With a few bam-bams thrown in to liven things up.

                                      One of the reasons Alton Brown got into producing shows like Good Eats was that he thought the production quality of cooking shows was bad.

                                      Were those old days on FN really that good, or do we have selective memories?

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        I never liked Alton Brown either- but at least several years ago they didn't "marathon" food related games shows or competitions all the time. If you didn't like Paula Deen, just wait an hour and you could watch someone else. I thought it was fun to watch all of them- and different cooking styles and approaches to meals...even if I didn't eat the same way, it was still interesting....People were cooking. I even watched Aunt Sandy with utter amazement.... and it was interesting...got a few cocktail ideas from that show :)

                                        Now FN just floods me out with purely entertainment value shows that have very little to do with actual real life cooking. Although I like a hour of "Chopped" and might get an interesting idea from it- the back to back showing of it gets tiresome and it seems to be getting more esoteric and extreme with the ingredients....and I can't recall the last time I needed to use canned haggis or even skittles in my dinner prep. All those reality hidden camera " rescue" shows are not of interest to me beyond watching one episode either.

                                  2. re: jarona

                                    I get your point and can appreciate it.

                                    But whether you like it or not, television is not about instruction. It's not even about entertainment or sports or news. Television is about selling commercial time for the highest possible price and making money for the network.

                                    And the numbers say that instruction doesn't bring in the big viewership/ad dollars.

                                    1. re: jarona

                                      Some great ideas, Jarona!

                                      A 'chef's talk show' would be a great show! Interview different chef's about how they got their start, philosophy, and then have them to a demo segment..... cool!

                                      A pastry only and a meat cooking show (not a bbq show) would both be great as well.

                                      I do think Chopped is a keeper. Tho some segments lately have left something to be desired, IMHO.

                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                        FN/CC has had biographical shows about various their personalities.

                                        CreateTV has shown 'chefs story'
                                        http://createtv.com/CreateProgram.nsf...
                                        with interview and demo. That was produced by French Culinary Institute, which currently has a radio version
                                        http://www.internationalculinarycente...

                                        Do interviews really need the video, or is audio sufficient?

                                        PBS Mind of a Chef is Tony Bourdain's approach to the same topic.

                                        The Splendid Table has had 'key 3 segments' and other short interviews with cooks and book authors.

                                    2. Are "fixing Food Network" and "bringing back viewers" compatible?

                                      The thing is, the Internet is now a much more flexible medium for cooking instruction video than a tv network. Only so many hours in the broadcast day and each hour can only be taken by one show at a time, each with a particular viewpoint. How can that compete with the Internet?

                                      FN should by now have it's own YouTube network (along the lines of Geek and Sundry or Funny or Die) and bring in as many YouTube cooking presenters as it can. Give young cooks (and others) a space to present their own new ideas to a large Internet audience, and bring the best of them up to the majors. Cooking Channel is at least branching out into YouTube comedy with the Fodder series, which is a step in the right direction.

                                      Personally I'd like to see more attention to food in terms of chemistry, economy, history, and generally deeper examinations of what we eat. Then again I never could get into Foodography, so maybe I just think I want that.

                                      1. I enjoy shows that teach culinary science and technique most. I tune out shows that turn cooking into a spectator sport or celebrity hype. I am tired of restaurant tourism. I'd welcome more on nutrition, on food sources, and on regional cooking. But, then, I don't think I am really the audience FN has in mind. I don't approach cooking with gourmet aims. I think like a family cook or a peasant cook, but I want the food to be tasty, imaginative, and nutritious, and I want a meal to draw people together to enjoy one another's company.

                                        For the likes of me, I second what is written above: "Bring back real cooks."

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Father Kitchen

                                          Agree !

                                          My two faves are Heston Blumenthal's In Search of Perfection and Alton Brown's Good Eats :-D

                                        2. Past threads
                                          2007
                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/463930
                                          "Food Entertainment Network" - Enough Already

                                          2008
                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/361681
                                          Is it me or has the Food Network lost it's appeal. ...

                                          2009
                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/601919
                                          The Food Network

                                          2011
                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/760773
                                          Food Network Ratings Down...

                                          2012
                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/874918
                                          Food Network may be for sale (Scripps Trust)

                                          1. Based on these ratings numbers for Cable shows last Sunday
                                            http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2013...

                                            what would you (as a TV exec) do to improve FOOD ratings? If you didn't watch FOOD last Sunday evening, what did you watch?

                                            FOOD had 3 shows in this list: Hallowween Wars, Cutthroat, Chopped.

                                            I watched Cutthroat, and viewed the after-show video immediately after. Those video's have increased my interest in the show considerably.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: paulj

                                              My thumb couldn't move fast enough if any one of those three shows came on as I was surfing. To me, it's simple. Cooking is not a competition.

                                              1. re: zippypinhead

                                                So where do you get your fix? Books, rented/bought dvds, online clips?

                                                1. re: paulj

                                                  Although I am not a zippy pinhead, I will answer....

                                                  I get my fix from the Internet now. YouTube, pinterest, food blogs, etc. plenty of really great ideas and techniques to learn.

                                                  I used to always have the FN on while cooking dinner or on a weekend day in the kitchen. I rarely do that anymore. I just can't take all the competition shows. Although they are entertaining for a very short period of time (maybe an hour) they don't inspire me to cook or create anything new in the kitchen.

                                                2. re: zippypinhead

                                                  I so agree, at least not "cut throat".
                                                  When I watch chopped, I can't stand any of the competitors who hoard an ingredient or piece of equipment, or try to sabotage in any way, or think "yay" when something goes horribly awry for someone else.
                                                  I simply could not take any pride in beating someone if they're not at their best, for whatever reason.
                                                  It's so cheap.

                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                    Last night I watch an aftershow video for Chopped, where the judges prepared appetizers with the same baskets. Then they all tasted each other's dishes. It was a love fest all the way around. Still it was instructive, since the cooks talked more about their technique, choices, and results.

                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                      Chopped After Hours is wonderful! The latest ep - using one of last weeks' Halloween baskets - was one of the most creative uses of all the weird ingredients that Chopped uses that I've seen. [And Alex G. ribbing Mark M. was entertaining as well.]

                                                      1. re: nikkihwood

                                                        Haven't seen any but it sounds like if they included less repetition and drama they would be able to put in more of the good content.

                                                    2. re: monavano

                                                      Yes, yes, yes. I'm a baseball fan, and when the post-season looms, there's lots of talk about what team in another division would be a desirable opponent because they're not that good. I always hold with "To be the best, you've got to beat the best."

                                                3. I've decided since the launch of Esquire TV that I don't need FN. There are new faces, new places and food stories galore happening over @ Esquire TV.

                                                  http://tv.esquire.com/shows

                                                  Craving something new, a bit fresher, take your eyes over to Esquire TV.

                                                  32 Replies
                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    I've watched a grand total of minutes of DDD. He's the poster-boy for what's wrong with FN.
                                                    I'd like to see real cooking shows like the one the dude does in Norway/Sweden/Denmark. He sets up his 'hob' outdoors in beautiful locations and cooke dishes from the region he's visiting. There are some excellent cooking shows on British/Scottish TV. Why doesn't FN buy them?
                                                    Re-run some of the 'classics' and show the younger viewers what a real cooking show is like. Who needs to watch a bleach-blond punk mouth off?

                                                    1. re: Puffin3

                                                      Yeah, Puffin3 I'm with you and now that FN has some real competition for viewership I think even their executives have to be wondering how to build a better mousetrap. The Cooking Channel started off entertaining American eyes with CAN shows we had not seen but now it's dwindling too. Thank goodness for international television!

                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                        I bet FN execs see Duck Dynasty as the real competition, not CreateTV. Even with those 'fresh' Canadian shows, CC never came close to FN in viewership.

                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                          And it's no wonder soon after CC launched the network was pumping repeats, old FN shows and filler in between the CAN shows. Attempts to create brand new spin offs didn't seem to take hold; episodes ended quickly.

                                                          I don't follow the FN stats, I'm just going by my own personal taste and op's from those around me and we're all over whatever FN has to offer.

                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                            I loved Cooking Channel when it first launched but I quickly saw all of the Jamie at Home, Nigella, and David Rocco Dolce Vita shows and then it was just reruns upon reruns of them. I think I gave up after I had already seen everything three times. I do love Extra Virgin with Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos. I still tune in for that.

                                                            1. re: Njchicaa

                                                              You know I once sat thru a mini marathon of Extra Virgin with..when I was in the hospital waiting room and while I think he's got potential to be an interesting chef show on his own, I didn't really enjoy the banter btwn them or Debbie's wardrobe changes. I wish Gabriele would set up in the Italian countryside and cook for us viewers!

                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                Gabrielle and David Rocco should hook up and do a FoodBro tour of Italy.

                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                  <Gabrielle and David Rocco should hook up and do a FoodBro tour of Italy.>

                                                                  David Rocco is a hack and a shoemaker(today we're going to boil chestnuts..really?),He's not even a cook/chef! How the hell did he get his own show??

                                                                  1. re: petek

                                                                    Nice teeth. That's all FN is looking for.

                                                                    1. re: petek

                                                                      Luck, lifestyle writer and fun personality.

                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                        "Luck, lifestyle writer and fun personality."

                                                                        "a monkey in silk is still a monkey" :D

                                                                        1. re: petek

                                                                          Maybe so, but that particular monkey plays well to the female audience (raising her hand) and I'd take a marathon of Rocco and Chuck Hughes over some of the other 'characters' on FN any day.

                                                                          As an aside, the music that is played on David's show makes me feel good, happy. So energizing for the ears, eyes, Italian soul...fits the bill for me.

                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                            Eye candy..I get it. At least Chuck Hughes knows how to cook..
                                                                            To each their own.. :)
                                                                            As an aside,I've dropped FN/CC(or whatever it's called up here in the Great White North) from my programing. Too many "wars", "battles" and fluff for me....
                                                                            I'm surprised that they don't have a duck dynasty cooking show spinoff,or is that in the works?

                                                                            1. re: petek

                                                                              That's what makes the world go round, right?
                                                                              I don't watch much FN or CC anymore. I've been watching some of the new food & beverage, food travel log type shows on Esquire TV of late. At least it's new material.

                                                                        2. re: HillJ

                                                                          Unlike Rachael Ray ......

                                                                          1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                            Not sure I follow, care to elaborate?

                                                                            Some food programs are lifestyle shows first and foremost. I believe that's what David Rocco's show was aiming to do all along.

                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                              Sorry, I was responding to your "Luck, lifestyle writer and fun personality." in reference to Rocco and how he ever got into the food/entertainment biz (asked by Petek).

                                                                              Rachael from Wiki:
                                                                              "In 1995, Ray moved to New York City.[5] One of her first jobs there was at the candy counter at Macy's, where she eventually managed the fresh foods department. She later helped open a New York City market. Moving back to upstate New York, Ray managed Mister Brown's Pub at The Sagamore, a hotel on Lake George. From there, she became a buyer at Cowan & Lobel, a gourmet market in Albany. Ray credits the concept of 30 Minute Meals to her experience working at the store, where she met people who were reluctant to cook. She taught a course in which she showed how to make meals in less than thirty minutes. With the success of her "30 Minute Meals" classes, WRGB (the local CBS TV affiliate) asked her to appear in a weekly segment on their newscasts. This, along with a public radio appearance and the publication of her first book, led to a Today show spot and her first Food Network contract in 2001 .......... To critics of her shortcut techniques, Ray responds, "I have no formal anything. I'm completely unqualified for any job I've ever had."[5] She acknowledges that she cannot bake because it requires measured ingredients, that she cannot make coffee, and that she burns bread under the broiler."

                                                                              1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                The Reach of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman describes her as someone who is quite competent in front of the camera. Apparently taping cooking episodes with her is a breeze, with fewer stops, starts, and retakes than most cooks.

                                                                                1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                  Right, wasn't RR plucked after a few programs and years that challenged her to eat well while traveling on $20.00 or so among other early gigs? Rough explanation but you get the idea. She was propelled by Oprah into another stratosphere. And like many with such luck turned their working lives into an empire.

                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                    I was browsing through a website that purportedly knows everyone's net worth. Most big name FN personalities were in the $3M to $8M range, RR was worth ten times that. And she's still working and still young!

                                                                                    All that really annoys me about her these days is that she doesn't allow herself enough credit, and it rings hollow in light of her success. It may be a way of keeping herself grounded, but as a person who myself tends to downplay compliments I can say it's not an attractive trait.

                                                                                    1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                      Hard to know why. For RR it could be her comfort zone, could be a way to avoid financial conversations with the press, could be money on paper, could be no one business but her own.

                                                                                      I don't have an issue with professionals keeping their finances to themselves. For the majority of people that level of success is unattainable. My only point is that RR is a smart cookie, has a strong posse around her. She certainly didn't get to where she is on luck alone.....and she's had her share of good luck.

                                                                    2. re: Njchicaa

                                                                      Surprisingly, I really enjoy Extra Virgin. Love the potato leek pie! Plus, I can listen to Deb Mazar's husband all day long.

                                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                                        See that's the thing it's Gabrielle that keeps things interesting.
                                                                        FoodBro Tour, not half bad, monav!

                                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                                          I have just caught on to EV and I love it! I enjoy the chemistry between D&G and the way he cooks is so true to his roots. When they go to Tuscany, Gabriele will always cook something outside on his wood fire on the ground. Looks a little hard to tend to, but he so loves it. I also like that Debi will get involved in the prep and cooking and seems to have learned a lot from her husband. I laugh when she say to G, "Kiss me, you look sexy." I so agree.

                                                                          1. re: bourbonnie

                                                                            Hopefully it was just reading all the RR above, but she has even infested the food vocabulary - as soon as I saw "EV" I wondered what happened to the "OO."

                                                                            1. re: bourbonnie

                                                                              When G is cooking on that fire outside, I can "smell" the smoke and the food looks amazing. It takes me back to my old camping days - there is nothing better than food cooked over fire.

                                                                            2. re: monavano

                                                                              I find myself oddly attracted to Extra Virgin, too. I didn't think I'd like it, but I do. I like Debi, too.

                                                                    3. re: Puffin3

                                                                      I wonder about Scandinavian TV tastes.

                                                                      http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/S...

                                                                      The most popular Norwegian shows include a 134 hr ferry ride, 18hr of swimming salmon, fire wood chopping.

                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                        New Scandinavian Cooking, which I'm assuming Puffin meant, is a good show though.

                                                                        http://www.newscancook.com/

                                                                        It should be frantic because they're always in some windy field corralling juniper berries into a mortar or whatever, but they are mellow as any Californian surfer. Those shows you mention do sound odd however.

                                                                        1. re: ennuisans

                                                                          Yes that's the show. That's what I call a 'cooking show'.

                                                                      2. re: Puffin3

                                                                        CH posters can be just as critical of 'real cooking shows' as DDD.
                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/903119

                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                          Very true. And still craving something more. But are we critical of the network's direction or the individual shows?

                                                                    4. Those of you south of the 49th parallel may not get some or all of the FN Canada shows we get:

                                                                      http://www.foodnetwork.ca/pages/show/...

                                                                      I do like Pitchin' In with Chef Lynn Crawford. The Rice episode in Season 3 is particularly entertaining:

                                                                      http://www.foodnetwork.ca/ontv/shows/...

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                        The Cooking Channel shows the Pitchin' In show occasionally, but it's maybe once a week at an early AM hour.

                                                                        Not specifically replying to you LotusRapper, but it should be noted that while Food Network is available in the US as a part of most basic cable plans, the Cooking Channel is usually a part of an upgraded package, so naturally they will have fewer viewers.

                                                                      2. Gimme "Great Chefs" thats the one that started it all for me many moons ago.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: tommg

                                                                          Love Great Chefs. I could get a lot from the brief shots of the food prep to try something similar at home but I'm not your typical home cook. Instead of searching recipes on the net I search images of dishes for inspiration

                                                                          1. re: tommg

                                                                            I have quite a few of the Great Chefs books. I should drag those out and see if the recipes have stood the test of time.

                                                                          2. Start by getting rid of anything with the word "cupcake" in it. Who cares about carving large blocks of rice krispy treats? The themed cakes look like crap most of the time.
                                                                            More shows like Anne Burrell's. She really delivers on her show's premise. I think Melissa D'Arabian delivers too, and I thought she'd be doomed, being strapped with $10 meals, but she makes it work.

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                                              More videos from Melissa

                                                                              http://www.foodnetwork.com/food-netwo...
                                                                              The Picky Eaters Project

                                                                              1. re: monavano

                                                                                Both Anne Burrell and Melissa D'Arabian's instructional shows (Secrets of Restaurant Chef and 10 Dollar Dinners) have been cancelled.

                                                                                1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                  Wow, bummer!

                                                                                  1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                    FN is still showing Secrets (just half an hour ago ET), but the last new show aired April 2012.

                                                                                    They have 9 seasons, with 10-20 episodes per season, to show as reruns.

                                                                                    Wiki lists 3 seasons, 32 episodes for $10.

                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                      Even though it debuted in 2009 according to Wiki, I wonder with rising food prices how many of those meals are still $10.

                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                        Yes by cancelled I mean they stopped taping new episodes. Same thing with D'Arabian and I suspect Sandra Lee and her Semi-Homemade meals.

                                                                                  2. Easy: Fire everyone.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                      I was going to say kill them with fire.

                                                                                    2. Beyond repair. They jumped the shark many years ago.

                                                                                      1. For one - a Chinese cooking show!

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: madeliner

                                                                                          Ming tsai?

                                                                                          1. re: madeliner

                                                                                            Martn Yan has many shows on PBS.

                                                                                            Cooking Channel has had Ching-He Huang

                                                                                            Looking a her website, I'm reminded that no one does TV shows, whether travel, instructional or competition, full time. And as they become well known, they are involved in more projects, whether it be books, speaking and demos, restaurants, etc.

                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                              There is not one on the FN though, is there? That is what this thread is about.

                                                                                              I don't get the cooking channel. PBS does not feature any cooking show programming when I am available to watch it. FN would be the only way for me to watch cooking shows on t.v.

                                                                                              1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                I DVR Ming's show on PBS. I don't get the Cooking channel, either. So, I hear ya.

                                                                                                1. re: QuakerInBoston

                                                                                                  Ming initially had a show on FN; I think it had a couple of seasons. He cooked outside for some of the episodes, sort of like New Scan Cooking. My memory is that this was the same time period as Cooks Tour (T Bourdain's first series), and Mario's Italian road trip season. But I may be just lumping those together.

                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                    I'm not sure how they coincided, but East Meets West was Ming's show on FN and I loved it. His show on PBS (Simply Ming) is just as good, if not better, and he incorporates a local chef in every episode to cook alongside him (I'm in Boston so that's probably cooler for me).

                                                                                          2. Maybe FN isn't the venue for decent cooking shows? They seem to have gone down the reality TV, dumbed down tubes the rest of cable TV largely had. History channel no longer has shows about history. TLC is mostly redneck faux reality shows. I remember when Bravo first came out as a channel they had opera....
                                                                                            I won't pay extra for Cooking Channel, we gutted our cable subscription. It was already way overpriced and we would have had to pay more just to get Cooking Channel.
                                                                                            I do like a few of the shows on PBS. Kimchi chronicles is interesting but that could be part my recent interest in more aspects of Asian food. Martha Stewart of all people has a fairly decent baking show on Create right now. They have tackled a few more complex pastries you do not normally see on cooking shows. I would love to see something that took on all the complex French pastries.

                                                                                            PBS needs to poach Alton Brown from FN. I like the more scientific approach to some aspects of food prep.

                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: blackpointyboots

                                                                                              The only reality show I liked on FN was that old show where a chef would go to a person's house and help them make dinner. I think they found random people at the grocery store and approached them. I believe that is also where FN discovered Tyler Florence (holy moly he was hot).

                                                                                              1. re: youareabunny

                                                                                                I believe that was how Gordon Elliot discover Paula Dean.

                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                  I can't even imagine that episode. "Ok yall now were gonna need to buy bout 10 sticks a butter"

                                                                                                2. re: youareabunny

                                                                                                  It was Curtis Stone's show take home chef. It was shown on tlc here in Canada. I agree that I wish there were more cooking shows, like Julia and Jacque or Jacques Torres. Please tell me that Guy Fieri has used up his 15 minutes of fame, DDD plays a dozen times a day(slight exaggeration but in any case way too often).

                                                                                                  1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                    Forgot all about Take Home Chef. Cute concept at the time but it quickly became so painfully obvious that couples that look great on camera made it to air.

                                                                                                  2. re: youareabunny

                                                                                                    http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/zan...
                                                                                                    Clip from Doorknock Dinners in 1999 with Gordon Elliot and vary young Tyler.

                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                      That's what it was! And Gloriaa, stone's show was great too. The main difference with Doorknock Dinners was it was a different chef every time.

                                                                                                      1. re: youareabunny

                                                                                                        I loved Doorknock Dinners. Especially the episode with Morimoto.

                                                                                                    2. re: youareabunny

                                                                                                      If this was Curtis Stone you were talking about , it was a good show, dont think it was in FN , more like Tlc ..,t iI case you didnt catch it , part of the appeal was that Curtis is Hot looking and sexy and the woman picked would be charmed to death to have her in the house ..Tthe boyfriend would come home and be very uncertain what this hot sexy man was doing in the kitchen despite the cameras This show was as much about the sexual atttraction of a man cooking as it was about cooking !!!!Although the recipes looked good , everyone I know watched to see Curtis smile slyly .

                                                                                                      1. re: saltylady

                                                                                                        Yup it was TLC. Episodes are still available on Netflix, I watched them all, I enjoyed that show.

                                                                                                    3. re: blackpointyboots

                                                                                                      Hopefully they'll include free razors in the contract.

                                                                                                    4. How about getting some chefs whose cooking chops I can respect on the "instructional" shows.

                                                                                                      1. Echoing a lot of the sentiments already expressed here, I'd like to see the actual cooking hosts return...like:

                                                                                                        Ming Tsai (East Meets West), Sarah Moulton (Cooking Live), and Mario Batali (Molto Mario), Tyler Florence (Food 911 and his other instructional shows).

                                                                                                        Hell, I'd take Jamie Oliver and his Naked Chef, too.

                                                                                                        I watched these shows as a teen and it really sparked my passion for cooking.

                                                                                                        The nonstop cooking contests in prime time are too much, of course.

                                                                                                        There are some quality instructors: Alton Brown, Ina Garten. Just more folks like this and less Giada and Sandra Lee, please.

                                                                                                        1. Yes, knock off the Survivor crap..Chefs dont have to run a race for their shows, they need to cook. I hate all the other stuff, bring more chefs...Love the show "The Best thing I ever ate"

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: amore1025

                                                                                                            Amen to this. Too much RACING to beat the clock! Too much competition, cooking contests and trash talk.

                                                                                                            Just compare the Food Network of today to what's shown on PBS "Create" network, if you can get it. Create TV is on analog tv (you need a converter thing on your un-hooked-to-cable tv) but I'm aware it's on some Dish Network lineups.

                                                                                                            It also has non-stop, no commercials (so no obvious or forced product placement) decorating and painting and travel shows, but their best are good old fashioned cooking shows. Pepin, Bastianich, America's Test Kitchen, that barbeque guy, Pati's Mexican cooking, and many more. No clock to beat or trash talk. Just cooking and explaining.

                                                                                                            We're not all teenagers in need of wild camera action and explosions.

                                                                                                            1. re: juliasqueezer

                                                                                                              You can get Create Tv in Ny on channel 133. Cooking shows are late at night.. You can also see them on regular PBS channels at various times during the week...that's Channel 13 in NY.

                                                                                                              1. re: lenorel57

                                                                                                                Thanks. Good news for New Yorkers!

                                                                                                                Sadly, not everyone lives in New York City. I know. Shocker.

                                                                                                                Off topic completely, but ... Ever watch Morning Joe? They appear to have no idea that they're on a national program. Even the weather guy gives the forecast for the East Coast, then waves his hand absently over the rest of the country and gives us a generalized "there will be weather over there, too" . It's a hoot.

                                                                                                                1. re: juliasqueezer

                                                                                                                  The weather guy sounds like a graduated of The Weather Channel, which goes through the eastern seaboard county by county, but waves over at everything from Texas west and allows as how it'll be roughly the same as it was there yesterday.

                                                                                                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                    Seriously? I know this is way off-topic, but I had no idea that what I watched on the Weather Channel was the exact same thing that viewers in the mid-west and west coast saw. I assumed, silly of me now, that there were "versions" of the channel for different areas of the country. They do seem to focus on our weather here on the east coast.

                                                                                                                    I watch Morning Joe, and have to agree with that assessment as well.

                                                                                                                    Back to food -- Create seems to run the same Cook's Country, Lidia, and Cooks Illustrated shows over and over again. At least with Cooks Illustrated there are so many seasons to pick from, and they aren't showing them. I wish they would move on to other seasons.

                                                                                                          2. It's beyond repair.Remember when MTV had music,and videos. FN is following the same formula. Slowly phase out cooking and replace it with drama.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: emglow101

                                                                                                              People watch music videos on YouTube now. Beats Carson Daly...

                                                                                                            2. The shows are just lazily produced. They keep regurgitating the same "cooking tips" over and over and over again. How many freaking times are they going to go into the whole speech about chopping jalapenos and how the seeds are the hottest part?

                                                                                                              The TV "chefs" are too consumed with talking about themselves than going into any useful details about cooking. They're also obnoxiously obsessed with pushing their stupid trademark phrases or mannerisms on us again and again. I cringe every time I hear Anne Burell yell like a grizzly bear "biiigg meeeaattty!!! raaarrrrr!!!". Why does Racheal Ray act like the viewers are talking to her during her show? It takes just as long to say "EeeVeeOhhOhh" than just saying Olive Oil, it's not cute it's annoying.

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Atomic76

                                                                                                                Though I agree about Anne's "big meat" I think she is a terrific cook and one of the best on FN. She no longer has a cooking instructional show and maybe that's because she clearly was not good at the required "small talk" and family stories. I'd rather see good cooking. Watching Rachel Ray is like listening to nails on a chalk board!

                                                                                                                1. re: Atomic76

                                                                                                                  You hit one of the big problems for instructional shows - what does your audience know?

                                                                                                                  Is this the first time they've seen you, or any TV cook, cut a jalapeno? Have they seen the previous 10 episodes of your series, or is the first time they've tuned in to you? Is the first showing of this episode, or it's 10th repeat? Are they novices, or know-it-alls who shout back at you 'no the heat is in the ribs'.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Atomic76

                                                                                                                    EVOO is approximately half the syllables of extra virgin olive oil.

                                                                                                                  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10...
                                                                                                                    Food Network 20th Anniversary: How The Channel Changed TV

                                                                                                                    "Two decades on, the Food Network has morphed beyond a television station that teaches us how to cook .... It has become a lifestyle, a marketing behemoth turning chefs — and home cooks — into household names even, if not especially, with people who never cook."

                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                      Three words says it all: " a marketing behemoth"

                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                        Personally, I prefer food to money.

                                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                          Good food, not contests. Unfortunately, the shareholders don't agree with us, MGZ.

                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            Shareholders suck, Sweetheart. Life's about living, not looting.*

                                                                                                                            *There's that f*ckin' alliteration button again.

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

                                                                                                                      No. The causal "foodie" trend is heading toward the trash heap of pop culture history to rest alongside "The OC", the Hilton Sisters, former American Idol "runners up", and, hopefully soon, reality television shows about teenage girls who use their fertility for fame. I so honestly feel that the day is coming, where some douche at the table next to me in a restaurant doesn't feel it necessary to photograph his food while his soulless wife occasionally takes breaks from twitter to announce loudly, "It's to die for!!!!", that I can taste it.

                                                                                                                      "What would you do to fix the Food Network[?]"

                                                                                                                      I'm, admittedly, what some might call "uncouth", "gritty", "dirty", even "an asshole". I shave only once or twice a week and would rather have a wound stitched than go clothes shopping. Moreover, since I am of the mindset that it ain't barbecue if you don't drink beer and chop wood while making it, that you clean your own fish, and that a martini is ultimately the product of gin, vermouth, and stirring in the gentle way one might approach a first kiss. I understand that I may not be too mainstream.

                                                                                                                      That being said, and to get back to the question, I know how to "fix the Food Network". Primarily, the feed should be replaced with a single screen, perhaps some still photo of a guy butchering a deer or shuckin' an oyster, gently "whited" of course. On that screen, there should appear two lines of type (fonts to be determined). The first should read: "Why are you still watching Basic Cable?". The second (leaded appropriately, of course), should read: "If you seek deliciousness: http://chowhound.chow.com/boards " No bullshit selling pitch. No commercials. Just that subtle truth. Two, well-set, concise lines

                                                                                                                      Oh, and finally. In order to complete the fix. Free of charge, I'll round up a couple other "bury the bones in the backyard" type 'hounds and walk all the FN "Celebrity Chefs" into the woods. They will there be told that they're either goin' home to count all the money they've made by strutting and poaching or escorted to that trash heap I mentioned earlier.

                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                        I'd love a show on meat butchery. Yeah like that would go over well with the average home cook

                                                                                                                        1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                          If that show was hosted by Daphne wearing nothin' but an apron, Scub, it would save the FN.

                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                            Too funny

                                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                              That or the Duck Dynasty idiots. The least they could do would be shoot some ducks, have their trusty dogs retrieve the ducks, then show us how to pluck and clean them prior to freezing or whatever it is you do with the extra ducks you can't cook immediately. Then cook us some ducks, dammit!

                                                                                                                              1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                in the mean time you can watch a half dozen 'how to pluck a duck' videos online.

                                                                                                                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2OY58...

                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                  We don't have ducks to hunt in Hawaii, but my cousins in Minnesota fish and hunt for almost everything. I always love going into their freezers when I visit. I eat more walleye, venison and duck than the rest of the family combined, and savor every mouthful!

                                                                                                                                  Oh, and I did help dress deer that my parents killed when hunting - we lived in Colorado at the time. It was kind of gruesome at first, but they told us they'd grown up on food they'd hunted and wouldn't have survived if they hadn't had access to those natural resources. We even tanned the skins and made moccasins out of them.

                                                                                                                            2. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                              I'd love that too. But yeah, a lot of people would freak out about it. I watch the show Alaska: The Last Frontier and they do show some butchery stuff that the family does out in the wilderness, I'm sure it freaks a lot of people out though. I just find it interesting.

                                                                                                                          2. Your question assumes that the Food Network is broken. Now, personally, I hate what has happened to the Food Network, but if your goal is high ratings, the shift to competition shows and food travelogues (Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, for example), has been nothing but good for the network.

                                                                                                                            It is hard to see the Food Network abandoning its approach, as long as ratings are high, and they are.

                                                                                                                            If by "fixing the network," you mean improving the quality of the shows, I'd go back to what network execs refer to disdainfully as "dump and stir" shows that actually show you how to cook.

                                                                                                                            I would also have the Food Network offer more advanced cooking shows, the sorts of shows that Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck, and Anne Burrell presented at one time. Not every show has to be for beginners or novices.

                                                                                                                            The Cooking Channel was an attempt to give people who wanted to cook a "dump and stir" refuge and it still is to some extent, but I notice that the game shows and travelogues are creeping into the Cooking Channel's programming, as well. When the Cooking Channel was first launched, they said that they were not going to do that.

                                                                                                                            I'll keep watching both channels, just not as much as I used to. I will seek out the "dump and stir" shows. It is a shame, however, that they do not even rerun the Batali shows anymore. (Sigh)

                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: gfr1111

                                                                                                                              Molto Mario is on Cooking Channel on Monday mornings at 8am Eastern. (Since I am west coast that is 5am.)

                                                                                                                              Perhaps you have a DVR?

                                                                                                                              1. re: pamf

                                                                                                                                Cooking Channel, in their Fall Upfront presentation to television critics, made it very clear that they are following 'Mama' and moving away from dump and stir shows. At least one 'original' CC host who had a D&S show will be featured in a "Rescue Me'-type show between now and the end of the year.

                                                                                                                                It's kind of sad. I like D&S. You learn something every once in a while.

                                                                                                                                1. re: nikkihwood

                                                                                                                                  Most dump and stir shows are too slow paced for me (and my skill level). I'm more likely to get an idea from a travel show (or sometimes competitions), and look to the web (or books) for details.

                                                                                                                                  For example I learned about an Italian tomato potato sauce from a CC Unique Eats episode
                                                                                                                                  http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/shows...

                                                                                                                                  found a recipe for it on Sara Moulton
                                                                                                                                  http://saramoulton.com/2013/01/sals-o...
                                                                                                                                  and then did some trouble shooting based on ATK memories and CH discussions.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                    Have you 'Youtubed' Keith Floyd/Two fat Ladies/the Scandia dude/ etc etc? There are dozens of wonderful 'cooking shows' that go FAR beyond the likes of RR and Co.
                                                                                                                                    You may be looking in the 'Bay Basement' and thinking "that's the best on offer". Wrong my friend.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                      I've seen all the 2FL episodes - multiple times. Even read about their lives (and death). The shows are interesting, but I don't recall getting any recipes from them.

                                                                                                                                      I've also seen Floyd here and there, but haven't looked him up intentionally.

                                                                                                                                      As for New Scan, I prefer to watch the dudeses. :) I also like the scenery.

                                                                                                                                      Supersizers Go is the most informative cooking show that I've seen in a long time, but that's not dump-n-stir.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: nikkihwood

                                                                                                                                    "Ching’s Menu Makeover
                                                                                                                                    Series Premiere: October 2013
                                                                                                                                    Changing the face of Chinese food in America one menu at a time, Ching He-Huang travels across the country to help struggling restaurants update and revitalize their menus and make over their run-of-the-mill establishments. Produced by Lion TV for Cooking Channel
                                                                                                                                    "
                                                                                                                                    http://www.deadline.com/2013/04/trave...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                      That sounds wonderful! Except I don't have that channel :(. I don't think...?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                        i liked her Easy Chinese. she travelogue visits restaurants and chinatowns, and then she cooks. yes, she knows how to cook.
                                                                                                                                        i think her show is now called restaurant takeover or something like that.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: pamf

                                                                                                                                      Thanks, Pamf:

                                                                                                                                      It is ailing (thank you, Verizon), but I will attempt it. I had no idea . . . This is very helpful and I am very grateful.

                                                                                                                                  3. Iron Chef America - Zombie special

                                                                                                                                    Secret ingredient - brains. The curveball - zombies more interested in the live brains than the cooked ones ...

                                                                                                                                    The only thing on Discovery Channel worth watching this week was the Mythbusters Zombie special. FN has atleast stuck with food themes, even if competitions have replaced many of the dump-n-stir shows. The names of Discovery, History and Learning have no connection with the current offerings.

                                                                                                                                    1. I wish they would stop it with the "food porn" crap, and quit conflating food with sex so much. I really don't need to see all the TV "chefs" giving me the big O-face every time they are tasting something.

                                                                                                                                      If I am cooking for some friends or family, I'm not trying to get fresh with them and stage an orgy.

                                                                                                                                      Similarly there were some articles bashing the "study" that showed Oreos were supposedly as addictive as crack in lab mice. Have you ever seen someone kick a crack/cocaine habit with a bag of Oreos? It also trivializes actual drug addiction which is far more crippling and serious than someones craving for a "cronut" or something similar.

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Atomic76

                                                                                                                                        Whenever I see an ad for DDD this thought comes to mind: "If that dude isn't a 'Beamer' I'll eat my 318i".

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                          What..... Ugh I can't stand that guy.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Atomic76

                                                                                                                                          I noticed on Cuthroat Kitchen last night that the cooks prepare two plates. The judge samples from one. I'm guessing that the other is used for the 'beauty shots'. The glimpses are brief, but the beauty plate appears to be cleaner and more attractively arranged (e.g. bacon strips laid out in a neat X). I suspect a food stylist got their hands on that plate before the cameraman.

                                                                                                                                          I've also read that the first platting for Iron Chef America is used for 'beauty shots'.

                                                                                                                                          We may fault the hosts and executives at FN for not giving us the kinds of shows we want, but the behind the scenes production work is probably the best in the industry.

                                                                                                                                        3. Get rid of the audiences. The shows were so much better when the chefs only played to the cameras.

                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: cookandeat

                                                                                                                                            Which FN shows currently have audiences?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                              Emeril used to, but currently Iron Chef is the only one I can think of.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                Emeril "BAM ! -ing" the cameras just wouldn't be the same ;-)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                  Bobby Flay has Throwdown, plus that short-lived show where he cooked against a chef. Don't know if either show is FN or CC. (It was weird that his commercials for Brunch with Bobby had added laugh/applause tracks, as if that show was in front of an audience.)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                                    The instructional part of Throwdown does not have an audience; the competition part does.

                                                                                                                                                    The audience is generally incidental to IC or ICA.

                                                                                                                                                    Emeril stands out as the main instructional show with an audience, and that is a thing of the past.

                                                                                                                                                    Food talkshows with audiences (Chew, RR) are on other channels.

                                                                                                                                                    But if you want an instructional show with audience, I'd suggest a Harvard Food Science lecture (video).
                                                                                                                                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x53RVs...

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                      Throwdown is hardly a competition. It's designed to highlight the "not Bobby Flay" contender. When Flay does win, he is clearly embarrassed. The audience is there to eat and cheer on the local fav. Watching the cooking is incidental.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                        I love it when Flay loses !

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                                      I really liked that show where Bpbby Flay and another guy did grilling - Grillin' and Chillin' was the name, I think, The other guy wore overalls and a cap, and was into saving farms. He used charcoal (Yay!) and Flay used gas (Boo!). Personally I liked him a lot more than Bobby Flay and think he should have had his own show. What was his name? Jack?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                        That was before my time and I don't find it on YouTube, but I found the dude. Jack McDavid. How on earth did Bobby keep his trademark composure?

                                                                                                                                                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s6z_...

                                                                                                                                            2. Would never happen but the only meaningful way to change it would be to replace everyone in the production suite and all of the members of their governing board with people who actually care about the quality of food. There's no other way to ensure that they'd come up with programming that's aimed at improved understanding of food and techniques for preparing it.

                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: rainey

                                                                                                                                                Once the new staff who cared about "the quality of the food" found out what the numbers support, they would either go in a similar direction to what FN is doing now - or the network would go off the air.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                  I have a distant relative who worked on the production department of FN for a few years. At a family reunion she got a little 'tipsy' and spent a couple of hours describing some of the more outrageous things that she observed during her time there. A few made my skin crawl.
                                                                                                                                                  Let's just say I wouldn't eat anything made during the taping of a couple of the shows.
                                                                                                                                                  Only Mario and Flay and a couple of others (all males) had any say in the productions.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                    Allen Salkin's book "From Scratch: Behind the Food Network" describes some unbelievable production values during the network's early years. Including, initially, no running water in the studio[s]. It wasn't until they moved to the Chelsea Market complex that 'things' were up to par, apparently. [this is a good book, btw. Salkin really unfolds how FN got to where it is from where it was.]

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nikkihwood

                                                                                                                                                      How about starting a thread dedicated to this book? It might even stay on topic for a while, since the old timers who yearn for the second coming of David Rosengarten have already had their say on this thread.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nikkihwood

                                                                                                                                                        I agree. I just finished reading it 2 days ago.

                                                                                                                                                2. Was this the article that talked about declining ratings?
                                                                                                                                                  http://www.businessweek.com/articles/...

                                                                                                                                                  "Brad Adgate, senior vice-president at Horizon Media, says the network’s continued dip could be related to any number of factors that have nothing to do with blowback from so-called Deenosaurs. Part of it could be cyclical programming attrition, he says. Part of it could be digital encroachment."

                                                                                                                                                  Why is the other Scripps channel, HGTV improving its ratings? Do they have a different style of programming? Or are viewers just becoming more interested in renovating than in cooking?

                                                                                                                                                  1. Move everyone out...You're all fired!!! Then....
                                                                                                                                                    Napalm and 155 Howitzers. Followed by bulldozers!!
                                                                                                                                                    Start from the ground up with a clean slate and rebuild.

                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                                                                                                      "I love the smell of croissants in the morning !" ;-)

                                                                                                                                                      (sorry if some of you don't get that reference)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                                                                                                        In essence, I was kinda suggesting the same thing above (though, admitedly, and startlingly, I put it in gentler terms). You have my proxy, Uncle. Or, if you prefer, you can join me when we march those remaining pompous twits into the woods.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                                                                                                          Sounds like a little brother's idea of how to play house - bring in the toy soldiers to wipe out Barbie and Ken. :)

                                                                                                                                                        2. I'm also so very much over all of these inane cooking competition shows. Cutthroat Kitchen? Supermarket Checkout whatever? Annoying. It was unique and fascinating when Iron Chef did it, because it was new. Of course, it seems that there is only one new idea allowed on TV at a time.

                                                                                                                                                          What I would like to see are more shows on the food INDUSTRY in the US. Things along the lines of that great documentary, "Food, Inc."

                                                                                                                                                          Also, let's talk about HOW to shop for "clean" food. Let's have a show that will educate someone in a "food desert" urban area how they can improve their diet and why they should.

                                                                                                                                                          The UK has a show that made a brief appearance on the Cooking Channel, called the "Food Hospital". Let's bring THAT concept here, instead of another variation on Chopped...

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mwk

                                                                                                                                                            I like the idea of a food industry documentary or such, but look what happened at ESPN when they put their name on the NFL concussion investigation...they got their hand slapped with extreme prejudice. Since 90% of FN's sponsors are processed food companies/chain restaurants, I can't see them doing anything of significance

                                                                                                                                                          2. If the FN channel lived or died on Paula Deen may God help us all.

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                              They DO live or die on Deen. They, clearly, don't have any genuine interest in food. They're all about putting bodies in front of TVs watching commercials (many of them disguised as programming). So viewers who are not discerning are their target and Deen et al are the perfect bait.

                                                                                                                                                              The evidence of that is her stoopid kids who are incrementally less "talented" than she is but still know how to shill to people who only value their name.

                                                                                                                                                            2. FN stars comments at FN 20th party
                                                                                                                                                              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ali-ros...

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                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                Lucky GF's hair dresser didn't 'scratch GF's eyes out'. This is what happens when you mix business with pleasure.
                                                                                                                                                                Of course the joke was on the hair dresser. He thought GF's eyes were in the back of his head. Silly boy!

                                                                                                                                                              2. I used to have Food Network on as my default "background noise" TV channel, but with all of the competition shows, no more. The only FN shows I've bothered watching in the past 5 years are DDD and some of the ICAs.

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                                  It's all background noise to me. I use it as a sleep aid.

                                                                                                                                                                2. FN is now showing a '20yr history' special. They clips with almost unrecognizably young Emeil, Bobby and Tyler. It is the first time I've seen much of Brooke Johnson, the FN President.

                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                    I was disappointed in the special but can't put my finger on why. It was fun to see the early programming--I missed those years entirely--and was glad that Emeril and Sara M got to talk a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                    Could have done without revisiting the Rachel/Giada ICA. Rachel's already said she wants to forget about it and Giada was clearly uncomfortable. Show more baby Mario instead!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                      And in light of this discussion the reference to the Cooking Channel was interesting--that it was the place for actual, you know, cooking

                                                                                                                                                                      I saw Morimoto on Ming's PBS show this weekend. Ming asked him which he preferred: Iron Chef US or Japan. Morimoto laughed and said "no comment"

                                                                                                                                                                      I would have liked to have seen more of the early FN programming and people. We saw David Rosengarten for a fleeting moment, but it would have been fun to see way more of him, the two hots, even Sissy Biggars!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                                        Look how many posts are in this thread. That ought to tell Susie Et Al they have a problem........but they won't do anything about it as long as enough 'low-information' viewers are watching the ads payed for by the major processed food manufacturers. FN could be running Lassie re-runs and half the viewers wouldn't notice. "Did I just watch a dog with it's tongue hanging out pull a kid from a burning building? Or a dude with bleached hair and his sun glasses on backwards eat a three pound burger?"
                                                                                                                                                                        Vote with the 'clicker'. There are enough great on-line vids out there to satisfy any 'foodie' for years.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                                          " That ought to tell Susie Et Al they have a problem......." - they left a bunch of video watching foodies back at the 1990s station?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                            Paulj, although you have a point, that's , IMO, unfair. We're a niche community here, and in that context grousing is normal and valid. We want to learn, and while some of also want to be entertained, others do not. And I don't think there is anything wrong with folk who mourn the 'good old days.' The good old days were pretty fun on FN.

                                                                                                                                                                            However, Scripps and Ms.Johnson, etal, have done huge amounts of research - she even pointed out during the anniversary show that 'our' viewers [i.e.those who watch FN and CC] want to be entertained in the evening. They don't want to 'learn.' That's telling. The Cooking Channel team announced at their fall 2013 upfronts that they intended to move away from instructional programming, and it already shows with their fall schedule.

                                                                                                                                                                            I just wish at FN it wasn't all Tater Tot, most of the time. I realize he's a huge bonus for the network, but........

                                                                                                                                                                            Personally. I loved the FN 'middle period,' with TH Tamales and many of the other half hour instructional shows. I was very sad when Alton at 8PM and Unwrapped at 9PM went away.

                                                                                                                                                                            I like Chopped. I like ICA. I like Cutthroat Kitchen, although it sort of icked me out at first. I do not like the 'reality' programming. I miss the FN Challenge shows;, especially the On The Road episodes. However, as much as I respect Chef Keegan Gerhard [yeah, I had to look it up], I did not enjoy the pastry/cake/sugar wreck Challenge turned into.

                                                                                                                                                                            The anniversary show was a little disappointing. I wish they had done two hours, to honor some of the other legacy shows.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nikkihwood

                                                                                                                                                                              "Tater Tot"??? Is that Guy Fieri? LOL

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                OOPS

                                                                                                                                                                                That's how the TV Without Pity folks, who nickname everyone, brand him.
                                                                                                                                                                                .
                                                                                                                                                                                [Two other FN people who are often skewered there - Kermit and Medusa. Can you guess who they are?] [Although Medusa's updated her look within the last year.]

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nikkihwood

                                                                                                                                                                                  My guess would be Bob and Susie

                                                                                                                                                                    2. My TV food fix these days is along the lines of the following

                                                                                                                                                                      - PBS - Ming Tsai, Bayless, mind of the chef, japan travels etc
                                                                                                                                                                      - BBC - master chef professional UK (surprisingly good!), Ramsay adventure travel shows
                                                                                                                                                                      - Travel Channel - Bizarre foods, Bourdain
                                                                                                                                                                      - CNN - bourdain
                                                                                                                                                                      - Cooking - the cheese guy, throw down

                                                                                                                                                                      If food network starts bringing back real food shows like above or their early days, I'll start watching.

                                                                                                                                                                      Even Morimoto conceded on Ming Tsai - Iron chef America blows

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sgee

                                                                                                                                                                        Ming Tsai had Morimoto on yesterday. It was salmon cooked in sake and looked delicious! I plan on giving it a try.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. I did it! I did it! All by myself I FIXED the Food Network! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                        I cancelled my cable! I was watching tv maybe six or seven hours a week, max, and too much of that time was spent surfing looking for GOOD cooking shows at a price well over a hundred bucks a month, soooooo.... I kept my Verizon FiOS internet connection, upped my speed to 70mbs down and 35 up (best available in my area), and now I watch GREAT food programs on Netflix, Zulu, youtube, and lots of other "video libraries." Works for me! And with my new Windows8 tablet PC, I get broader and better news as well. Better options for better watching through the magical cyber world of electronics! '-)

                                                                                                                                                                        And just for the record, I find that I still like The Galloping Gourmet better when he was drunk all the time than the "diet" shows he did after he was sober.... But that's just me. And I watch a LOT more Julia than Graham Kerr, and a whole lot more of Heston Blumenthal, and Michel Roux, and shows in which excellent chefs cook excellent food instead of "Iron Chefs" making dishes in one hour that cannot be done by any other human being in less than ten hours...

                                                                                                                                                                        If there was a cable company that would let me subscribe to ONLY the channels I enjoy watching without having to pay for another tier of another 50 or 60 channels I never watch, I might still be a cable customer... But I think cable has become the "great wasteland" that standard broadcast TV used to be...

                                                                                                                                                                        Yup. I fixed the Food Network! '-)

                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                          Congrats Caroline! There is so much good stuff online these days.

                                                                                                                                                                          You might also look into Google's Chromecast. It plugs into your tv and lets you watch Internet video through your wifi. I haven't tried it yet but at $35 it's on my list.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks! '-)

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                            No, no .... Graham wasn't drunk. He was being jolly !

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                              LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                                I preferred him "jolly," too!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                                  Dear old Graham married a religious zealot/harridan.
                                                                                                                                                                                  She dragged poor old Graham around by the nose.
                                                                                                                                                                                  I knew some one who knew some one who worked in the studio where Graham's 'healthy eating' show was taped.
                                                                                                                                                                                  His description of Graham's wife I will never forget: "She was Hell On Wheels" when she dragged Graham into the studio behind her.
                                                                                                                                                                                  All dear old Graham wanted was a couple of 'belts'. It was she who invented the ludicrous 'calorie counter' poster boards.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. The way to fix it is to start over.

                                                                                                                                                                                No in reality the audience has changed. Traditionalist, baby boomers, gen X and now gen Y. If their target market is gen x or y they can't reach me. Too late

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                  Daphne in only an apron transcends generational divides.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. The reality/competition shows are sickening and boring. I’ve been saying that for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I feel bad for foodies in the US, who are stuck with Food Network US, which seems almost entirely focused on reality/competition shows.

                                                                                                                                                                                  At least here in Canada, FN Canada still plays some shows actually about food and culture. But even here, it’s pretty bad and has been for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                  These days, I find myself downloading food shows and straying to travel/lifestyle/public access channels for food content more and more, as I’m just not getting what I need from FN Canada.

                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                                    Almost 6 months later and most of the food content I watch is no longer FN Canada.

                                                                                                                                                                                    From other sources... of which there are many.

                                                                                                                                                                                    You hear that, advertisers?!!?!!

                                                                                                                                                                                    Probably not.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                                      when was the last time you bought something because you saw it advertised on TV?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                        My point is that it'd be nice for advertisers to air their ads during shows that are about food and not competing.

                                                                                                                                                                                        That way perhaps FN might shift away from competition style content.

                                                                                                                                                                                        But I'm not holding my breath on this happening. And I've discovered there's tons of great food programming out there that isn't on FN.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                                          Advertisers do air ads during instructional shows - at the cheaper daytime rates. But I haven't watched enough to note a difference in what is being advertised. Probably more Glade scent dispensers and fewer pickups and luxury sedans.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. One of the newer FN shows I like is Midwestern Table. The host would have probably never been selected to compete on NFNS, or made it far if she had. And yet, her show is very watchable, no schtick, actual cooking...

                                                                                                                                                                                    I wish they'd do more shows like that!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Agree about those idiotic cutthroat shows...Alton Brown is far worse though than Paula Deen ever was...and that fake laugh track on Beat Bobby Flay is painful as is the fake banter! And what in the HELL is that Kitchen Casino ? That show is a hot mess as is most of their line up these days

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jimvand

                                                                                                                                                                                        They don't care whether you like the shows or not, just so long as you watch them! Apparently that's what you are doing. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                          But the problem is people aren't watching them. At least, I don't.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                                            According to Zap2it 3 FN shows made the top 100 cable shows list last Sunday- Chopped, Cutthroat, PW. Casino made the list Monday.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Bring back the real chef/cooks like Sara Moulton, David Rosengarten, and some of the original FN hosts (I hesitate to say "stars"). I want to learn something, not be entertained.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                                          Those days are long gone

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                                            Do you continue to follow Sara and David on their web sites? On CreateTV? I heard David recently on The Splendid Table.

                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.splendidtable.org/story/yo...

                                                                                                                                                                                            Is it possible that they have a greater audience now (via the internet) than they did during the good old days when FN was a small niche channel?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                              Unfortunately, my cable carrier does not offer Create TV. I wish it did. I do listen to Splendid Table podcasts regularly and even hoard them up on my iPod for traveling in the car. I was really glad to hear David on the show recently as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                              They might well have a greater audience on the net. I do not know.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Ditch Bobby Flay, Scott Conant, Giada De Laurentiis, and Alex Guarnaschelli.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Bring back Mario Batali, never go back to the Alan Richman, David Rosengarten sad days of FTV. Sara Mouton was ok, but such a slow drag.... maybe she was good for midday TV for the stay at home bored people....

                                                                                                                                                                                            Bring in Chefs that cook. Bring Back Alton Brown!!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                            GOOD EATS!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                            MAYBE some amateur chefs???? Kinda like "Chef du jour" or something like it???

                                                                                                                                                                                            Chopped is OK, but let the chefs shine without the contest crap.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Enough with the contests. Especially the cakes and cupcakes. Those NEVER have ANYTHING to do with taste. All about "art". Hell, I can hire a starving artist and make them work in the medium of fondant and make any shit look good, but TASTE is not what FTV wants, at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                            If so many are watching PBS and other channels for COOKING shows, why is FTV still stuck on stupid?

                                                                                                                                                                                            After all, FTV is in it for the money. There is no other motive there. Whatever sells to the masses. I wonder how they would partner with McDonalds. PERFECTLY I say!

                                                                                                                                                                                            14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't mind Bobby Flay. I think his food fills a niche - sort of indulgent bar food stuff. I do think that he needs to step back from all of the stupid formats that he's been pushed into in recent years and go back to just cooking instruction - just like the entire rest of FN.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm on the fence with Alton - I loved him and his great info at first, but the arrogance level has gotten to an extreme. Arrogance is pretty much my least favorite personality trait.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Mario could come back with my full support. HIs knowledge and delivery of it is vast and skilled.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I wonder if FN has it in them to find some new blood who can demonstrate great techniques and recipes without all of the moronic bells and whistles and competitions.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Hate Giada. She is sloppy and is too much of a grinner/boob pusher.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                I can't stand Alton's act. And the only recipe of his I've made was bland like hospital food. His others don't appeal to me, for the most part.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The arrogance came from FTV. They pretty much told him. They molded him. They ditched his awesome show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like DDD. It ain't Guy. It's the idea. Show what local places are Really making. The only downfall is that DDD focuses on a single star dish or two. The rest of the menu??? Many who've been to more than a location or two agree. Not what is shown on TV.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've only tried three locations that have been on DDD. One has great ice cream. One has whatever burgers. And one just sucks all around.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe some more shows doing similar things? Let's see the non - celebrity chef do their thing on TV!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do like DDD. Guy, who I am kind of indifferent towards, gets the job done. I like seeing real people figuring out how to put out real food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Alton does not strike me as passionate about food - he seems to be a person who chose a media topic to learn about and become successful in. He gets basic things wrong sometimes, and I like to be there to shout at him about it, just because he's so arrogant (although I see his shows less and less often these days).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I never watch FN any more, and I used to have a lot of their shows on my TiVo schedule. I always record Ina Garten's new shows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                        They put the good guys on chopped. They make them suffer with mystery stuff that doesn't pair together in a time constraint that is absurd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Let's see what's going on in their kitchens. I'm hungry for food. Not shenanigans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you. It has now been said out loud (we've all been thinking it): There is NOT enough time on Chopped for anything of value to be produced. It's ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                            There was a show I once glanced at and never saw again on PBS that was a contest but the chefs / cooks had hours to prep and I think started the day before. Kinda like a professional kitchen would work.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Truth, not 20 minutes for making a demi glaze veal reduction gastrique paired with raspberries and cheerios.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Give these chefs some time and edit in the cutting room.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wow, you reminded me of a PBS documentary that I happened upon late late late one night - it was about the huge annual baguette-baking contest in France (I'm too lazy to look up the name of the event and it escapes me right now).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It was probably long and boring to some, but for me it was absolutely fascinating and I would watch other programs like it regularly if they were available.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Too many foodies... not enough Chowhounds. ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                <Truth, not 20 minutes for making a demi glaze veal reduction gastrique paired with raspberries and cheerios>.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Best! :D

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Brunch w/Bobby on Cooking Channel is great. But Bobby is in too many competition shows on FN, and they're so repetitive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have to think FN has hit the saturation point of competition/wars shows and that's what the viewers are reacting to. New show same crap, and rerun ad infinitum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                        On ICA, isn't presentation as important as taste?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm not much of a cake person, baking or decorating. But my father was a skilled decorator and made a number of wedding cakes (including our own). So I respect cake artists.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        TV is a visual medium. As such it is easier to highlight the visual, presentation aspects of cooking and baking, than to present the taste. In fact, posters often object to attempts by cooks and tasters to highlight the taste, talking about excessive 'UMMMs', mouth open, orgasimic expressions, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        For all the complaints, I suspect FN has some of the best food stylists (and camera operators) in the business. I think a stylist is involved even on Cutthroat Kitchen. Often contestants appear to prepare 2 plates, one of which gets doctored up by a stylist to the camera closeup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://eater.com/archives/2012/05/04/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I sent a link to this thread to FN. They will ignore it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I think the FN is trying to walk a fine line between reality tv and glamorizing the field of cooking. But for the most part it's not working for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Gotta say again: I DON'T CARE ABOUT THIS "PERSONAL STORY" CRAP. Unless, of course, it happens organically during the course of getting to know a real person over the course of time while they teach us real things about cooking and baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              BAKING! Where are the baking shows?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. The only conclusion I can come to on this is that the word "fix" is only valuable if you own stock in the companies that own it. Here on CH I think we're looking for something that is incompatible with what they needs, which is advertising money that comes from having viewers. How many topics have we had here that decry how bad FN has gotten and that Cooking Channel is only somewhat better? Folks ............ I would like to think that true foodies make up enough of an audience that SOMEONE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry. iPhone are the post before I finished.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ...... that SOMEONE would be able to afford to keep a real food channel on the air.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Food Network's ratings were down by 7% in 2013. That's a lot. They must be doing SOMETHING very wrong. I am sure that what we have to say here has something to do with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What is HGTV doing right. 2013 was top year for that other Scripps network
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Viewership was particularly strong on weekends,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    with HGTV ranking as the top cable network
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    for upscale women and the number two network
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    among all adults."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Scripps 2013 annual report
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://ir.scrippsnetworksinteractive....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DIY also did well

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "At Food Network, we finished the year ranked
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    13th in cable among adult and women viewers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ... breakout hits ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cutthroat Kitchen, Guy’s Grocery Games and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Southern At Heart... stalwarts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Chopped ...."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "At Cooking Channel, we finished 2013 ranked
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    among the top ten networks in primetime for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    upscale women. Cooking Channel experienced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    double-digit audience growth and total revenue
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    for the network was up 25 percent from the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    prior year."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. If you don't like it then stop watching the channel. Best way to get your point across right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: miss_belle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think you'd find that most 'serious' CHers don't watch Food Network. They just pine for how it used to be. Even Cooking Channel isn't cutting it, though it's better. Seems like the best instructional shows are on PBS these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Sadly, The Food Network has as much to do with food as MTV now has to do with music videos.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'd axe the reality crap and bring back the food... same goes for their "game shows".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jeebie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What would "I" do? Not a fair question since I don't have any skin in the game. Scripps is not a charity, so one must assume their intent is to make a profit from the channel. That means selling ads by showing programs their intended audience wants to watch. It appears that their target has moved over the years, and they seem to be having trouble figuring out who their audience is and what they want to watch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have to conclude that they are professionals, so they should be able to figure it out. If they can't, they'll be gone. In a TV world of housewives, house flippers, celebretants, and various kinds of weird niche interest shows, who knows what will work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would have thought good, solid cooking shows would work, but I guess I was wrong. It could be that the cost of quality show hosts was too high to be supported by the ad revenue, especially as they gained fame. That'd be my guess. Not sure how you get around that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The thing is that their ratings are down with the current programming. So if infinite reruns and competition shows are not doing the job, put on MORE of the same?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We all know the definition of insanity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think we attribute omniscience and super-competence to these guys (look! numbers don't lie! we have focus groups!!) but at the end of the day, there's a bit of art to what works on TV; it's not all numbers and science.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think my point is that what real hounds might want to see on FN is not something that will be profitable on a full time basis. At least that seems to be the reality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Look at CNN. Politics aside (for any Fox-ites) they haven't been able to cut it with Ted Turner's original vision of 24/7 quality news coverage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Always aim for the lowest common denominator when trying to establish a niche?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well...... H. L. Mencken knew what he was talking about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They do that very well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't disagree, but my point is that they are already trying to program to the LCD/mass market. What they are doing is apparently not working, as ratings are dropping. So it's time to try something else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Something else? Like 'stop trying to reach the largest possible audiences (e.g. LCD) and focus on the likes of me.' :) That's sure to increase their market share - at least in my demographic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fine, go for the LCD/ratings. Not arguing that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The issue is that they have currently have a schedule full of competition shows and DDD. It is apparently not working because ratings are falling. So why is the answer to "falling ratings with competition shows": "let's add MORE competition shows"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Which is why I say: try something else, if what you are doing now doesn't work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Their ratings have gone up recently. This has been credited to Beat Bobby Flay, Guy's Grocery Games, and Cutthroat Kitchen. Pioneer Woman and Trisha's Southern Kitchen have also been credited with ratings doing better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/food-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          " The cabler noted that its median age has dropped two years, to 47, compared to first-quarter 2013."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          clearly they need to show more old clips of Julia to bring that median age back up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They haven't been doing Ted style coverage for years, though some shows stick to it better than others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I miss Mario Batali. I'd watch anything Morimoto. (except the stupid current Iron Chef with it's dumb middle of the show 'twists')
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't like competitive cooking but I'd watch Chopped if they took out the stupid ingredients and gave the ppl enough time to actually fix a meal, because I like seeing how ppl take the same ingredients and come up with completely different dishes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't need basic skills, but I think there will always be someone who does, so I'd have at least 20% of the shows for that.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I can't stand Guy Fieri, so I don't watch any of the kajillion shows he does.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd get rid of the 'sob stories' and the 'family is important' bs that is their other current theme. I'd like to see coverage of new food trends, like the current matching of what sound like bizarre combinations to me and why they work. In short - make it about food and cooking, not about stars, personalities and competitions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: joycebre

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love chopped because of the stupid indregients. I love seeing hwo the chefs work with the curve balls thrown at them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: YAYME

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like Chopped for many of the reasons stated here; how people deal with difficult ingredients is really interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I hate Chopped for the following reasons:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The silly insults/I'm going to beat this guy remarks pre- or post-recorded by the contestants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The silly tear-jerky "It's for my dad/mom/sick child" stories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The snarky, formulaic judging. They must have to pay for their remarks, because they keep recycling the same ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I still have a hard time believing that they really only have 20-30 minutes to complete their dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  EDIT: As a child I also pointed out all of the unbelievable/inconsistencies in cartoons, so some of these things might be my problems!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "I still have a hard time believing that they really only have 20-30 minutes to complete their dishes."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i agree. I think they have a headstart before the timer starts counting down. I mean, they have huge pots of water that would take 20 minutes to come to a boil! They have to have time to preheat all the ovens, broilers, pans, etc. Set pots to boil, heat the deep fryer...unless you just have all those items preheated regardless of whether or not they will use each appliance, which doesn't seem feasible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The contestants start off with a pot of boiling water and the oven preheated to 500.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: YAYME

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    they put bacon, eggs and bread in the dessert basket and then the judges complained that the dishes were too much like breakfast.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And the time they put iced cakes in every single basket ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I enjoy seeing ppl make different dishes from the same ingredients, but then give them ingredients

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: joycebre

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It is a standard criticism that doing the obvious shows a lack of creativity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For cooking competition shows, I generally prefer giving them ingredients where they can't easily pull recipes out of their back pocket and do something they've done before. I like forcing them to get creative with a product they have never used before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I would like to see the Kitchen go off the air I watched it once and that was enough. I cannot believe that Jeffery got on a show like that all that happens is the girls do is giggle. Jeffery is an Iron Chef he should act like one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ladydi9882

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Any one else notice the number of posts on this thread? LOL.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I wonder if the 'experts' at FN notice? They probably interpret 250+ posts basically all suggesting some sort of change as meaning FN is wildly popular.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Look at this Susie! Over 250+ posts about us. We must be doing something right.......right?".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Look how many people mention GF! Wow! We've really got a winner...........right?".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. It would be just cooking shows and umm Chopped. Actually it would mostly Chopped maybe some Iron Chef?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. FOR A START GET RID OF GIADA AND REE DRUMMOND AND THE INANE SO CALEED "STARS" THEY EMPLOY. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE JULIA CHILD AND HONEST TO GOODNESS CHEFS YOU COULD WATCH AND ENOY LEARNING FROM? AND JULIA WORE AN APRON!! I CANT STAND WATCHING THESE PEOPLE WHO HAVE THEIR HAIR HANGING AND THEIR JEWELRY AND CLEAVAGE AND CLOTHES IN THE FOOD THEY ARE MAKING. YUK. AND IT IS ALL SUCH A "TURN OFF THE TV!!" AND THAT MELISSA AND KELLY AND ..... THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME TO SPOUT ... AND I DONT CARE ABOUT WATCHING THEIR FAMILIES AND KIDS AND HUSBANDS. ENOUGH ALREADY OF INA'S JEFFREY AND REES RANCHER HUBBY AND ON AND ON. IF I WANTED FAMILY MOVIES I WOULDNT BE TURNING TO COOKING SHOWS.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kitchenbonappetit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What's that? I can't hear you....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          don't pay much mind, it's another one of the thousands of first time posters popping up all over the place on CH...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I speak for me and my friends, and hopefully others . . . do some throwbacks (and make it fun and educational - like - this is where we began, where we went and how far we have come (and whether or not time has made recipes better or not) - by showing old Julia Child clips, or anything a bit older. I grew up without much cable, so I watched a LOT of PBS cooking shows, and I love them. (and I haven't really don't have the opportunity to even watch TV anymore). I think that would be fun. Plus - she's a hoot to watch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: blythe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          FN> 'lowest common denominator'. Mega bucks from advertisers who want the FN viewers to buy their 'frozen everything entres'.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wonder what it feels like to turn on another FN fiasco, take the '.......... Cuisine' out of the micro wave and eat it partially heated on their lap while watching some fool with greasy hair and good teeth 'pose' for the camera while he's trying to read his 'cliff notes' on how to use the food processer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I wonder if the info posted here, about an FN ratings slide, is based on something better than the info in the Variety article posted just now. Looks like they HAVE found some things that work. Maybe not enough to fill a whole day, or win back Chowhounds, but enough for a ratings gain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm really curious as to how the audience share numbers compare between FN and Cooking Channel, especially in that critical younger demographic. CC is more for CHers I'd think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think Scripps has reported a slide in FN ratings/income for a year, maybe 2. But CH posters were complaining about FN programming even during the growth years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Scripps, like most corporations, issues periodic reports for investors (and advertisers). They are easy to find on their website. They brag about growth overseas. HGTV is doing well. CC is quite a bit smaller than FN (but seems to draw on a similar audience).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Food Network $ 218,973 up 5.5 %
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            HGTV 227,215up 10.6 %
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Travel Channel 79,741 up 4.0 %
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DIY Network 35,142 up 10.6 %
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cooking Channel 28,298 up 8.1 %
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great American Country 7,104 up 10.9 %
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Digital Businesses 23,935 up 5.9 %
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Other 3,260 (16.3)%

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't disagree except that the Vatiety article I referenced was written this week: http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/food-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm thinking CC viewers are similar in age (which obviously determines ad rates) but the tone here re FN says 'taste' levels are different. Too bad that's not enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The numbers I quoted were from their latest quarterly report, which I think was the basis for the Variety article. I was trying to set a time frame on the 'downturn' that CH threads gloat over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Still 5% for FN is short of the 10% for HGTV and DIY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              CC is not as easily (cheaply) available as FN, so it's hard to compare their ratings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. The whole channel is about personalities, and many of them are questionable at best. Why not focus on food and ingredients more? There are lots of good documentaries on food and lots of space for new ones. A tour of Michelin restaurants, the origin of spices, cooking from an antique cookbook. But no, it's always Buffy vs Chad for the Next Food Network Star.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hal2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On my PBS station (not create) I've seen one episode of the BBC miniseries, The Spice Trail.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00yy...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But there are only 3 episodes so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On CC, Mo Rocca has hosted Food(ography). CC also showed Supersizers Go (historic dining).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Come to think of it, one trend I've seen on PBS is to have one host go to different chefs around the country (Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking, America's Chefs on Tour, Bringing it Home with Laura McIntosh). Like DDD but with less Red Bull, really.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  With all the travel shows FN likes to throw at us, they could have one that hits up a high-end chef on a regular basis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am very happy with the few episodes I've seen of "Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking". A VERY good show indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Other than the awkward title I've been pretty happy with it. Unfortunately my PBS affiliate, though it is excellent in many ways, picks its cooking shows by flinging a handful of titles at the Saturday schedule like a handful of spitballs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gotta be pretty tough to see the TV screen with all of those spitballs. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've taken to using the DVR for anything to watch as some of the best are broadcast at odd hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My local cable company has once again installed a faulty DVR unit and all my recordings are now lost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I had a 'word' with them yesterday...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I would ask Kelly or Michael for advice also the Chew people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Question: If you were the CEO of a business, which FN certainly is, and you cranked out the number of 'losers' year after year that FN does, how long would your shareholders keep you in charge?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "The fish rots from the head".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How many of these shows (only a partial list) would you like to see again?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What Would Brian Boitano Make was such a brilliant concept. ::sarcasm::

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bunson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I liked that show because of enjoying BB not so much regarding the meals he made. think he's entertaining plus seems to like cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        get rid of the old cronies. how many tv show can feature the likes of EL or MB or RI etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        new faces please.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        'can' the stupid game shows.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        what is to be learned from from GGG or that new show with of all people Bill Ransic?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the repeats of very old shows? why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Actually, if memory serves, the first few years of FN were much more to the liking of CHers than where it is today. I am fairly certain that the problem for us is that the audience for what we'd like to see on FN is just not substantial enough to make a whole channel financially viable at the cost level of a widely distributed product.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My own marketing/financial mind goes toward a model that might break up the broadcast week into a range of related subject areas all geared toward the interests of the viewer most of us could identify as a Chowhound, and whatever you'd call a person interested in subjects at a similar level (substantively, intellectually, etc.). I may be describing PBS here, and that would not be a surprise as their current cooking shows are among the best available these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Midlife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          PBS doesn't put its cooking shows on during prime time in the middle of the week, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If FN were to do a programming bloc that appeals to Chowhounds, the correct time to schedule it is probably when PBS stations typically put on similar programs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Actually, I'd be more likely to watch a CH-bloc of shows on TFN during weeknigth prime time vs. Saturdays between noon and 4:00 pm, as PBS currently schedules.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Most people are more likely to watch on a weeknight prime time. It probably doesn't make sense from a financial perspective for FN to use such valuable scheduling real estate on programming that appeals more to people complaining in this thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As long as we're guessing here, I'd guess that FN has written off the idea of CH types altogether. What I was thinking of was a re-imagined channel for people who want 'better' programming. It may just be that PBS, as an entire channel, is enough to fill that niche. Sad, but could be true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: FoodPopulist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              PBS has a history of putting cooking shows on Saturday afternoons. I'm not sure when and where that practice arose. But stations aren't required to do that. I see some variation between the 2 that I get on cable (Seattle and Tacoma). Seattle often has it's own 'KCTS cooks' show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The PBS subchannel, Create, gives you around the clock access to those shows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sunday (and Saturday) morning has historically been been a prime FN time for cooking shows. Acgold has mentioned FN having high 'penetration' rates for daytime hours. But primetime advertising rates are higher, giving them a strong incentive to aim at the broader audience, even if their relative market share is lower.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It is also worth keeping mind that actual show production (and probably the seed ideas) is often done by outside production companies. Those companies produce shows for various networks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For example. Tony Bourdain's group is ZPZ. Look them up. They produced No Reservations (TC), and now the CNN equivalent. They also produce Mind of a Chef, which is showing on PBS.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You're right, but some PBS channels run cooking shows all week long. If you live near the right station, PBS is a good option.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Keep in mind that low ratings are not a sign of failure. Low profit is. If advertising revenues fall but the cost of production falls as well, a network can make more money overall. This was the reasoning when NBC took Leno to the 10/9 time slot--they lost ad revenue, but his show was cheaper to produce than scripted shows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What it all comes down to for FN--and I think I've blathered this before--is that when it comes to cooking instruction there are many times more avenues for that than were available 20 years ago. If I knew anything about cooking and wanted to teach people, I would go just about anywhere other than FN, which has become mainly a way for people to advertise their other activities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Blogs, YouTube, podcasts--that's where the education is. Food Network is a marketing snake feeding on itself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. there is always a "way" to fix anything. ok, you were not a Paula fan...no big deal...she does appeal to the southern style, I personally do not like Dimaris (my apology for the sp of her name, southern at heart) nor the sandwich king...but I love Jeff in "the kitchen". I personally grew to dislike RR...don't be angry, I think Rachel ray was great.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            they need a new approach simply bc they jumped on the reality star bus. they need to teach ppl abt the ingredients they use. they need to...show us new and innovating ideas, simply bc as home cooks or chefs, we can always use something new......"in the damn pantry"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I'd turn the channel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I think Gusto TV, while not perfect, is 100x better than FN or CC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://gustotv.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I get all the cooking shows I want ... high-quality ones ... from a local PBS channel. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get that without paying a cable company every month. Googling "tv channels without cable" might save you a bunch of money. Most TV channels are mostly garbage. The Food Network certainly fits into that category. Indoor antennas nowadays are not ugly rabbit ears. Most can be hidden easily behind a hanging picture or even on the back of the TV.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I get all the cooking shows I want ... high-quality ones ... from a local PBS channel. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get that without paying a cable company every month. Googling "tv channels without cable" might save you a bunch of money every month. Most TV channels are mostly garbage. The Food Network certainly fits into that category. Indoor antennas nowadays are not ugly rabbit ears. Most can be hidden easily behind a hanging picture or even on the back of the TV.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: emu48

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LOL Your post was so insightful you had to put it up twice? (I'm joking).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The 2nd one was just a repeat. Happens on TV all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I had a bad trackpad. The Apple geniuses have replaced it. No worries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Just as BBC America has ignored a major audience demographic so has the Food Network. I think it may be because so many in the networks making these decisions are still getting over acne. There is a vast market for the classics and yet most networks shelve them without a thought. Bring back a classic show segment and they will see the numbers climb. Doorknock Dinners, Julie Childe, Graham Kerr and the list goes on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bobbeers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, BBCA - please bring back Alan Titchmarsh and the rest of the Ground Force crew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am in agreement with you about the classic Food Network shows - please bring some of them back!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: breadchick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Their "Into The Fire" series I thought was very compelling, especially for an industry outsider like me with no insight into what goes into a restaurant. It's akin to that show NY Med.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I love shows where I actually learn something. Really loved Sara Moulton's show. Even after over 40 years of cooking, I'd still learn a new thing or two.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think it's time they turned back into a cooking channel, rather than those silly contests. They're so childish and boring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Heuchera

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You don't learn something when a contestant has 30 minutes to make dessert with kimchee, dragon fruit and turnip?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bellachefa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I do! When I tune in, I usually have mismatched pantry and if they can turn things like that into a dessert there is hope for someone like me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I don't think it is fixable. The demographics have changed and shows are driven by advertisers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. In the beginning, MTV was about music videos.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            but they soon became seduced by the general idea of just being "TV",
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and soon enough it became all game shows and 'reality' concepts and music videos are virtually gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and so it is with FOODTV.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            their calculation is that while you might tune in to watch, say, Hot Off The Grill, because you have an interest in grilling or you like Bobby Flay's cooking, you won't sit and watch the channel ALL day or night... and that's what tv is about: keeping you there watching the ads.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            so instead they give you hat the consider to be 'entertainment' that they hope keeps you from flipping channels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            personally?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like a few 'entertainment' or contest shows if they're not too dumb.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (eg, Chopped can be fun, Kitchen Casino is puerile)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            but mostly I miss the days when it was one actual restaurant CHEF after another showing and teaching something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            my recipe for 'fixing' FOODTV is more restaurant chefs, fewer amateurs, and NO travel/review shows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll learn more from WHATEVER a Flay or Bayless or Symon or Batali has to show than from watching a Fieri or Anderson or Garten make another wings recipe or scream at 'contestants'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            or to put it another way:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            a dedicated foodie audience is perhaps worth more than a larger but ultimately uninvested general 'tv' audience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: weedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Worth more to who? Not to the advertisers. Foodies ( don't you just love that word) ;), don't buy what they're selling

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I do agree with you on the learning from the "masters". This is what got me hooked so many years ago. I rarely watch FNW now except as a sleep aid. My food education continues via web forums these days. There are many that I can learn from and no commercials

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not sure that's always true. Mercedes, for example, advertises heavily on golf telecasts. Relatively small audience, but the viewers tend to be higher income. It makes little sense for them to be looking only at high audience numbers if 99% of the viewers couldn't afford a C Class.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But look who advertises on FN--mostly mass market (ULTIMATE Helper, yowza!) so they are definitely not interested in a niche audience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think Cooking Channel is supposed to be that focused FN-ish channel that would appeal to a "foodie", but it's not available as widely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Could you link to the article or state where I can find it? I would like to read it. The last thing I read was that the Food Network's ratings had risen substantially after they turned the network into a game show haven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd like to see the Food Network return to its roots and present "dump and stir" (as these shows have snidely been named by some network executives) cooking shows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also, eliminate the totally unqualified cooking show hosts, who claim no expertise in cooking, but are on the air because they are famous in other fields, such as acting, being a model, or being an Olympic star. (I would make an except for Debi Mazar who actually seems to know how to cook, probably based on her long relationship and marriage to Chef Gabriele Corcos.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Caterers are okay. Most of them seem as knowledgeable as the professional chefs--possibly because what they are teaching us is not on the professional chef level. Personal chefs are okay. People who used to work in a deli are okay. But the person on the program should have some level of culinary training.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gfr1111

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Articles like this are based on quarterly and annual reports issued by the parent corporation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Back in May I summarized numbers from the latest Scripps report
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9205...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The pattern has been that HGTV audience and earnings have been growing, FN in a modest decline from a peak about 2012. But FN is far bigger than it was 10-15 years ago, so simply reverting to the old style programming isn't not going to boost the current audience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The executives at Scripps and FN have spent their careers in media. The 'stars' usually started in the kitchen, but that isn't true for their bosses. One of the latest news releases was about the hiring of a WE TV executive as 'Vice President, Programming and Development for Food Network and Cooking Channel'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.scrippsnetworksinteractive...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Her Linkedin summary is:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "I'm a pop culture junkie with a passion for programming with mass appeal. I love spotting potential, developing shows, and working with producers to bring ideas to fruition."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That does not bode well for foodies who disdain the tastes of [the] hoi polloi.