Food Network recently unveiled their broadcast schedule for the balance of 2015, stunning observers by announcing that a total of 40 new shows would be launched on Food Network itself and its sister network, Cooking Channel, joining 30 returning shows and 15 specials.
While it might seem that this lineup would leave the airwaves stuffed, if not positively bloated, with food-themed programming, a brand new food channel, Gorge TV, has just launched, bringing five more chef- and restaurant-themed programs to entertainment-starved viewers.
Phyllis Kedjual, director of programming for Gorge, told The Daily Meal "Let's face it, there really is no limit to the number of idiotic, repetitious so-called 'food shows' people will watch."
The new shows include a restaurant-rescue drama starring a great American chef nobody under 35 has heard of, a hilarious sitcom based on the early life of a trendy New York chef from someplace else, and a competition showdown that, says Kedjual, "would probably be called Chopped if somebody else wasn't already using that name."
Here's what viewers can expect from Gorge TV in its freshman season:
Beat Gordon Ramsay
The foul-mouthed, ill-tempered British chef and TV personality good-naturedly steps into the ring with tag teams of chefs, restaurateurs, line cooks, in-laws, and others he's clashed with publicly over the years. As Ramsay gamely puts up his dukes, his opponents attempt to teach him a lesson once and for all. Food Network executives, angry that Ramsay is not in their stable of TV chefs, often join in the fray. There are no prizes, just a certain juvenile satisfaction at being able to take a swing at the pugnacious cuisinier. Marco Pierre White guest-stars.
Better Call Paul
In the tradition of Restaurant: Impossible and I Dream of Jeannie, this drama-filled show visits a series of failing restaurants around America specializing in New Nordic, raw food, and vegan cuisines, watching with hidden cameras as customers choke down their flavorless provender while attempting to convince themselves and their dining companions that they are on the cutting edge of culinary fashion. The instant one or more diners falls asleep at the table, an eerie voice calls "O-kay, Paul!" — and Cajun powerhouse Paul Prudhomme appears out of thin air, sprinkling his Magic Seasoning powders everywhere as the wait staff bears tureens of chicken and andouille gumbo and turtle soup and platters of jambalaya, duck and shrimp Dulac, and blackened stuffed pork chops to the tables. Diners fall on the feast like the emotionally and physically starved people they are, and lines form outside the establishment in question.
Fresh Off the Farm
A rollicking situation comedy based on the best-selling premature memoir of the same name by hayseed-punk chef–restaurateur Eddie-Bob Wango, who moves with his family as a preteen from a dairy farm in Oklahoma to Manhattan's Lower East Side, where Eddie-Bob Senior launches a paleo gluten-free biscuits-and-gravy food truck. In the first episode, hilarity ensues when Eddie-Bob Junior exclaims "Ah'd lahk a corndog," but the food truck's sausage-maker, Mrs. Honeybunch, mishears it as "Ah'm lahk a horndog," and invites Eddie-Bob up to her studio apartment, where she introduces him to trip hop and 3-D Bugles.
I'm a Celebrity Chef… Get Me Out of Here!
A reality game show in which 12 famed TV chefs are confined to a real restaurant kitchen for a day and expected to actually cook dinner for paying customers. The chefs are on their own — no P.R. handlers, no hair and makeup people, no brash young wannabe chefs to humiliate — and must meet a series of challenges, ranging from sourcing ingredients to writing menus to overseeing a team of cooks as they cook real food that people might actually want to eat. The first one to successfully serve a dining room full of ordinary citizens an evening meal that they don't send back will be crowned King or Queen Chef and will never have to set foot in a kitchen again.
Restaurant Blood Feud Takedown Massacre
If you like the inter-news-department battles in Anchorman and Anchorman 2, you'll love this, the ultimate restaurant competition show. The knives come out, and they're not applied to heirloom beets or grilled octopus tentacles. In this brutally realistic evocation of what life is really like in the high-pressure, cutthroat world of the modern-day restaurant kitchen, teams from two impossible-to-get-into 12-seat $265-fixed-price establishments go at each other with all they've got. Everyone from dishwashers to grill cooks to executive sous-chefs gets into the act, wielding vegetable peelers, 10-inch Shuns, meat mallets, canisters of powdered ghost pepper, and any other weapon they can get their hands on. The first team to murder or permanently disable its opponents wins $100,000 worth of psychotherapy and the right to an attorney.