Nicole Harwood of the NY Post takes The Food Network to task for straying from what made it great in the first place.
Not so long ago, cooking shows were stacked back-to-back all day and all night long.
You could follow “Molto Mario” right into “Barefoot Contessa,” add a dash of “30 Minute Meals” and wrap it all up in the evening with a festive episode of “Emeril Live.”
The Food Network, in keeping up with the rest of the TV world, has switched a good chunk of its primetime programming from its bread-and-butter, “cook it yourself” programming to flashy competition shows like “Iron Chef America,” “The Food Network Challenge,” and “Throwdown with Bobby Flay,” not to mention reality shows like “Ace of Cakes.”
This is a cautionary tale indeed for the Food Network, whose empire has progressed from TV to a popular Web site (foodtv.com) and even a magazine.
By sticking the traditional cooking shows on the back burner in favor of food-prep competition shows like “Chopped,” the network is risking its soul.
Harwood goes on to compare the change at Food Network to the programming changes MTV made in the early 90s when it stopped showing music videos in favor of reality programming. The difference, however, is that you can only watch so many standard cooking shows before it becomes repetitive. Food Network is at least keeping with programming about food. MTV made the mistake of forgetting that it was supposed to be a channel devoted to music.