Food Network's 2003-2004 menu includes 12 new series, scores of specials and
a dash of reality TV.
Food said it is upping its programming budget nearly 60 percent this year.
According to Kagan World Media estimates, Food spent about $65 million on
programming last year.
On the reality front, Food's highlights include the debut of Date
Plate April 2, challenging singles to prepare romantic meals for blind
Roker on the Road, premiering in June, features Today weatherman
Al Roker travelling the country to find people "living out their culinary
dreams"; and Jamie's Kitchen: The Fifteen is celebrity chef Jamie
Oliver's search for 15 unemployed street kids to run his new restaurant, Fifteen,
and it is slated for October.
Food plans to air 60 new specials this year, including some limited series,
like Dweezil & Lisa for first-quarter 2004, looking at music couple
Dweezil Zappa and Lisa Loeb's passion for food, and How to Boil Water, which offers up basic cooking lessons, beginning April 5.