Food Network makes ‘Reservations’

Cooks up Zeta-Jones movie promos

The Food Network has engineered the most elaborate tie-in movie promotion in its 13-year history, helping Warner Bros. to get the word out on “No Reservations,” a summer romantic drama starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart as gourmet chefs.

“Our strategy is to find partners who’ll get us involved in movies that dial into the pop culture,” said Susie Fogelson, VP of marketing for Food Network.

The plan is to carve out a whole night of primetime on July 26 to create shows linked to “No Reservations” during the first week of its release in U.S. theaters.

The kickoff show for the night, “Emeril,” will feature as guests Eckhart and Abigail Breslin, who plays the niece of Zeta-Jones; the two will join Emeril as he prepares food derived from some of the recipes used in the movie. “Emeril” will lead in to a special edition of Food’s “Unwrapped” series, hosted by Marc Summers, which will go behind the scenes of the movie.

Throughout the July 26 primetime schedule, Food net will include interstitial features with Zeta-Jones and Eckhart.

Laura Galietta, VP of ad-sales marketing, said that although the “No Reservations” deal is the most intricate the net has done, she and Fogelson have joined together with studios for previous movies, such as Paramount’s “Last Holiday” with Queen Latifah, Columbia’s “Talladega Nights” and another Paramount picture, “Mission: Impossible III.”

“MI3” may seem an unlikely subject for a tie-in on the Food Network, but Fogelson said the net’s coverage focused on how the caterers on the movie delivered a Thanksgiving dinner to the cast and crew, who were filming in China.

Fogelson said Food is talking with Disney/Pixar about tie-ins for “Ratatouille” and with Paramount/Dreamworks for “Shrek the Third.”

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