Back in May, YouTube announced the launch of their new food channel, HUNGRY, helmed by Food Network and Cooking Channel veteran Bruce Seidel.
HUNGRY, which goes live July 2, is part of YouTube's master plan to spawn some 100 channels of niche topics. Already, they've signed on Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes to start up Duff's Food World, a variety show with visits to restaurants and festivals. So why would two Food Network veterans jump onto an Internet show?
"There's so much stuff that Food Network doesn’t let me do," Goldman told us at Internet Week's closing party. "I just have a goofy sense of humor, and I want to be able to do that. There were just so many times I was told, 'No, no, no, ehh, it’s a little too edgy for us.'"
As for Seidel, he finds that there's more flexibility online, plus a wider audience of niche topics like gluten-free or vegan diets. "If you want to learn how to do something and you need specific information, the web allows you to do that in your own terms and your own way," he told us. "You can pause, you can rewind it, you can play it again."
Seidel tells us he plans to program segments anywhere between one minute to eight minutes, working with the standard two to three minute online videos for recipe demos and how-tos while playing with longer forms. Goldman's program specifically will be a variety show with tours, trips, and restaurant visits.
"We'll be going to restaurants or the kinds of food festivals that aren’t, you know, industry people just sitting around blowing each other kind of thing," Goldman said. "I like to think we’re going to be doing programming for the younger crowd, but I kind of feel like there's a lot of people who love Cooking Channel, Food Network, but they want a little more. They want a little naughty, they want a little flavor, you know?"
And as for whether or not food TV will disappear from television sets? While Seidel notes that the younger generation grew up using smartphones, tablets, and computers, Goldman just figures food television will be forced to expand.
"For these guys, all the networks, they don’t have to evolve because there’s nothing for them to compete with except each other," Goldman said. "So a network will do a show, the show will do well, and all these other networks copy that show and make their own version, and then it’s just boring TV."
Expect some cursing and more jokes on Goldman's YouTube show, then, and maybe on network television in the future.
"I think with this you’re really going to see it’s very personality driven stuff and I think the kind of personalities that network execs are a little afraid of," Goldman speculates. "Edgy, younger, maybe they drop the f-bomb once in a while. Food Network is so squeaky clean, it was kind of nice to be on there and be like, 'Hey guys we don’t have to be for 60-year-olds. There are some kids that love this show.'"
Check out a preview for a HUNGRY show Summer Desserts Unplugged with Laura Vitale, below. The season premieres next Wednesday, June 27.
This article was originally published May 18, 2012.
Jessica Chou is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @jesschou.