Open Letter to the Food Network

Dear Food Network,

I’m watching the new season of Food Network Star and wanted to take up a few issues with you. These are the same issues I’ve had for several years now regarding the lack of actual cooking shows on your network.  With this newest crop of hopefuls you harp on being able to reach your audience, teach them, etc…..well what difference does it make? No one can watch their shows anyway.

Sorry, I apologize, there are some shows that are about actual cooking but they are on so early in the morning I never get to see them. What I do get to see is DDD and Chopped over and over and over and over….get the idea?

You did the same thing with the different Food Network challenges, especially the cake challenges. They became popular and so you over did it. Every time you turned on the TV it was another cake challenge of some sort and people got sick of it. Now there are never any cake challenges. I’d love to see a new one now and again. It’s called moderation! You don’t allow your kids to overindulge with candy do you? So why in the world would you allow your viewers to overindulge and get sick of your program?

I live on the West coast and during the week your first cooking show comes on at 6:30 and last one at 2:30. So at 3:00 pm every day we have a couple episodes of Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, then a whole bunch of other shows like the Guy’s Grocery Games, Unwrapped, Rewrapped, Mystery Diners, Restaurant Impossible, Chopped, Cut Throat Kitchen, etc. I get home around 4:30 and guess what, I don’t watch your channel because there is nothing on worth watching. I can’t watch in the morning either because, guess what, I have to get ready for work and don’t have time to watch the shows I’d really like to.

Then there are the marathons! From 3:00 pm to midnight we have to watch Chopped, DDD, Restaurant Impossible, etc? Getting the picture yet? I can’t watch any cooking shows and learn anything because I am at work all day! I want to watch something when I get home! I don’t want to watch 20 episodes of DDD or Chopped! I like both shows, but in moderation! Once again, get the picture? MODERATION!

Good grief, I’m looking at a Friday line up and starting at 10:00 am we have a Chopped marathon and then a DDD marathon starts at 3:00 pm for the rest of the night. Seriously? What idiot wants to sit through these shows yet again? They’ve probably been on 20 times already! I understand they are probably a couple of your more popular shows, but enough is enough!

Now let’s talk about the weekend line up. Do you mean to tell me that I need to be up at 4:00 am Saturday morning if I want to start watching anything resembling an actual cooking show? Guy’s Big Bite is on at 4:30 am. No wonder no one knows he can cook and think the only thing he does is DDD and Guy’s Grocery Games, sorry I’m refusing to abbreviate it to Triple G just on principle, it’s not that cute. All the actual cooking shows are done by 9 or 10. Dude, I don’t even open my eyes until then!  Oh yea! We have two days full of Chopped, Restaurant Impossible and Cut Throat Kitchen with a few gratuitous episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Yippee, I am so looking forward to the weekend programming, can hardly wait. Note the itsy, bitsy touch of sarcasm here?

DDD and now GGG? Don’t you think this cuteness or what you may consider cleverness is a little over the top? Don’t get me wrong, I honestly love Guy. I just wish I could see more of him actually cooking and not putting on a show all the time. His character gets a little grating and old after a while.

Let’s talk a moment about your shows that have absolutely nothing to do with cooking like Mystery Diners and Restaurant Stake Out. Hidden cameras in restaurants to help figure out where the owner is going wrong? Hello, it’s called good management and if they can’t do it on their own then they deserve to lose their business. I actually am more amused by these shows than anything else, but once again, moderation! Why have two shows of basically the same thing? Seriously, that’s the best you all can come up with?

Then we have the Cooking Channel. This was supposed to provide more cooking shows because you had more shows than the Food Network could handle. Sorry those shows aren’t much better. Once again you have to watch early in the morning for actual cooking shows, like Bobby’s Brunch show. There are just as many marathons and repeats there as on Food Network. Shoot, just fix your programming on Food Network and you wouldn’t even need a second channel. I rarely watch it because there is very little on it I like that I haven’t already seen, or it’s too early or simply not interesting.

Please, for the love of Julia Child, give us a chance to watch some actual cooking shows. Shows where I can learn some new tips, learn how to use new ingredients, ingredients I may never have the courage to try. How about being able to learn a new technique or two? How about letting your “new” stars shine and actually be seen during a decent hour so we can check out their new show? I think I have seen one or two of Melissa D’Arabian shows, maybe one of Jeff Mauro’s, none of Damaris, I couldn’t tell you who the winner was between Jeff and Damaris. Does Big Daddy (Aaron McCargo Jr.) even have a show any more?

Here are a few suggestions I have regarding your programming. I get it, not everyone likes the same thing. I appreciate and love Guy but I know a bunch of others who don’t. I don’t like Rachel but I know a bunch of people who do. You aren’t going to please everyone, I know that, but a little revamping of your programming might just get more and happier viewers.

— Instead of the marathons of old episodes being shown during prime time TV, why not have them in the earlier and later time slots? And limit it to maybe two or three max, not 12 hours worth of the same show.

— If you insist on having shows at 4 in the morning, then why not show it again later in the afternoon? You can catch two different viewers that way. Show these shows again instead of repeats of DDD and Chopped. You do this for Chopped and some of the other ones similar to it, why not the others?

You are missing a huge demographic by not considering those of us who work during the day.

Sincerely a disgruntled Food Network viewer.