Well now that Paula Deen is no longer on the Food Network weekly lineup, who will the network put in her time slot? For the past few days Deen’s previous time slot has been filled with re-runs of “Giada at Home” and “Barefoot Contessa”. While both of these shows have a loyal following, they don’t quite fit the profile of Paula Deen fans. This is because Deen specialized in good old down home southern dishes, and the two replacement shows focus on elegant cuisine and Italian cooking. I am sure that these show replacements are temporary until Food Network determines what show should go into that slot.
In addition to dealing with issues related to ending their relationship with Paula Deen, Food Network is also dealing with issues related to how to retain viewers. Although the network is still considered popular, it has seen a decrease in viewership. I admit that I don’t look at the Food Network as much as I used to. Some of it has to do with my busy hectic schedule, and the other part of it is that I don’t like many of their new shows. Maybe I shouldn’t say I don’t like the new shows, instead I should say that the network releases too many new shows at one time.
When I first started watching Food Network in 2003, they had a stable line up of shows. This included Everyday Italian, Everyday Cooking, Barefoot Contessa, 30 Minute Meals, and Paula’s Home Cooking. This line up stayed pretty consistent for awhile. It’s not that I don’t want to see anything new, it’s just that I think Food Network does not launch new shows strategically. Because of this, it’s becoming harder and harder to develop a loyal following. Some of the Food Network chefs I still enjoy watching include Ina Garten and until recently Paula Deen. Some of the newer shows I enjoy watching are Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen and Chopped. I also used to enjoy watching Food Network Challenge, but I haven’t seen that show in the line up for a while. I also used to really like watching Iron Chef, but I have stopped watching it because I do not like the new format. In the older shows the focus was more on cooking the food and the secret ingredient, but now the focus seems to be more on entertainment.
I know a lot of people may not agree with me on this, but I am so over The Next Food Network Star. I think this show has gotten to the point of almost being ridiculous. It’ ridiculous because of all the scripted antics of the participants, and it’s also ridiculous because there is no way that the Food Network will be able to create a show for each year’s winner.
So with all this being said, I too wonder what is next for the Food Network.