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Alton Brown Stays With Food Network Ahead of Scripps-Discovery Merger

Alton Brown has whipped up something new: a multi-year deal to continue hosting and creating programs for Food Network and Cooking Channel.

Under terms of the deal, Brown is expected to develop new TV series and digital content in tandem with executives at both networks. At present, Brown hosts “Iron Chef Showdown” as well as “Iron Chef: Behind the Battle,” and is involved with “Alton’s Ingredient Alchemy,” a FoodNetwork.com series that takes a closer look at some of the secret ingredients used on “Iron Chef.”

“Time and again Alton has proven his ability to connect with and thoroughly entertain fans of all ages through any project he is part of,” said Allison Page, general manager, of U.S. programming and development at Scripps Networks Interactive, the owner of the cable outlets, in a prepared statement.  “We are thrilled to continue our creative collaboration and cannot wait to bring more exciting and innovative content, with that unique Alton Brown aesthetic and sensibility, to Food Network fans on TV and across all of our brands’ digital platforms.”

Brown signs the new deal as Scripps prepares to be acquired by Discovery Communications as part of a deal valued at $14.6 billion, including the assumption of debt. The transaction is expected to close before 2018.

Brown may best be known for “Good Eats,” a series that originally launched in 1998 on Chicago’s PBS station WTTW. Food Network picked it up in 1999. In the program, Brown explored the science of cooking, and also examined the use of particular cooking appliances. He hosted, produced and directed the program for 14 years.

 “Food Network has provided me with a fertile creative home for nearly two decades and now I feel we’re in an even better position to explore the ever-expanding frontiers of culinary storytelling,” Brown said in a statement. In the past, he has signed three-year deals with Scripps; in 2011, for example, he negotiated a three-year deal with the company that would have kept him in its fold through 2014.

Brown also tours behind live culinary variety shows, “The Edible Inevitable Tour” and “Eat Your Science,” which have played in over 190 cities to nearly 400,000 fans.

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