Cable Gone Mad: ‘South Park’s’ Boitano Joke as Series?

Cable networks are going mildly mad in their search for original programming, with Food Network announcing what in essence turns a joke from the “South Park” movie into the title for a series — “What Would Brian Boitano Make?” — while ReelzChannel is devoting a weekly program to all the hype surrounding the “Twilight” series.

Lest anyone forget (and if you saw the movie, who could?), the gang in “South Park” is oddly obsessed with former Olympic skating champion Boitano, singing a song called “What Would Brian Boitano Do?” Here’s the chorus:
So what would Brian Boitano do
If he were here today
I’m sure he’d kick as ass or two
That’s what Brian Boitano’d do

Apparently, someone at Food Network thinks that’s more than enough foundation for a series. The real chutzpah in the release is that it doesn’t acknowledge the debt to the animated show:

YORK – July 15th, 2009 –
Olympic figure
skater Brian Boitano is more than just a champion on the ice; he also
gives a winning performance in the kitchen! In the new daytime series,
What Would Brian Boitano Make?, premiering Sunday, August
23rd at 1PM ET/PT
, Brian demonstrates his culinary skills
and talent for one-of-a-kind entertaining.

combination of off-the-wall humor and culinary inventiveness will be a
revelation to viewers,” said Bob Tuschman, Senior Vice President, Programming
and Production for Food
. “His clever recipes, infectious enthusiasm and stylish ideas
will inspire and entertain.”

With a lifelong
passion for food and cooking, Brian hosts
unpredictable get-togethers at his San Francisco home and creates amazing
menus focusing on innovative but accessible dishes. He feeds an
all-girl roller derby squad,
plays matchmaker for a friend, wins over his handyman’s supper club, and plans a surprise party celebrating new
motherhood. With a humorous and knowledgeable approach to cooking, Brian puts
his unique spin on irresistible dishes like Chicken Paella Burgers,
Pear and Almond Crostata
, Crab and Avocado Crostini, and Bourbon
Bacon Apple Tarts. 

As for “Twilight,” I understand that teenage girls are a difficult audience to reach and that the project has become a sensation within that coveted demographic, but a weekly series? Really? The next movie doesn’t even open until November, for crissakes.

Nevertheless, ReelzChannel execs sound giddy about the prospect of pandering to “Twi-hards,” a group that is beginning to make Trekkers look well-adjusted. Think of it as a way to take a little piece of Comic-Con home with you every Monday.

Reading these releases, I suddenly need something to drink that’s a lot stronger than blood:

REELZCHANNEL® – TV About Movies(TM) announced today the launch of a new weekly
series, “Twilight Weekly: Spotlight,” as a cornerstone of the network’s
extensive on-air and online coverage of the hugely popular
Twilight movie saga. Hosted by
REELZCHANNEL’s resident Twilight expert and correspondent
Naibe Reynoso, the new series is sure
to galvanize the legions of diehard movie fans by giving TV viewers and web
users the inside track on all of the latest news and info leading up to the
highly anticipated fall movie sequel,
New Moon. “Twilight Weekly: Spotlight” premieres in its
Monday primetime slot beginning August 10, 2009 at 10:00 pm ET featuring cast
interviews and special coverage from TwiCon.

On “Twilight Weekly:
Spotlight,” an expansion of ReelzChannel’s popular movie documentary series
“Spotlight,” viewers can tune in to see the most buzzed-about news,
behind-the-scenes coverage and footage of The Twilight Saga: New Moon and
Eclipse, interviews with key cast members and fan-favorite characters, not to
mention a series of special events that could land some lucky fans on the show.
In addition, the series will feature reports from this summer’s upcoming TwiCon
convention by Reynoso and a specially-selected fan contributor who will help
cover the convention for the network. The winner will be chosen from a group of
six hopeful on-air personalities narrowed down from a large field of finalists,
all of whom auditioned at a special talent search and open casting event held
recently in
New York.

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