'No Reservations' host to star in net's new weekend show

TV food personality Anthony Bourdain is jumping to CNN as host of a new weekend show to create a “signature” for the network’s coverage of food and travel, the news net said Tuesday.

The author and Emmy winner will wrap up his obligations with Travel Channel and, starting in fall, make appearances on CNN shows and work on his as-yet untitled program that will launch next year on CNN and CNN Intl., according to CNN worldwide exec VP and managing editor, Mark Whitaker. He’ll also write for CNN.com.

“I think the world is going to get a whole lot bigger for me,” Bourdain said in a statement. “I hope that old fans and new ones will be excited about what’s coming down the road.”

Bourdain’s producer of a decade, Zero Point Prods., will move with him to CNN.

CNN hasn’t yet decided how the lineup will be shuffled. Its weekend evenings currently include “Piers Morgan Tonight,” “CNN Presents” and “CNN Newsroom.”

The move is a blow to the Travel Channel and its parent, Scripps Networks Interactive, with omnivorous globetrotter Bourdain one of the best-known personalities in its stable.

The network wished him all the best, and said it has a deep bench.

“As part of Travel Channel’s strategic repositioning of the brand and its core programming mission, the network has been aggressively developing new talent, new voices and new shows,” a spokesperson said, noting that new episodes of “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” and his “The Layover” will run through 2013.

“Bourdain programs will always have a home on Travel Channel. We are proud of the great storytelling Tony has brought to the network.”

Bourdain has been host of the Emmy-winning “No Reservations” since 2005. He previously hosted “A Cook’s Tour” on the Food Network and has appeared on Bravo’s competition series “Top Chef” and written for HBO’s New Orleans-based drama “Treme.”

“Anthony Bourdain has been a trailblazer in educating Americans about different cuisines and cultures around the world,” said Whitaker.

“Examining the world through the prism of Tony’s unique expertise and passions continues CNN’s long-standing commitment to international reporting and to promoting global understanding,” he said.

Launching in early 2013, Bourdain’s CNN show will be shot on location and examine cultures from around the world through food, dining and travel. It’s slated to air domestically on Sundays in primetime with repeat airings on Saturday nights.

The net called it another step in broadening and distinguishing CNN’s weekend programming from its traditional weekday news coverage.

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