New reality shows set for Food, HGTV

Scripps Networks Interactive announced development and programming initiatives for the coming year and 2012 during its marathon breakfast upfront presentation Wednesday at Gotham’s Cipriani 42nd Street.

Among the highlights: HGTV will partner with Disney for primetime half-hour “My Yard Goes Disney,” a new show featuring the Mouse’s engineering team, who will renovate homeowners’ properties by adding everything from topiaries to water features. Show is set to bow in the second quarter.

Other new HGTV shows include yet another expansion of the net’s popular “House Hunters” series, this one tentatively titled “House Hunters on Vacation,” plus competish skein “Design Wars.” “Design Star” will return for its sixth season July 11.

“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” design expert Thom Filicia has signed a development deal with the home improvement cabler as well. “You’ll be seeing a lot more of him,” promised Home category topper Jim Samples.

The Nashville-based conglom’s Food Network continues to play up its celebrity cooks with new series, including a new show with country music star Trisha Yearwood, bound for a premiere this fall, and “Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction,” which features the longtime Food Net star and is skedded to preem in the second quarter.

Also new to Food’s menu will be spicy cuisine exploration show “Heat Seekers” and “Guy vs. Rachael’s Celebrity Smackdown,” starring “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” host Guy Fieri and “30 Minute Meals” chef Rachael Ray.

Food category prexy Brooke Johnson touted Food’s brand strength. “We are not a brandless network that you stumble upon and watch a show or two,” she said. Johnson also played up the net’s new Cooking Channel, saying that the net has seen strong interest from viewers and advertisers, with a little dig at the competition thrown in for good measure: “That does not happen, by the way, every time you rebrand a network.” Cooking was rebranded from Fine Living Network in May 2010.

Even more than at the other upfronts in recent weeks, the presentation was overflowing with product placement examples, from cooking implements to power tools.

Talent at the event included Adam Richman of eating competish skein “Man v. Food,” who literally skipped down the aisle between bleary-eyed buyers (some of whom had attended the previous night’s TruTV upfront and Maroon 5 concert) groping for their coffee and bagels.

Rob “Vanilla Ice” Van Winkle also put in an appearance, riffing on his ’90s rapper persona to Samples and plugging his HGTV show “The Vanilla Ice Project.”

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