Food Network has put its reality-competition series “Cooks vs. Cons” back into production for a second season that will debut this summer.
The Scripps Networks-owned outlet said the series, currently in the midst of a six-episode debut run, has notched double-digit increases in viewers between 25 and 54 and in viewers between 25 and 34.
In the series, home cooks battle with trained professionals, whose true identities are concealed, for a panel of judges. Only after the panel’s decision is revealed do the contestants reveal who they really are. Chef Geoffrey Zakarian hosts the hour-long episodes. Judges have included Kardea Brown, Josh Elkin, Graham Elliot and Daphne Oz. They make decisions based on taste and presentation.
“It’s not as easy as one might think and it absolutely proved to be engaging,” said Didi O’Hearn, senior vice president of programming, Food Network & Cooking Channel, in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled with how the series launched ” The series is produced by Cakehouse Media.
Under the aegis of Kathleen Finch, Scripps Networks’ chief programming, brand and content officer, Food Network has pursued more competition programming, particularly ideas aimed at luring families to the cable network’s 8 p.m. hour. Zakarian, a popular restaurateur, has been featured in such Food Network series as “Chopped” and “Iron Chef.”