Does the American entertainmentscape really need another food channel? Cuz we’re getting one, The New York Times reported yesterday:
Scripps, the owner of the Food Network, plans to turn on the Cooking Channel on Memorial Day, May 31, this year, enhancing its position in the category of kitchen programming. Before meetings with advertisers, the company is announcing half a dozen series for the channel on Friday, including new ones starring Bobby Flay and Rachael Ray. It might as well be called Food Network, the Sequel.
About two years ago, when the company started considering a second culinary channel, “the advertiser demand for Food was outstripping the audience growth,” Jon Steinlauf, the senior vice president for ad sales for Scripps Networks, said this week. “Therefore, creating a second channel started making more sense.”
The craving for food programming is insatiable, Scripps executives like to say. (They rarely pass up opportunities for food puns; the first press release for the Cooking Channel said that “the time has come for us to have our cake and eat it, too.”) The ratings were up markedly for the Food Network last year, and shows set in kitchens have flourished on other channels.
“When you see Fox lining up its third Gordon Ramsay cooking show in prime time, I think food’s arrived as a mainstream genre,” Mr. Steinlauf said.
Hell, maybe there is room for another network devoted to food. I consider myself a bit of a foodie, but I don’t watch food-related TV programming, so maybe I’m missing what’s missing in the existing food-TV universe. I do know for certain that if I were a god of television, I’d add a second channel devoted to science fiction and fantasy programming, upon which there would be allowed no wrestling and no paranormal “reality” but, instead, lots and lots of reruns of classic series — Doctor Who, Space 1999, Land of the Lost, etc — plus new programming dedicated to movies and TV and gaming (talk shows with reviews and interviews): you know, everything that Sci Fi never or rarely covered, and SyFy surely never will.
What new specialty TV channel would you create?
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