Kicked Earlier A Notch
Food moves Emeril Live! out of primetime
By Anne Becker -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/10/2007 8:00:00 PM
Food Network is moving one of its most recognizable stars out of his primetime slot.
Emeril Lagasse's Emeril Live! is moving from 8 p.m. ET in prime to 7 p.m. in early fringe starting July 9. It will be replaced at 8 p.m. with Good Eats, the Alton Brown-hosted infotainment show that, last week, won a Peabody Award.
The Scripps-owned network, which also plans to introduce three entertainment shows in prime over the next three months, says it is moving Emeril because the show is a mix of the instructional fare that it programs during the day, and the entertainment-based fare on the schedule at night.
Emeril, however, regularly draws 13% fewer viewers than Good Eats—683,000 for Emeril's Monday-Friday, hour-long episodes this year vs. 770,000 for Good Eats' half-hour, according to Nielsen.
The network says Emeril at 7 p.m. will more smoothly guide viewers from daytime into primetime than the shows now in that slot: Good Eats, a romp through culinary customs and origins of foods, and long-running Unwrapped, a kitschy, behind-the-scenes look at how food is made.
The move, says Food Network President Brooke Johnson, will bolster primetime and daytime ratings, both of which, this quarter, are at their lowest since third quarter 2005. The network averaged 731,000 viewers in prime this quarter, 522,000 viewers in daytime.
The network says the move from primetime isn't a lack of confidence in Emeril. “We're consolidating a lot of the strength we've got in daytime with Paula Deen, Giada De Laurentiis, Rachael Ray—and putting the crown jewel Emeril Live! at 7 p.m.,” says Johnson. “It's a bit of a hybrid [of instructional and entertainment programming] and the perfect transition to primetime.”
Emeril is posting a smaller audience this quarter vs. the same quarter for at least the past three years. For instance, so far, 642,000 viewers tuned in for 8 p.m. episodes in second quarter 2007 vs. 689,000 in second quarter 2004.
The show may do better with key demos, such as women 18-49 in early fringe since the network does better with the demo in that time slot. So far, Food has averaged 197,000 women 18-49 in prime and 222,000 in early fringe.
Putting the workhorse at 7 p.m. could boost Good Eats' rising star even higher at a time when broadcast and other cable networks, like Fox and Bravo, offer food-related shows.
“It's like putting a big jigsaw puzzle together and saying, maybe this piece is a little bit better over here than over there,” says Brad Adgate, senior VP of corporate media research for media buyer Horizon Media. “These cable networks face a lot of competition, and Food Network is trying to maintain viewers. This is a way to do it, having a better audience flow.”
Food has also posted steady ratings in recent years, although its current quarterly primetime audience is the smallest since third quarter 2005. It plans to introduce one series each in July, August and September.
Glutton for Punishment, premiering July 10 at 9:30 p.m., follows host Bob Blumer as he challenges food experts; Cater Dudes (working title), debuting Aug. 16 at 10:30 p.m., profiles two caterers in Los Angeles; and Zane's World, Sept. 3 at 10:30 p.m., travels to food destinations around the world with comic Zane Lamprey.
“We feel it is time to move Emeril to a newer time slot so he can capture a newer audience,” the network said in a statement. “We feel confident that his current viewers will come along for the ride.”
I'm glad GE is getting the recognition it deserves but I'm pretty unhappy about this move. GE already had great ratings at 7. Moving it to 8 changes the audience. I definitely won't have time for good eats. Esp b/c they are reruns. I'd rather watch other primetime shows honestly. I'm really going to miss coming home and turning on my tv to watch a light, fun show. I definitely won't tune into the food network anymore. The food network is something i keep on for fun. The shows I actually care for are on abc, nbc, etc. The target audience at 7 is diff from the target audience at 8. Emeril has a good viewer following at 8, Alton had a good viewer following at 7. why change it?
Josey - 8/20/2007 7:22:00 PM EDT
I say good for Alton! His is the only remaining show to focus on the food. Nothing against Emeril, he has been the corner stone of that network, but his show has become more to do with the celebrity image of Emeril, than it has with the actual food he pounds out.
Sadly, the FN is quickly becoming a soap opera network, separating itself from food.
Oh well, it was good while it lasted.
N. Smith - 7/16/2007 12:03:00 PM EDT
I'm not sure why AB's fans think this is a good move for him. I LOVE Good Eats and I have NO desire to watch Emeril. This move is bad for someone like me because now Good Eats will clash with other prime time shows I like to watch. Good Eats got a Peabody without being in an 8 pm time slot, and Alton is on a couple other shows too, so I don't think he's hurting for the attention. I hope this turns out to be just an error in judgement that gets righted quickly.
Beth - 7/13/2007 8:04:00 PM EDT
Alton is entertaining and his explanations of the "why" is informative, but Emeril provides new insights into creative cuisine and he is one of the two best chefs on the network to learn from, the other being Mario. Anyway, I understand foodtv has to do what will provide the best economic return, but bouncing the best night time chef to 7pm is a bad decision.
Lorenzo St. Dubois - 7/12/2007 6:39:00 PM EDT
I could not be happier that FN is finally showcasing Alton Brown and Good Eats, and putting him in a more favorable time slot. He''''s funny, witty, and educational, and I''''ve learned more from AB than I have any TV chef - and almost any other avenue of culinary instruction I''''ve ever had.
As to Emeril, yes, he''''s a good chef. Yes, he''''s largely responsible for FN''''s success. Even their execs refer to FN as "The House that Emeril built". However, at the risk of being tarred and feathered, I am SO OVER Emeril. He''''s gotten SO full of himself, and he needs to learn some new lines. "I don''''t know where you get your , but where I get MY , it don''''t (sic) come seasoned". And if I never heard BAM! again, I''''d be just fine. And the English minor in college comes out in me, but he butchers the English language and it drives me nuts. Avacader?? Yes, he''''s from Mass., and part of that is his accent, but the "it don''''t"s and "ain''''t"s, aren''''t. And even though I''''m a very accomplished cook, the majority of his recipes are not intended for the casual/home cook.
Good move, FN - showcase some of your other brilliant talent for a change. I, for one, am thrilled!
Kathy Hankinson - 7/11/2007 6:34:00 PM EDT
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