Food Network Cancels Emeril Live
Essence of Emeril to Continue Production 'for the Forseeable Future'
By Anne Becker -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/27/2007 6:09:00 AM
The network will continue producing Emeril Lagasse's afternoon program, Essence of Emeril, "for the foreseeable future," and will look to incorporate the star chef in specials, according to a network representative.
Live's future on Food has been uncertain for some time. After running the show for 10 years, Food bumped it from its primetime perch at 8 p.m. to early fringe at 7 p.m. in July and replaced it with Good Eats, the Alton Brown-hosted infotainment show.
Emeril, however, regularly draws 13% fewer viewers than Good Eats -- 683,000 for Emeril's Monday-Friday, hour-long episodes through this summer vs. 770,000 for Good Eats' half-hour, according to Nielsen Media Research.
At the time, the network said the move from primetime wasn't a lack of confidence in Emeril. Food runs instructional fare during the day and entertainment-based shows at night, and the network said it moved Emeril to 7 p.m. because it mixed the two genres and would be a good bridge between day and night.
“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.,” Food president Brooke Johnson said at the time. “It's a bit of a hybrid [of instructional and entertainment programming] and the perfect transition to primetime.”
Live, in which Lagasse cooks in front of a studio audience with his trademark high energy, will continue in reruns, while the more staid Essence of Emeril, a quieter Lagasse-hosted show without the audience, will continue new episodes at 2 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. Saturdays.
Losing new Live episodes comes as Food transitions from being able to rely upon its veteran talents like Lagasse and Mario Batali -- who appears on Food's Iron Chef Americabut whose Molto Mario has been in reruns for three years—and tries to build up new ones, like Guy Fieri, one winner of its The Next Food Network Starcompetition. The spiky blond-haired and tattooed Fieri just got a second and third-season pickup from the network for his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
But building talent up to the star status that Lagasse reached takes years. While it has legitimate celebrities in hosts like Ray and De Laurentiis, both have thriving businesses of their own that the network doesn't profit much from -- a syndicated show and magazine, in Ray's case, and a spot on NBC's Today and burgeoning consumer products lines for De Laurentiis.
And Food will have to pump thousands of marketing dollars behind Fieri and little-known new talent like Ingrid Hoffman, who hosts new show Simply Delicioso, before they can ever hope to approach the level of celebrity that Lagasse and Batali reached.
Still, the Scripps Networks-owned channel is chugging ahead with new entertainment shows in primetime. Over the past few months, it introduced several new titles including Glutton for Punishment, Two Dudes Catering and Zane's World. And it saw big ratings for its Next Iron Chef series, which finished earlier this month.
"Emeril Live has been an incredible journey and a great collaboration between Emeril Lagasse and Food Network for over 10 years," the network said in a statement released Monday. "Emeril has been the cornerstone of Food Network's success and helped to pave the way for chefs on TV. Food Network and Emeril look forward to continuing our long partnership, and Emeril remains an integral part of the Food Network family."
Emeril Live is an excellent program that not only inspires young and old people about cooking, but it brought our whole family together to enjoy his humor and food style. Food Network has lost it's edge and homey style. The officials should rethink their decision and know that speaking for over 50 families I know, we will not be tuning in to the nonsense programming aired now...
Who cares about drive ins and dives?? With the economy the way it is, we can only dream of visiting these places. Paula Deen is just irritating. i cant understand that italian woman...its just not good programming. Bad move.
Brandon - 1/22/2009 8:12:34 PM EST
Cannot stand Alton Brown or any of his shows or antics!
Emerill is so much more talented and interesting and fun to watch. What a disappointment that you are taking off LIVE! And I cannot stand all those cake programs at night and on the weekends. They are stupid! Love Mario and Ina Garten and De Lauentis! So many of your shows are either nutty or boring now. Rachel is good too. Too bad you are more worried about making money off of products of your stars than their performance on your shows! Getting a little greedy there, instead of holding on to good people! Don't like the blond geek
winner of your food contest either! You are putting too much air time onto the people I like least, so I am watching MUCH less now! Nothing on in the evening either. I am VERY disappointed in your network.
Diane Whiteley - 12/8/2008 2:22:00 PM EST
I like Emeril, but his live show was lame. Emeril doesn't need an audience to make his show entertaining and he certainly doesn't need a band. Same thing for Paula Dean. Her live show is worse that Emeril's was. Great cook, but doesn't need an audience or guests to be entertaining. Thankfully, they haven't demoted my man Alton to a live show yet. Emeril might've gotten me interested in the Food Network, but Alton Brown got me hooked. I love how he doesn't use any stupid catch phrases like Emeril and Rachel. I also love how he explains the hows and whys of cooking. He doesn't just say "add a cup of this and a teaspoon of that" like all the others. And while there are no doubt lots of Emeril fans, there are plenty of Alton fans too. Most people I know that watch the Food Network prefer him too.
Matt - 6/26/2008 9:11:00 PM EDT
Yup! All these comments are almost "right on." Food Network has added unsophisticated nerds with poor diction and hyena laughs; everyone's got to laugh and act foolishly on Food Network... Plus, there's the girl with the wide smiles from a ghoulish cartoon, repeats and more repeats, and the Iron Chef nightmare which using whoever that guy Brown is...only makes me puke. Get rid of the so-called full of themselves "stars"... and get some content on the air. Doesn't anyone know how to buy programs? Emeril was an act by itself regardles of the so-called Nielsens. Believe me: Viewers do not PREFER Brown to Emeril! Period. Like the commentators say...those new guys can't cut it. Even the less-than-"smart" men who want to cook do a lousy job. I think it's Tyler who can't even speak in full sentences. I think he "thows" instead of "throws." It's comical how the new Food Network management can't carefully review what they air... nor understand the viewers' sophistication. We'll go to Travel and PBS and History.
Julian James - 4/22/2008 1:31:00 PM EDT
I wonder if this isn't something of a relief to Emeril. He keeps a grueling pace and he has been looking quite unwell in recent months. (Is that a steroid moonface??) And today (2/19/08) I see the headline that Martha Stewart's company has bought the rights to the Emeril Lagasse franchise of cookbooks, television shows and kitchen products. Maybe there's more to this story.
Janet - 2/19/2008 10:20:00 AM EST
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