Scripps Networks International’s flagship Food Network will unveil 20 new series across primetime and daytime in the months to come, enlisting Valerie Bertinelli for a new daytime series and expanding its “Chopped” franchise to a new teen-oriented format.
“Increasing our development slate to satiate the audience demand for entertaining and informative programming has been our focus.” said Brooke Johnson, president of Food Network and Cooking Channel, in a prepared statement.
The moves come as Wall Street monitors the parent company for signs of slowing growth. After Scripps reported its fourth-quarter results in February, media analyst Michael Nathanson noted the company’s networks are starting to deliver performance that is more tempered than what has been produced in the past. Indeed, Food Network’s average subscribers slipped to 98.8 million in 2013 from 99.5 million in 2012, according to data from SNL Kagan, while affiliate fees rose a penny per subscriber in the same period and ad revenue rose to $638.4 million in 2013 from 623.3 million in 2012.
The network said it would launch a new daytime series featuring Valerie Bertinelli in September of 2014. “The Valerie Bertinelli Project” features the actress and her husband showing off family recipes at dinners prepared for friends and celebrity neighbors.
Produced by Bunim Murray for Food Network. Meantime, “Chopped: Teens Tournament” will debut in July. The five-episode limited series will feature 16 teen chefs who must create the perfect meal as they vie for a $25,000 prize and a culinary-school scholarship. Produced by Notional for Food Network.
In primetime, the network intends to rely heavily on competition programs, building on the introduction of “Guy’s Grocery Games” last season. In the past, Food Network had stocked its programming cabinet with documentary-style features, but in recent months has begun to devise more series that emulate some of the elements of game-show contests or the food-based competitions of its mainstay “Chopped” series.
New primetime series include:
*Kitchen Casino, hosted by Bill Rancic. A competition program with a gambling theme. Produced by Jane Street for Food Network
*Rewrapped, hosted by Joey Fatone and led by head judge Marc Summers. Three chefs must recreate some of America’s favorite guilty pleasures, then invent a new dish using the treat as an ingredient. Produced by BSTV Entertainment for Food Network.
*Boss Under Fire. Restaurants nominate their terrible bosses for a makeover, and the owner must perform his employees’ jobs to realize that success starts at the top. Produced by Eyeworks for Food Network
*Game of Cones. Ice cream connoisseurs compete to create the most unique ice cream-based desserts using
a selection of mystery ingredients. Produced by Intuitive Entertainment for Food Network.
*Diner Death Match. Four competitive cooks from North America’s best diners, gastropubs and food trucks go
head-to-head in a series of culinary challenges. To win they will have to out-cook each other in three short-order classic diner challenges. Produced by Proper TV for Food Network.
New daytime series include:
*Bobby’s Grilling Guide, featuring Bobby Flay showcasing expert grilling techniques. Produced by Rock Shrimp for Food Network.
*The Daphne Brogdon Project. Mom, wife, and home cook, Daphne Brogdon, brings a fresh, fun and humorous approach to feeding the family. Produced by Concentric for Food Network.