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FN and CC announce 35 new shows for the upcoming year

http://www.deadline.com/2014/04/food-...

Some, like Kitchen Casino, have made their way on already. And of course by "new" they largely mean retooled old stuff, but there's a smidgen of international stuff coming into the mix along with the pointess celebrities.

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  1. wow that looks like a giant load of garbage.

    1 Reply
    1. Some of The Cooking Channel stuff looks interesting. I already watched an episode of Siba's Table and I enjoyed it.

      The Food Network stuff looks like a load of crap though.

      1. Korean Food Made Simple
        Series Premiere: April 19, 2014
        with Chef Judy Joo sounds promising.

        21 Replies
        1. re: paulj

          How come Asian food shows always have to "make it simple"? How difficult is it really?

          1. re: ennuisans

            IME many of the Asian dishes that I prepare are the "hours to prep/minutes to eat" deals. Peking duck, dumplings, many stir fries, etc. My non-cook friends roll their eyes when I tell them what is involved so I get the appeal of Asian made Easy for the average TV viewer.

            1. re: foodieX2

              Whereas I tend to take the simpler principles of Japanese/Chinese/Vietnamese/Thai/Korean cooking and apply them freely and often to stir fries, salads, and curries. I can definitely see the appeal for the vast majority of people who think all of Asian cooking is what you do, and have no idea how easy it is to do what I do. :)

              1. re: Wahooty

                I think that is what these shows are demonstrating. Like you many want short cuts with great results.

                If you can share a "quick" version of traditional Peking duck I would love to hear it!

                1. re: foodieX2

                  My main Chinese cookbook tends toward the beef with celery/pork with bamboo shoots kind of recipes, but it does have a couple for Peking Duck. It would be simple except for all the work one has to do (using a straw to blow air between the skin and flesh, for instance).

                  There is, if you like, a second "easier" version, which involves simmering the duck for an hour (or steaming it, said to be more traditional), drying thoroughly overnight, then deep frying it to finish.

                  It just strikes me as somehow old-fashioned to present Asian cuisine as something particularly mysterious or complicated. "French Food at Home" presents some fairly complicated recipes at times but in a comfortable way. "X Made Easy" just comes across as patronizing.

                  1. re: foodieX2

                    Some things are not intended to be quick or easy. I don't think of Peking duck as everyday food, so it has a right to be fancy. But embracing the simplicity of guiding principles is not the same thing as taking short cuts. As mentioned by paulj, maangchi is a fantastic example of someone who likes to demonstrate the basics of a cuisine to the uninitiated. Good, honest home-cooking is not generally complicated, but may require a bit of a learning curve to become acquainted with the ingredients and techniques.

                  2. re: Wahooty

                    How simple Judy Joo going to make things? She's an Iron Chef UK. She judged Next Iron Chef American.

                    One of my favorite Youtube cooking programs is Cooking With Dog.

                    For Korean, http://www.maangchi.com/

                2. re: ennuisans

                  My preference would be to simplify Korean food by tailoring recipes to fit the ingredients that are easily available at a standard Midwestern chain grocery store (not something like Whole Foods) with minimal need to visit any sort of Asian specialty grocery.

                  1. re: FoodPopulist

                    But the most basic Korean condiment, gochujang, probably can't be found in a Piggly Wiggly.

                    Nothing wrong with a trip to an Asian market.

                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      Nothing wrong at all. But when the only Asian market in town is smaller than any of the gas station mini-marts, being able to work with grocery store ingredients would be nice.

                      1. re: Cheez62

                        It's so easy to order specialty ingredients on Amazon today, though. That's where I buy most of my Indian and Asian specialty spices and ingredients.

                        1. re: sockii

                          That's a good suggestion, thanks.

                      2. re: C. Hamster

                        I found gochujang at my pretty generic Kroger-owned grocery store here in small town Colorado. It's probably not the best quality but I did find it.

                    2. re: ennuisans

                      How many people would want to watch a show called 'really difficult and complicated recipes that you're most likely never going to make at home because they take three days'? It just doesn't have the same appeal as 'X food made simple/easy'...

                      1. re: Kajikit

                        Korean 101 - install a dozen large clay jars in the back yard (or if you don't have space, buy a Samsung multizone refrigerator). Step 2, plant a field of napa cabbage and peppers ...

                        alternatively, buy
                        Korean Cooking for Everyone: Quick and Easy
                        http://www.amazon.com/Quick-Korean-Co...

                    3. re: paulj

                      http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/shows...
                      TUNE IN: Saturdays at 12:30pm ET
                      repeats Mon May5 1pm (right after FFatHome)

                      1. re: paulj

                        i keep missing this show. comcast does not have it on-demand, the cooking channel website does not have full episodes for this, and nothing on youtube. :-(

                      2. re: paulj

                        I saw an episode and thought she was knowledgeable, and not to disrespect her, very cute. I enjoyed the show and think she has potential.

                        I think they do the "made simple" thing specifically to entice people who aren't really cooks, or who think it's mysterious and hard to do. And let's not forget the ingredient-averse, there are gobs of them out there.

                          1. re: paulj

                            Just to clarify the incredibly misleading implication of the above post, she is/was the *head chef* at a Playboy club, not a bunny or model.

                            She is cute, though.

                            1. re: acgold7

                              Though I really meant for people to read beyond the headline. In her (N)ICA judging appearances she conveys too much 'authority' to qualify as 'cute'. :) She reminds me more of another Korean star, Sumi Jo (opera).

                              I watched the 2nd episode Saturday. Her instruction and camera presence was fine, but the selection of dishes didn't wow me (Korean comfort food 'my mom made').

                              I was also reminded of Kimchi Chronicles.

                      3. Alie and Georgia are fun. Korean cooking and Bobby Flay grilling have promise. Otherwise, SSDD

                        More Diners! More Competitions! Food Trucks! Sons and Daughters of Chopped!

                        And TWO shows about proper pub food.

                        As the Bible says, there is nothing new under the sun

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: coney with everything

                          I'm confused by "Food Truck Face Off". Why would you win a food truck for only one year?

                          1. re: SmartCookie

                            Because one year is better than not having a food truck at all if that is your dream? The way I take this is that if you "win" something for 1 year you do not have to pay the expenses of running it. The whole "kit & caboodle" so to speak is the prize for 1 year. I would assume that after 1 year you have to run it on your own.

                            1. re: SmartCookie

                              Because it's a pretty darned good start-up opportunity given how many food trucks/catering business etc fold in the first three to six months... if you can't make a go of it in a year, you're not going to. (and if you did, hopefully by then you've got a customer base and enough income to support the running costs...)

                          2. Gee, most of these shows are really not at all interesting. Thank god for PBS and its lineup of educational, entertaining and quality cooking shows!

                            1. Does this mean they're getting rid of some of the current crappy shows or just fewer reruns.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Berheenia

                                The prime-time competition shows have staggered release dates, so I think those will be taking turns filling some prime-time slots for one- or two-month runs. I think we might be looking at fewer re-runs of DD&D in the short term.

                                1. re: chicgail

                                  What would be a new idea that you'd watch? I've been thinking about this and it seems like we complain when shows are too "out there," and when they are "not new."

                                  This is what I'd like to see. In the "not new" vein:
                                  - Bring back Laura Calder. I've watched her 8 shows again and again.
                                  - Revamp Cooking Live with someone as genuine and knowledgeable as Sara Moulton.
                                  - Revamp the cooking only portion of 'Queer Eye' with Ted Allen teaching someone to cook for a dinner party. Actually, this could be paired with someone from HGTV (or maybe Sandra Lee? She seems decorating-obsessed and could help with cocktails) helping the host to get the house decorated and ready for a bash, too.

                                  In a newer vein:
                                  - A budgeting, shopping and cooking show. Perhaps helping someone just out of college (or newlyweds, or new parents) set up their kitchen, budget for food, how to shop and prepare meals.
                                  -Two new shows based on Ruhlman's books. 'Twenty' (with 20 shows, - one for each technique/idea in the book). And, 'Ratio.'

                                  Just my thoughts.

                                  1. re: MplsM ary

                                    "What would be a new idea that you'd watch? I've been thinking about this and it seems like we complain when shows are too "out there," and when they are "not new." "

                                    Something "new" for me would be to go back to actual instructional and educational cooking shows from people who really know how to cook and are not winners of contests. And speaking of contests, NO MORE!

                                    "Revamp Cooking Live with someone as genuine and knowledgeable as Sara Moulton."

                                    Sadly, they'll never be another Woodstock. :)
                                    That was an amazing show and Sara Moulton is wonderful. Her shows are the epitome of what a cooking show should be. All about the FOOD and NOT about her.

                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                      SInce you are such a Moulton fan, what can you tell us about her current show(s)?

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        Not sure how to take this question. Are you being serious or facetious? Sorry if I sound rude, but I honestly can't tell.

                                        If you are being serious, her most recent show was/is Sara's Weeknight Meals and airs on various PBS channels. It's a straightforward show in which she cooks 3 meals that are doable in an hour or so during a busy work week. Sometimes she has guest chefs on to cook with her. I always find I learn a new technique or fact whenever I watch her and she is one of the few chefs I can watch without cringing at how "untrained" they appear.

                                        http://saramoulton.com/shows/

                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                          If Create has Sara, does FN need a competitor?

                                          Sometimes posters write about cooks like Moulton as though they were things of the past, from the glory days of FN. I wondered whether you were a real SM fan, or just longing for the past. :)

                                          1. re: paulj

                                            I can't speak for ttoommyy, but I am a true Sara Mouton fan. I, too, have learned so much from her.

                                            1. re: paulj

                                              "I wondered whether you were a real SM fan, or just longing for the past."

                                              Why can't I be both?

                                              "If Create has Sara, does FN need a competitor?"

                                              Absolutely. It might get me to watch the network, thereby creating another viewer. That's what ratings are all about.

                                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                                At what time of the day would you watch such a show?

                                                FN and CC have instructional shows, but they show mostly during morning and afternoon hours. Evening primetime is mostly competition and travel. That's when shows like Chopped, DDD, and Cutthroat Kitchen give FN their highest ratings.

                                                1. re: paulj

                                                  The original cooking live with Sarah Moulton aired around 7ish, I believe. That would be fine.
                                                  But since I DVR just about every show I watch, it could be on at anytime. I would watch on my time.

                                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                                    For basics PBS/Create has been showing

                                                    http://www.createtv.com/CreateProgram...
                                                    Martha Stewarts Cooking School

                                                    Sara's current series is
                                                    http://www.createtv.com/CreateProgram...
                                                    Weeknight meals
                                                    tues and thur, 2x a day

                                                  2. re: paulj

                                                    >>>That's when shows like Chopped, DDD, and Cutthroat Kitchen give FN their highest ratings.<<<

                                                    Those particular shows are doing well, but actually, FN gets better overall average numbers during the day with their instructional programming (anywhere from a .8 to a 1) than in prime-time with the competition stuff (usually around a .6-.7).

                                                    When I was there our goal was .7 or .8 in prime, and while we were usually able to achieve this during 4Q, we could never sustain it year round. Recently in their advertising upfornt presentations, they bragged about getting a .6 in Prime.

                                                    PBS does about a 1 on the weekends with their cooking stuff, with many shows (ATK) going significantly higher.

                                          2. re: ttoommyy

                                            "And speaking of contests, NO MORE!"

                                            ________________________________________

                                            I totally agree!

                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                              Revamping Cooking Live would probably involve making the show not live and using social media such as Twitter to field questions for episodes that are aired later than they are taped.

                                              For me, the epitome of what a cooking show should be is to be entertaining enough for me to watch someone else make something that I would never make for myself or even eat.

                                              1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                I think that there is probably a pretty good percent of the audience that agrees with you, FP, about wanting to watch people make something that you wouldn't make at home. I agree that shows like that can be entertaining, but for me, and I'm probably in the minority given the programming trends in recent years, I primarily want to watch and learn techniques and ideas that will help to elevate my home cooking and knowledge of food. I'd much prefer a show with a highly skilled chef than a cheery home cook or another food competition (Top Chef and Top Chef Masters excepted!)

                                                1. re: bear

                                                  Others have expressed that desire. To a degree I too would like that, but I don't see how it would work.

                                                  Offering advanced cooking instruction is like offering advanced classes in college. Once the students have basics (from large lecture classes), their interests diverge. Graduate classes are small, highly specialized, and increasingly of the seminar format. Instead of the teacher preparing a lecture, the students instruct each other. Instead of being spoon fed (even advanced stuff) they learn to teach themselves, and others.

                                                  1. re: bear

                                                    I think it doesn't make sense for the channel to cater to people looking for a level of instruction above a certain point because you just don't have enough people watching who are interested in them. It might make more sense to offer products such as DVDs or online videos at an additional cost for people who want to elevate their home cooking even further.

                                              2. re: MplsM ary

                                                Does Ruhlman have any video projects in the works? Do you follow his blog?

                                                1. re: MplsM ary

                                                  "- A budgeting, shopping and cooking show. Perhaps helping someone just out of college (or newlyweds, or new parents) set up their kitchen, budget for food, how to shop and prepare meals."

                                                  I would SO watch this. If the premise was taking a single or a couple and following them over time as they learned how to budget, shop, discuss successes and failures with a real pro, how to taste and experiment with recipes, and watch them develop not into semi-celebrity chefs, but just very capable home cooks.

                                                  After all, isn't that what chow.com is built upon? Thousands of us in search of that and helping each other become better cooks? There should be a huge market for a show like that.

                                                  1. re: RelishPDX

                                                    I thought Southern at Heart episodes where built about helping someone get started
                                                    http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/sout...

                                                    Kelsey Nixon on CC also seems to have that emphasis.

                                                    To be honest, 'A budgeting, shopping and cooking show' is something I'd expect see on DVD at my public library, not on cable tv (not even daytime hours).

                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                      I like RelishPDX's take on the idea, but my thought was addressing needs of people new to cooking, or who are facing a new challenge when it comes to cooking.

                                                      Newly single-divorced-widowed
                                                      New to the US
                                                      Recently unemployed
                                                      Parents of a newborn
                                                      New Foster parents
                                                      Out on your own for the first time
                                                      Combining kitchens and eating styles for newlyweds
                                                      Setting up a Kosher kitchen
                                                      Even the drab old fast-food junkie who needs to cut costs

                                                      The idea is that there would be actual participants instead of just playing to camera. These need not be over the course of time stories (though I do like that idea), but more about how people can budget, shop for and cook healthful meals while embarking on new chapters in their lives.

                                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                                        We have a few debt shows here in Canada, "till debt do us part" and "princess" they cover all sorts of people with varying money problems. A cooking show modelled like they are would be amazing! I totally agree with all of your scenarios, and would probably become addicted to it.

                                              3. Just reading that list was boring. Only got about half way through before I deleted it. :p

                                                1. “Compete to Eat” sounds almost exactly like the format Gordon Elliott used for “Doorknock Dinners”, which introduced the world to Paula Deen in FN’s early years.

                                                  Why not just bring back “How to Boil Water” while they’re at it?

                                                  1. Joey Fatone, Bobby Flay and dozen plus competition shows. Brilliant.

                                                    1. When did cooking food become competitive ? WTF. Quit running around like idiots on these shows. Teach me something. Please. Same old crap on FN is what I see.

                                                      9 Replies
                                                      1. re: emglow101

                                                        When competitive cooking shows got better ratings.

                                                        1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                          Yep, you nailed it FP.
                                                          Friend worked in Atlanta, experienced production assistant on FNetwork shows. Gradually all shows were tracked to maximum ratings and sponsor-driven placements. 'Appeal to audience' far outweighs any utility - her analogy was to big time pro sports and 'reality' tv: eyeballs count. not much interest in food/cooking. Casual viewers want different things: celebrities, conflict, somebody to cheer for, somebody to hate. Lots of hyped drama, much of it manufactured behind the scenes by producers, as on Real World and the other crap shows. The audience for this is shallow, not much interest in cooking or food but a million miles wide and fickle. Need for new snap. Lots of audience research (proprietary) on what the watchers actually _eat_ and buy. Show runnners and producers tweak product and 'talent' to include these. A few outliers (bourdain) but he's his own brand. Bastianich, Ina etc.,
                                                          there aren't enough CHs and cooks to influence the juggernaught.

                                                          However. rumor was that 'classic' old FN shows had some appeal and might spawn a sub-channel, but PBS owns rights to Julia's stuff.

                                                          maybe we can demand an 'oldies' time slot??

                                                          1. re: kariin

                                                            Thanks for explaining why TV is so dumb now.

                                                            1. re: emglow101

                                                              Agreed. It's always been. Mass media will always defer to the common denominator.

                                                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                lowest common denominator

                                                                EDIT: codeword in our house, "LCD"

                                                        2. re: emglow101

                                                          They are giving Nadia G a travel show. She seems to be on the track towards TV personality who they put on several different shows.

                                                          1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                            A one-shot episode of this played last year sometime. I remember her interactions with the restaurant chefs being kind of uncomfortable, since butt-kissing is not her style in the way it is most of the other travel hosts. Surprised she got a full season out of it, really.

                                                            1. re: ennuisans

                                                              She was uncomfortable doing the butt-kissing or the chefs were uncomfortable because she wasn't doing it enough?

                                                              1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                                Well I wasn't sure how well I remembered things so I went and found the trailer for that episode. She's not as harsh as I remembered but there are awkward moments.

                                                                And yeah, it's a shtick,but how deep into it the guests are is hard to gauge.

                                                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiR0a...

                                                        3. i have a terrible feeling that the Korean Food Made Easy is going to made me POed.
                                                          i missed the first episode. who saw it and what did you think?
                                                          remember aarti parti? her indian cooking was totally dumbed down. that show made me mad too.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: ritabwh

                                                            2 recipes from the 1st episode are available on CC

                                                            1. re: ritabwh

                                                              I saw the 1st episode. I enjoyed it. Mostly for what it didn't have. Namely sunglasses, screaming, juvenile made up words, and not once did she say "extreme".

                                                              New food to me, it looked good. I may have to cook some of it myself.

                                                              1. re: chileheadmike

                                                                This is pretty much the only show on the list besides Proper Pub Food that I want to check out. Korean is one of the few cuisines that I love but have never dived into learning to cook at home. While it may be "dumbed down" for TV, I hope it could be a good introduction for someone like me who just wants a starting point and a chance to see some techniques in action before investing in some cookbooks.

                                                            2. Wow. Are we sure that list didn't originate at The Onion?

                                                              1. I was thinking about this thread when I swung by a Fred Meyer store here in Portland, OR early this morning. When FN first began, and Portland was still known more for being a slacker town rather than a foodie town, at least 30% of items I take for granted now to be available in mainstream stores were totally unavailable here, or difficult to source if at all.

                                                                I still remember when our state-run liquor stores initially allocated one case of Limoncello per store, with one cashier telling me that it was in direct response to customers asking for it after seeing it on FN, when I was surprised to see it on display.

                                                                Nowadays, Oregon liquor stores carry NINE different brands of Limoncello, according to http://www.oregonliquorsearch.com

                                                                While it's fashionable to knock FN and CC (I'm guilty of it myself at times when they go overboard), they've played an extremely important role in raising the profile of a wide and varied menu to Americans, for which they should be recognized and congratulated.

                                                                33 Replies
                                                                1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                  "they've played an extremely important role in raising the profile of a wide and varied menu to Americans"

                                                                  I've heard that said before, but I honestly don't agree. Most of what FN portrays is dumbed down versions of good food. People like my brother (the typical viewer) watch FN, make Tyler Florence's "Beef Wellington" for example, and think they are gourmet chef's making the real thing. And they just are not. His recipe calls for prosciutto! This is but one of 1000s of examples I can site.

                                                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                    He probably learned it from our own Caroline1:

                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8324...
                                                                    " Lay out the puff pastry, cover it with a thin layer of prosciuto or Westphalian ham, spread with a thick layer of duxelle (with cognac in it),...When we had beef Wellington at an elite hotel restaurant on the strip, the bottom crust of mine was soggy, so I shared my recipe with the captain,"

                                                                    also
                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9283...
                                                                    "Time was when Beef Wellington was my signature dish."

                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                      Guess I'm out of it, because I had never seen or had it with prosciutto before. Now I see even Gordon Ramsay makes it that way. Oh we'll. I thought it added an odd flavor when I had it; too salty.

                                                                    2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                      BUT! He's cooking. He's trying out new techniques and experimenting with food. He's making an effort to improve what he turns out of his kitchen.

                                                                      Dumbed down or not, it's gotta start somewhere. FN has undeniably been a motivating factor for millions of Americans to do something similar, and has created a market for ingredients we'd never regularly see on our grocery shelves today without them.

                                                                      1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                        But... He will not rise above the FN level. I try to get him to dine at better restaurants and try more advanced types of foods and cuisines but he won't. That's the problem. His comfort zone is that of the FN and no further. It's been like that for a few years now. The worst part? He thinks he's a "foodie." This is what the FN has created: people who cannot think for themselves. It's discouraging.

                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                          So what? He's reached his comfort zone, and that's cool. But his interest and participation has generated a market for ingredients the rest of us were having trouble sourcing easily. That's a huge benefit.

                                                                          I believe that there are three types of FN viewer. 1) the basic spectator, 2) the "I'll try it, but won't experiment on my own", and 3) those who'll take what they've learned and move on to do even better. I honestly don't see any negatives in any of the three when viewing the big picture.

                                                                          1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                            What on earth is an 'advanced type of food' or cuisine?

                                                                            There are lots of foods and dishes that I experience vicariously through FN (or CC or PBS or TC) that I would not come close to experiencing in the restaurants that I can afford. I also discover things through 'ethnic' groceries and cookbooks. And CH.

                                                                            All I know about fancy restaurant cooking and presentation comes from TV. A lot of what I know about various 'ethnic' cuisines also comes from TV (through more TC than FN - but they are both Scripps). I also learn from the competitions, though more from listening to the judging than watching the cooking.

                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                              "What on earth is an 'advanced type of food' or cuisine?"

                                                                              To be honest? I have no idea! I think I was overly tired and out of intelligent responses when I wrote that. Sorry!

                                                                            2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                              << This is what the FN has created: people who cannot think for themselves. >>

                                                                              Almost accurate.

                                                                              This is what TELEVISION and the Internet has created. And I include myself in this.

                                                                              And it's way more than food. We watch FOX or MSNBC or CNN and think we know what's happening in the world, when all we really know is what certain paid pundits think about whatever the producers tell them to think about.

                                                                              Our brains have changed. Our expectations are different. We want to be gratified in a certain way within 25 (or 50) minutes and we expect to be interrupted by ads. We read - really read (like books) - less. Television is the wallpaper in the background (or sometimes the foreground) of our lives. If it's down or off, we miss it like addicts.

                                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                                TV has always been this way. It's nothing new.

                                                                                Also, FN has had bad shows from the start. "Cooking for dogs." Need I say more.

                                                                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                  Okay, my curiosity has the best of me now. Forget 24 hours, what would you program for just *2* hours of the day, 7 days a week, that would fit your definition of what quality food television should be, and would be interesting enough to attract the advertising dollars to at least pay for itself?

                                                                                  1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                    Honey boo boo moves to Beverly Hills. Watch them argue and spill stuff while cooking. Guest appearance with Jethro. They could be sponsored by those paper towel companies..

                                                                                    1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                      For this crowd? Top Chef followed by reruns of Julia Child. On Saturdays there would be at least two shows on cookware featuring knives and cast iron. But wait... there's more! Where would we be without something to complain about? So, Rachel Ray / Sandra Lee / Paula Deen specials will be aired ad nauseum.

                                                                                      1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                        Watch PBS on any given Saturday or Sunday; that is my idea of what quality food TV should be. Shows and chefs like: Essential Pepin, Lidia's Common Sense Italian Cooking, Cook's Country, Martha Bakes, Martha Cooks, etc. These are shows hosted by accomplished people in the field giving instruction that is intelligent and informational. No theatrics, faked drama or cringe-worthy techniques by a "chef" whose only credentials are having won a contest on FN.

                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                          what do you watch when the PBS offerings are all repeats?

                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                              I watch the reruns ad infinitum. You are speaking to someone who has watched I Love Lucy all my life since I was a kid. I'm now 53. When I like a show, I stick with it. :) If I like a cooking show, I can watch the same episode many times. I just love watching the process and learn something new every time I watch.

                                                                                              The shows I like on FN are all reruns as well. Take DD & D. While I can take Guy or leave him, I like that show because I love watching the people and places he showcases. Every time I tune in to watch, it is a marathon of reruns with maybe one new show. That's TV these days.

                                                                                            2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                              Those are wonderful shows. I've seen some of the episodes numerous times, though.

                                                                                              We need NEW cooking instructors who are PBS-style.

                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                  Oh, I know. I just cited a small example.

                                                                                                2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                  Those are all sensible choices instruction-wise, but I don’t believe they’d fit the second criteria of being able to sustain themselves on an advertising-supported basis. Could someone build an entire cable network off of Pepin, Lidia and Martha all day and all night? I doubt it. If they could have, they would have by now.

                                                                                                  My exception to looking down on what FN produces is that there isn’t any one taste or any one way of cooking that will appeal to everyone. It’s like I don’t need to understand how the ignition system of my car works in order to start it up and drive. All I need to do is know where the key goes, and which direction to turn it.

                                                                                                  If someone’s only interest in food is some basics and watching people play with food, what’s the harm? As I said before, that interest has opened the market up to make ingredients available to the rest of us on a regular basis who do have a more serious interest, and that’s a good thing from where I sit.

                                                                                                  1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                    The question you put to me was for 2 hours of programming a day; not a whole day or week. If FN could program 2 hours a day of shows like I cited, it can fill the rest with crap like Guy's Supermarket Challenge (or whatever it's called) and I would not care. I could DVR the 2 hours a day I want to watch and binge watch on the weekend. The problem is that there is nothing on the channel that anyone who is very serious about cooking can watch without cringeing. For example: I turned the channel on a few hours ago and there is some nitwit woman making southern dishes in honor of the Kentucky Derby, using that insidious upspeak voice while telling us that the dish she is preparing is done in layers, so she has small bowls of prepped ingredients and is "mise en placing all over the place." THAT is cringe worthy.

                                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                      But those aren't shows which could be self-supporting even 2 hours a day. What you're asking FN to do is to partially become a charitable organization, airing high-quality/low-audience shows supported by junk. That's awfully presumptuous.

                                                                                                      If you want to see Pepin, Lidia, etc., I hope you're sending a check to your local PBS station so they'll continue there. That's how high-quality niche programming is supported in the U.S.

                                                                                                      1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                        FN had Martha in its early days. Early Ina Garten shows fit in perfectly with the kinds of shows I would like to see. Heck, even the first couple of seasons of Paula's shows were watchable. It most certainly can be done.

                                                                                                        And while you ask, yes I have supported and will continue to support PBS programming. We once spent $1000 to attend a fundraiser with Lidia for the station. We also donate about $5,000 a year to our church to help feed and educate the homeless that live in the area surrounding our parrish. Is that good enough for you? And by the way, I am a pretty accomplished adult who has made it thus far in life; I think I know how public television works and how to spend my money. Thanks.

                                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                          Sara Moulton was also on FN.

                                                                                                          And Ming, though his FN show was a bit more gimmicky. He had a portable kitchen like New Scandinavian. He was also on ICA.

                                                                                                          Bourdain was first on FN, then Travel (which later became a Scripps channel)

                                                                                                          Daisy Martinez has been on CC (I think).

                                                                                                          John Besh is a NICA loser (was that the Symon year?)

                                                                                                          Bayless has competed on ICA.

                                                                                                          1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                            I went back through all your posts in this thread to make sure before I typed this, but you really seemed to have missed my central theme, which is that because of what FN does and has done, they should be congratulated for making a wider selection of ingredients available to us all, a statement you took issue with.

                                                                                                            It's clear your mission is simply to spar with someone to get stuff off your chest about FN without one word to recognize the contribution they have made. That's okay, I'll leave it there, and continue to enjoy the fruits of what FN helped materialize on my supermarket shelves.

                                                                                                            1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                              I really don't see the contribution they have made. I tried using my brother as an example of how they have created Frakenstein-like hybrids of people who call themselves foodies mixed with those who really don't understand the basic principles of good cooking. I think shows and chefs like Julia Child and the Galloping Gourmet started the wave of a larger selection of ingredients in stores years before. I also credit the ease with which people travel to foreign countries within the past 25 or more years with this change, stirring people to look for and ask for food items they had never heard of before.
                                                                                                              I am not here to spar, I am here to debate; there is a difference. I am sorry if my posts have come off as mean spirited as they are not meant to be. I think our conversation has aired many good points on both sides of the arguement. I certainly have no ill feelings toward you.

                                                                                                          2. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                            There is plenty of corporate sponsorship for PBS shows too. Sara Moulton has stated in an interview that she has to raise a million dollars from corporate sponsors(I guess that is per season) to produce her show.

                                                                                                    2. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                      Something else just ocurred to me about FN shows. For the most part, they are carbon copies of one another. Once a show works, you get 5 more just like it. At least the PBS shows are for the most part independantly produced and each show allows its chef's real personality and skills to shine. On FN, it's as if each chef has to fit into a specific mold. They are interchangeable.
                                                                                                      Example: a few years ago, the chef Daisy Martinez had a PBS show in which she explored her Puerto Rican heritage in cooking. The woman had the skills and a winning personality. I loved that show. I even bought her cookbook and use it to this day. Unfortunately, the FN and I believe Rachel Ray's production company got their hands on her and her show on FN was horrible. Each episode had a forced "theme" with her kids, friends, etc. all playing a "part." The food was nowhere near as authentic as her recipes from the PBS show and wait for it... Daisy's cleavage was suddenly a star of the show! This example is exactly what
                                                                                                      I do not like about FN.

                                                                                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                        " Daisy's cleavage was suddenly a star of the show!" - what a shame! She used to be a 'leg model'.

                                                                                                        http://katherinedanesi.com/2013/08/14...

                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                          Wow. Interesting. Thanks, I'll have to check it out.
                                                                                                          Sorry to hear about her divorce.

                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                            If her name was not on that modeling pic, and on the video at the bottom, I would not have recognized her either time.

                                                                                          1. A comment over on the Part Unknown thread made me realize one of the main things that appears to be wrong with FN/CC; they are childish, and not in a good way.

                                                                                            From afar it seems like an icky, back-biting, silly place to work.

                                                                                            1. this is why I stopped watching FN. I'm so over the competition/reality/gimmicky format. (I will watch BBC's Professional Chef comp, where they just show ppl cooking beautiful classic & contemporary food, with a minimum of angst and egos.)

                                                                                              14 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: joycebre

                                                                                                I caught a couple minutes of Kitchen Casino, and it's about the dumbest thing ever.
                                                                                                I think Bob and Susie need to be cleaned out and FN should get a fresh new start.
                                                                                                It's becoming soulless.

                                                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                                                  There's a well-known auto exec who wrote a book a few years ago called "Car Guys vs. Bean Counters". He is a car guy, bemoaning the effect that the bean counters have on the business--see GM Ignition switches for a real life example.

                                                                                                  But you need both. If you don't have bean counters, the car guys will overdesign and overcontent a car to the point it cannot be profitable. Checks and balances, as it were.

                                                                                                  Bob and Susie are bean counters. They need a Food Guy and most definitely not Guy you-know-who :)

                                                                                                  1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                    If you want some to blame, look to their boss, Brooke Johnson. http://www.scrippsnetworksinteractive...
                                                                                                    " head of the entire food category at Scripps which includes Food Network, Cooking Channel, Foodnetwork.com, Cooking Channel TV.com, Food2.com, Recipezaar.com and Enterprises, the new business and licensing and merchandising arm of the company. She had served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Food Network since May 2003. She’s been named one of the most influential women in cable by CableFAX: the Magazine."

                                                                                                    She's the one who moved FN beyond the dump-and-stir shows. She came to FN from History Channel and A&E. So we are talking about a cable executive, not a foodie or chef.

                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                      I want dump and stir back.

                                                                                                      Not interested in "stories" and cleavage.

                                                                                                      Especially not interested in competitions. Exception: possibly Iron Chef America. It claims its own category.

                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                        I hate the silly made up stories. Take Giada for example: "my husband's polo team is coming for cocktails and dinner and I'm preparing a meal that any man would want after a tough day on the polo grounds and I'm serving it next to my gigantic pool and my sister and aunt from Italy are also helping!" Who cares?

                                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                          I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR STORY. JUST MAKE FOOD. PUT YOUR BOOBS BACK IN YOUR SHIRT AND STOP SMILING LIKE A JACK O'LANTERN, GIADA, AND COOK SOMETHING INSPIRING.

                                                                                                          Was that too strongly worded?

                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                            Unfortunately, everything you said is exactly what the network sees as attracting viewers and somehow it does. Just not this one.

                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                              not a bit.
                                                                                                              You aren't the intended audience.

                                                                                                        2. re: paulj

                                                                                                          and if you haven't read "From Scratch", you should. Most illuminating re: the move to demographically appealling crap, which doesn't work as well as it used to, apparently.

                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                            I was there at the time (when Brooke took over) and I can vouch for this assessment. Brooke was the one who decided "The Father Dowling Mysteries" were a good fit for the History Channel in her prior career.

                                                                                                            It fell on deaf ears when I pointed out to her that our "In the Kitchen" (cooking instructional) shows, which were averaging a .8 to a 1 rating, were doing better than the silly prime competition nonsense (which rarely did better than a .7), but were still being beaten by the PBS shows, which usually did a 1 or better -- ATK was doing close to a 2 IIRC.

                                                                                                            She never cooks, only eats out (living in Manhattan), and has stated that she doesn't care about or understand people who do.

                                                                                                            But when we shot the ICA pilot week in LA she took all the live leftover lobsters and gave them to her brother. She had an intern/gofer carry the box out to her car trunk.

                                                                                                            1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                              I think the other cable channels have deviated even more from their origins. Discovery used be a favorite; now I only watch new Mythbusters (and the occasional survival show). TLC used of have Junkyard Wars (there's nothing new about good competition shows); now it's all wedding dresses. Biography used to show Midsummer Murders - fortunately my local PBS is showing those.

                                                                                                              I never was thrilled with the instructional shows on FN. Maybe because I'd already absorbed the basics from PBS shows in the 80s. I liked Marios travels in Italy, but not his studio stuff. I watched Melting pot for the Latino cooking. I've learned more about cooking and food from IC(A) than anything else on TV.

                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                Apparently The Learning Channel (as it was once named), is now the learning how to have a jillion babies and be on TV channel. The Discovery Network is focused on "offbeat" (read LCD) reality shows. No learning nor discovery to be had on any of their channels except the Science Channel and even that is getting diluted. And I do like Lisa Ling on OWN.

                                                                                                                I find I am getting more and more content online as TV fades into a morass of stupid people doing stupid things for other, even stupider people to watch.

                                                                                                              2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                THIS!

                                                                                                                Glad someone else reads the trades - and not the one's that are only food related. There's an enormous audience out here, with some interest in eating and a little in food/cooking but lots of eyeballs in need of diversion, entertainment and capable of purchasing product. I always check the sponsors.

                                                                                                                Competitive shows constantly _move_. Lots of churning of participants/competitors/teams. Viewers don't get bored: think of the same Competition Model on every venue: the Voice - So You Think You can (anything), American Idol, Biggest Loser, Survivor. You get the audience involved thru social media, everybody watching picks their favorites, cheers for their team. Food/cooking is the hook, not the point.

                                                                                                                Transfer that structure/model to FN and you have all the shows that keep the hamsters running.

                                                                                                                Cable execs succeed and move up by delivering eyeballs consistently to sponsors w/an upward trend. Duplicating a 'successful' model is the easiest way to do that. Throw a twist into the 'competition' meme and hook the eyeballs for another season. Other model is a slightly 'unique' host who travels around: Guy F, Zimmer, Bourdain. but look where Bourdain finally landed. not accidental.

                                                                                                                Another model is a marginal cooker w/an up-beat personality and good cleavage. Cooking/teaching ability is largely irrelevant. Ina had a following and rep before coming to TV. Martha also plus she had a very carefully crafted media brand based on her books and a huge built-in following. Moulton wouldn't even get a re-call today. Child would be a joke (too old, snob, ugly, weird voice). As would Pepin, Franey. Commercial cable needs sponsors and despite their protestations they want certain demographics and purchasing habits. Not cooking practices. CH-types have relocated to PBS, DVD and Youtube. Everybody's happy right? (moral: don't be friends with people who work in television production if you don't want cynicism/reality)

                                                                                                        3. It would be nice if they had a great instructional baking series. Even better if it was on at a convenient time...it strikes me that they would bury a great show at 7:30 am on a Tuesday....

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                              But how can they get acceptable ratings in a shitty time slot?

                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                Because the Nielson ratings now take into account what people ar DVRing.

                                                                                                                From Wikipedia via a story in USA Today:

                                                                                                                "Changing systems of viewing have impacted Nielsen's methods of market research. In 2005, Nielsen began measuring the usage of digital video recordings such as TiVo. Initial results indicated that time-shifted viewing will have a significant impact on television ratings. A year later, the networks were not yet figuring these new results into their ad rates due to the resistance of advertisers."

                                                                                                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                  They are now. The big battle this week was whether to use C3 (day of air plus three days) or C7 when figuring ratings and rates. Obviously the networks want C7, but the advertisers want C3, as that will mean lower numbers and therefore lower prices for advertisers.

                                                                                                          1. also, they have so many commercials - I turned it on last night and saw a 'Rewrapped' episode. (which is basically an advertisement for a processed food in itself). They had so many ads on that I forgot what show I was watching. No more for me!

                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: joycebre

                                                                                                              The commercials are the one and only reason that ad-supported TV -- whether on Broadcast or Cable -- exists. *You* are the product being bought and sold. The Advertisers pay the networks to deliver your eyeballs to them. They exist for no other reason.

                                                                                                              The programs are just filler to get you to the commercials. To the extent that the shows repel you and drive you away from the ads, they've failed.

                                                                                                              This is and always has been a numbers game. Quality is completely irrelevant. Only viewership matters. I always used to tell my producers, I can't make your show any better, but I *can* make it more popular.

                                                                                                              Can there be great shows artistically? Sure. I loved "Hill Street Blues" (for those old enough to remember that show) but what no one remembers is that it was in last place in its time period every week it aired.

                                                                                                              1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                Had no idea that Hill Street was always in last place. My how my husband and I looked forward to it each week. We first learned about the annual release of "bo-jolly" on that show. And we loved the onion-eating officer. (just to keep it food-related)

                                                                                                                1. re: bear

                                                                                                                  Mick Belker, played by the great Bruce Weitz, who has remained remarkably active in the business all these years later.

                                                                                                                2. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                  you nailed it, acgold. see mine above w/yours

                                                                                                                  have you worked in television/media?? must have if you talked to producers.

                                                                                                                  Glad you said that quality is irrelevant, not discouraged or opposed. Lots of great tv shows, documentaries etc. but thats not why they were on. They pulled and held enough eyeballs to make them worthwhile to advertisers. Period.

                                                                                                                  what did/do you do?

                                                                                                                  1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                                    commercials are why we get to watch broadcast stations programming for "free"