Just An Online Minute... Scripps Slate Does Not Include "Intestine House With Andrew Zimmern"
Scripps Upfront, Cipriani, New York
April 20, 2010
Last week I attended the Discovery Upfront and it 90% blew my mind. I can let it --because I'm not sitting there weighing budgets and ad buys and such, I'm just observing the glittery dog and pony show that networks put on to woo advertisers. Discovery brought out the howitzer and fireworks. Scripps brought out an early dig at competitors with a note that others may have two-hour presentations, but they're still lower in ratings than Scripps. They aimed for showcasing their content, rather than their celebrity talent. Make no mistake, though, there were celebrities there. And I stalked them...
First up, Adam Richman. My nephew, Ben, loves "Man vs Food." In fact, along with my other nephew, Carson, Food Network and the Travel Channel are creating lifetime viewers. Some people bond with their nieces and nephews over sports or school or booger jokes (OK, there's no drought of those in my family circle), but I bond with mine over burning-mouth wing competition stories or cheese grits from Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives."
I printed out signs ahead of time for Richman and Fieri to pose with, and both obliged at 8:30 a.m. with welcoming smiles -- and, in the case of the platinum-spiked Fieri, twinkling eyes, a barking guffaw, and, you got it, one-of-a-kind autographs complete with a doodle. I mean, seriously, who is so gracious? That guy!
I weaved around the low-lit amber glow of the Cipriani mausoleum, listening to the echo of coffee cups on saucers and, what that, mimosas? Indeed, waiters flanked the room with trays full of quickly disappearing mimosas. Advertypes are hardcore, man. Even Iron Belly Kelly can't get started that early.
"Next year," roared Fieri at his turn on the stage, "We're going to have a full bar over there and Kings of Leon up here!" I agree! Nothing turns me on like good food programming, and chefs are my rock stars. So where were they all? Where was the Scripps love from Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern (probably out hunting some goat testes to slap on a salad), Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, Giada!
Maybe the talent was too expensive to book, but yo, this is your TV home, people. GAC (Great American Country, in case you didn't know. Which I didn't) practically took credit for Lady Antebellum's career. If they hit the stage in a surprise performance, the sound of emptying pockets would have been deafening.
During the presentation, Scripps suits boasted their reach of 150 million people each month isn't just in eyeballs, it's in pockets, with six major brands seeing purchasing inspired by the network. This makes sense - I can't imagine why you'd watch a home improvement show unless you were looking for inspiration, which would lead to a purchase. Heck, I watched Giada slice an onion perfectly and went out and bought myself a damn knife. The suits also reminded me, as did the Discovery suits, that I'm an old soul: the median age of Travel Channel (their new acquisition) watchers is 42.
I noted a few shows that I either thought were worth keeping an eye out for or readying the barf bag for, and they go like this:
"Man v Food": Personally, I catch it here and there, but it's one of those shows that isn't offensive, so far there hasn't been a sex scandal, no nudity, and only the threat of cholera-like symptoms.
Anything Guy Fieri: Don't judge me! Have you seen the Triple D episode where they make the grits with cheese and pancetta and..all kinds of good-for-you stuff? It's amazing. And I can't believe I've never seen "Guy's Big Bite" - I need new recipes. Sure sure, he has some of those earhole-shredding Rachael Ray phrases, but there is not an evil bone in his body, and he was a charmer in person. So sue me. No, please don't.
I'm going to mention the new Rachael Ray show. A lot of my slow-cooking purist pals will scoff, but when you don't have a huge kitchen, limitless budget, all kinds of time, and fancy tools, the gal has some great ideas. Her new show will teach you how to cook for the entire week in one night - which is something I tried to do this past Sunday. I think it's called "A Week In A Day."
"Selling New York" looks to be a "Million Dollar Listing" dirt and glamor real estate show. If you live in a bare-bone studio or a garden-facing one-bedroom, you know the sado-masochistic torture that is seeing the guts of condos and apartments that actually look like homes. Add the snot and sneak of NYC real estate and you've got a show.
"The Antonio Treatment" is "Flip This house" meets "MTV Cribs" - focusing on redoing spaces in the lives of "young Hollywood." The actor they showcased was Mario Lopez, who I think is older than me. I like AC Slater and all, but is anyone else getting tired of already rich people getting more freebies? I don't care if AC Slater's weight room now looks like Dita Von Teese's boudoir - come here and fix my toilet.
Scripps was less whiz-bang than Discovery, BUT I think that's true to their image. They're high-energy, but low-glitz. Big family and Bizarre Foods. Speaking of, I hope there's a show in development next year combining one of their food shows with a home improvement show. Like, "I Can't Believe I Ate That Garage" or "Intestine House With Andrew Zimmern."
Keep those invitations coming! Send to firstname.lastname@example.org