Saturday, November 9, 2013

Food Network's 20th Birthday Special Tonight

Food Network's Original Logo
Just a reminder that tonight at 9pm ET/PT is the Food Network 20th Birthday special that will celebrate the 20th year that the Food Network has been on-air.  The special is hosted by Mo Rocca, who is the host of My Grandmother's Ravioli on the Cooking Channel, and has appeared as a judge on Iron Chef America and as a guest on Best Thing I Ever Ate.

The special is an hour long and will take a look back at the early days of the network and interview chefs and personalities from the Food Network both past and present.  It will be interesting to see who/what they focus on, and if they cover Paula Deen at all during the special.  So tune tonight if you are interested to see the how the past 20 years of the Food Network will be summed up in just a one hour special.


  1. It's good that the network is here but they are not what they once were. They've allowed too many boring, pointless reruns to be aired. Also too many mindless game shows. God forbid that there would be an instructional show after 6:30pm. It can work. It has worked. With Alton, Sarah Moulton, Emeril, Mario Batali. But now it's far too many Chopped and DDD. People are tired of it. Who cares about yet another failed restaurant or racing around with grocery carts? The old days really were better. We learned something. We became better. Stuffing your face doesn't help me to connect better, or to cook better. Someone had to say it.

  2. I agree. Last night I was looking at Food Network's Facebook page, and the majority of the comments seemed to be people pleading for them to please stop the reality shows and feature actual coking shows. If the comments on FB are any indication of what the rest of the public thinks, I don't understand why the network just won't listen. If Susie and Bob are so concerned with making money, wouldn't you think they'd want to do what was going to get good ratings? People have started turning to PBS, Travel Channel and other networks for cooking. When are they going to get it? I mean, I know they run a few cooking shows, but only in the early day time when most people are at work.

  3. I guess we are just a vocal minority? I mean, you gotta believe they have the ratings. They MUST know how many people watch what, right? I think it might be possible that while we are very vocal about it, the vast majority of America loves Chopped and triple D and the reality shows. Because I just can't imagine they will keep showing them if the ratings were low?

  4. Yes and no. Mostly no. I think what gets forgotten is that there are many households that simply turn on the TV, put it on the Food Network, leave it on cuz they like cooking, and that's that. FN could broadcast the muppet show and folks wouldn't turn the channel. So, even Ratings can be misleading. Which brings me exactly to Pamela's point, above, that ..."I was looking at Food Network's Facebook page, and the majority of the
    comments seemed to be people pleading for them to please stop the
    reality shows and feature actual cooking shows."

    When an organization doesn't want change to happen, they can always fall back on "those people commenting are a mere tiny drop in the bucket." I disagree. They need to remember that If "a minority" is writing in with their displeasure, you can bet the farm that there many many more who feel the same way that didn't bother to write in. Want even more proof? Show me - the super-abundance (cough, cough) of folks writing on Twitter and Facebook begging for even more reality shows and saying that good cooking sucks and is boring, they don't want it, and that they cant get enough of endless reruns and pointless idea shows that they wont learn a thing from! Nobody writes that. It ain't happenin!!

  5. I'm not saying I'm disagreeing, but people are way more likely to make their displeasure known than their satisfaction. I am NOT saying that's what's happening here. Just sayin'!

  6. To answer your question: they did feature Paula. Not an actual interview, but they did talk about her positively. No mention of the "scandal"

  7. You are fine. I am not upset at all. Glad you are speaking up. Let me add this...suppose I say you are correct...i.e..people really will voice displeasure more than what they like. Ok, fine. But even with that, people *are* asking for what they *do* want (positively), and that's more Cooking shows. We *don't* see them asking/posting/writing for more reality/competition shows. I am not scolding you, (glad for the bank-n-forth) I am merely pointing out how even if we turn it around, the point still holds up.

  8. Food Network followed the path that every cable network, like MTV, A&E, even The Weather Channel has taken: trying ways to bring new viewers, while not abandoning their core audiences. This has to do with demographics, too. Food Network management is set up in the
    idea that mostly women watch cooking shows during daytime, while they can reach to a diverse group of viewers (men and young people) at night with game and reality shows. They are gradually doing that with Cooking Channel too. These are the ratings for this week’s FN prime time shows (from Futon Critic/TVByTheNumbers:

    GGG (NEW, Sun. 8PM) 1,743,000 viewers, 0.6 18-49 rating

    CUTTHROAT. KITCHEN (NEW, Sun. 10PM) 1,498,000 viewers, 0.6

    REST. EXPRESS (NEW, Sun. 9PM) 1,436,000 viewers, 0.4

    CHOPPED (NEW, Tue. 10PM) 1,317,000 viewers, 0.5

    CHOPPED (RERUN, Thu. 9PM) 1,121,000 viewers, 0.3

    REST. IMPOSSIBLE (NEW, Wed.10PM) 1,030,000 viewers, 0.3

    DDD (RERUN, Fri. 10:30PM) 974,000 viewers, 0.3

    DDD (RERUN, Mon. 10PM) 969,000 viewers, 0.4

    DDD (RERUN, Fri. 10PM) 949,000 viewers, 0.3

    DDD (RERUN, Mon. 10:30PM) 894,000 viewers, 0.4

    DDD (RERUN, Mon. 9:30PM) 847,000 viewers, 0.3

    REST. DIVIDED (NEW, Thu. 10PM) 839,000 viewers, 0.3

    DDD (RERUN, Mon. 9PM) 789,000 viewers, 0.4

    CUPCAKE WARS (NEW, Sat. 8PM) 753,000 viewers, 0.2

    Food Network has cooking shows on weekend mornings that get the same or even higher ratings than some of the prime time shows but, they won’t schedule them even on Friday or Saturday nights. When a game/reality trend starts to fade ( shows) they try another one (i.e. surveillance, restaurant/bakery/bar makeovers). Also, I read on FN’s FB page that lots of people complain about G. Fieri’s overexposure, while on every poll/question they ask about personalities, his support is overwhelming plus, obviously, according to the ratings, he’s not only their most popular host, but the most profitable, and at the end, that’s the name of the game.

  9. That may sound persuasive but does anyone ever question how we really know that what the rating say is truly accurate? It looks as if people regard ratings as an ultimate lie-detector. If the ratings say A is most profitable, could B really be even more profitable? You say Fieri's support is overwhelming. Very well. So it is. But perhaps an even better indicator of a network being truly in touch with its audience would be to put more of an emphasis on -not- doing what aggravates the audience, not doing what they most complain about. Seems like you'd end up making even more money that way. When I mentioned above - "many households that simply turn on the TV, put it on the Food Network,
    leave it on cuz they like cooking, and that's that. FN could broadcast
    the muppet show and folks wouldn't turn the channel. So, even Ratings
    can be misleading.", I see that as a valid point. All Market research and ratings need to be more seriously questioned. If a cult-leader told you his system could never be wrong and was the truth, you'd be quite leery. Rightfully so. But likewise with ratings and marketing. People accept it too uncritically as Gospel. If it were truly that accurate, there would be far fewer complaints with people writing in than there are now. I'll leave it there.

  10. Yeah....I suppose there is a lot more to it. All I know is, I've started turning to YouTube for cooking shows. Specifically ethnic cooking. It always bugged me that shows featuring other types of cooking (hispanic, Indian, health food) never lasted very long on the network. It really seemed like they stifled Aarti Sequeira's creativity. Prior to her being on the Food Network, she had a YouTube show - and if you look at the differences in a recipe she did on YT vs. the same one she did for the FN, they are very different. It's like they made her "dumb them down". And what was ironic was that people would complain that she wasn't really "Indian enough" because all she'd do is "throw some cumin in something and call it Indian". It was so ass-backward. I wish the network would give its audience a little more credit than that. :(

  11. You are right. It changes. I wish Food Network wouldn't do that. They tell people to have a point of view. They do and the audience likes it. Then after they finish their pilot, the network gets the bright idea to revamp it and it turns out worse.

    The original point in this discussion was a good one. More and more people are sick of reruns and competitions. They want more cooking shows and they'd like some in the evening.

  12. I just said that Fieri's support is overwhelming from what I've seen on FN's FB page, not because of personal taste, cause he's not my favorite personality. But, for example, the week that's just ending, 29 hrs. of FN's programming (21%) were Guy's shows and he's not best known for his cooking program so, that's just an indicator of what FN thinks its popular and how they manage its programming.

  13. They acknowledged that the "instructional" stuff was moved to daytime to get away from being a "niche" channel

  14. Look, I am mostly with you on this. I work and I have children, so I don't really get the chance to watch TV during the day. I too wish that they would have less triple D (that guy grates me BIG time plus I HATE traveling shows) and more actual cooking shows on prime time.
    I guess what I am saying is, that I have a hard time believing that the ratings do not support their programming choices. Ratings is how they sell their advertising. If they weren't selling it (i.e. making money), I should think they would change it.

    I am totally willing to be proven wrong on this. I do not WANT to admit that the vast majority of America (or at least enough that watch the FN) adore Guy Fieri.

  15. He has brought a LOT of male viewers to the network. Articles like this talk about it: I know that my father doesn't watch cooking shows, but he really enjoys Guy Fieri's shows. Personally, I don't go for Guy's preferences to highlight meat / cheese / greasy dishes and find him to be a little over the top at times, but he seems like a good guy overall. I love how he interacts with kids - his kids in particular.

  16. Maybe it's just me, but I could have watched another hour with no problem at all! It was so entertaining seeing Bobby and Tyler looking like teenagers. And I love how Emeril came up with "BAM" to keep the crew awake while filming.

    Boy, did Giada manage to knock off a layer of her sugar coat! She refused to speak to Bobby for six months after they lost an Iron Chef team challenge? And she doesn't bother to hide her disrespect for Rachael by saying she was furious that people thought Rachael beat her. She's dropped quite a bit in my estimation.

    Looking forward to 20 more years -- I seriously love Food Network.

  17. Yeah I didn't like her much before (she really has the whole spoiled princess thing down very pat), and that didn't do anything to elevate my opinion of her.

  18. That may have been the reason but it was a mistake. Far too many are complaining about it and feeling ignored.

  19. That shows how little I watch FN anymore. I didn't know it was their 20th or there was a special. I guess that's what happens when DVR'ing only a show or two, R:I and R:E (jury is still out on that one), and FF through the commercials.

  20. She talked about the whole Iron Chef experience on Alton Brown's podcast a few weeks ago (, including how hurt she was that Mario picked Rachel over her. She seems very defensive about a lot of things.

  21. Sounds like the spoiled brat she really is

  22. Also I hate how she always corrects the other chefs/cooks on their pronunciation like spaghetti and parmigiano. She even told Rachael Ray how to pronounce parmigiano - "you don't say the r in parmigiano". So rude when she's also Italian. Like who cares. This is cooking not a Italian class. Like she pronounces the ingredients correctly when she cooks other ethnic food.

  23. That really ticks me off. My ex is Italian so I spent many years among Italians. I never heard one of them say "spageetee." I notice it seriously annoys Alton, and I agree with him.

  24. I agree with most people that the Food Network has become too centered on competitions and restaurant revamping. I prefer Cooking Channel over it any day, but, mark my words, it, too, will morph. Having only one hour devoted to 20 years of history seemed insulting. And, while it was wonderful watching endless clips of Bobby, Giada, Emeril, Mario, Rachael, Guy, and Alton, what happened to Big Daddy, The Hardy Boys, The Neelys, Sunny Anderson, Viva Daisy, episodes of Melting Pot (that featured ethnic cooking, The Two Fat Ladies, Ingrid Hoffman, Martha Stewart(!), Ming Tsai, Jamie Oliver, The Spice Goddess, Michael Chiarello, and countless others that demonstrated preparation of meals in a loving, dedicated manner?