Tuesday, May 16, 2017


"Someone's been watching too much Food Network!"
Max Carnegie
'The Mysteries Of Laura'

So the Food Network does exist in Toobworld, but that's okay; since the residents of TV Land are obsessed with TV anyway, then I'm sure they would support a second network dedicated to cooking shows.

The man behind this broadcasting start-up was Keith Dunn.  He had some prime-time cooks getting their star turns in the limelight on his newborn network - Marisa Parkhurst, Eliot Grayson, the Carmichael Sisters, and the late Rene Fontineau.

But television is a 24/7 industry and he could only work his reality cooking stars for only so many hours per day.  I mean, they're not Wolf Blitzer!

So he would have hired other TV chefs - lesser known personalities who had made their mark in local markets and were now being given a national outlet for their shows.  And then he would have also bought up the video libraries of past cooking shows to fill in the blanks in the overnight schedules and on the weekends - whenever the ratings deemed the time-slots to be "ghost towns".  He even shopped overseas for cooking shows from Great Britain and perhaps from other countries as well.

Among the TV cooks given the chance to expand their profiles were Bernardo Bonelli and "Chef T.I."  The main reason Dunn hired Victoria Edwards was because of Edwards' notoriety - decades ago, Ms. Edwards was falsely accused of killing her ex-husband while they were taping an episode.  And she had the motive, he had stolen many of her best recipes and published them in a book as his own.  Luckily her lawyer was able to prove somebody else had committed the crime.

Dunn also procured the complete run of Kitty Campbell's shows from the UK, all because her husband had died on air as they taped one of their cooking shows.  Only in that case, she had actually done the deed!  [If Dunn was smart, he would have repackaged them under a new title: 'Black Widow In The Kitchen' or something similar.]

Current cooking shows seen in Toobworld can be accepted as being produced for the Cuisine Channel, like 'Mama's Homespun Cooking' which began as a local program in Chicago and which got caught up in the gubernatorial race when Governor Florrick's wife Alicia appeared on the show to promote her husband's candidacy.  And then there was 'Tasty Treats' which was popular with the kids because of the involvement of pop star 'Hannah Montana'.

But there were other shows dusted off and resurrected from the archives, many from local TV stations:

  • 'The Happy Homemaker'
  • 'Debbie Does Dinner'
  • 'Tasty Treats'
  • 'Macho Gourmet'
  • 'The Cavorting Connoisseur' 
  • 'Burnin' With Bo'
  • 'The Kitchen Cookie'

Eventually, as often happens with niche networks, the Cuisine Channel would have expanded the type of programming they did.  Perhaps a late-night talk show which would at least have some connection to fine cuisine.  And maybe there would be some original fictional programming, like a TV movie or two about cooking.  (I think the murder mystery surrounding TV chef Dexter Paris might have been of interest.  It would also have been a showcase role for an actor since he would be playing two roles - not only Dexter but his uptight banker brother Norman Paris.)

Maybe a low-budget sitcom behind the scenes of a cooking show starring Joey Tribbiani?  (Why not?  His career hasn't been that noticeable lately.  And he could always shrug it off as a favor to his old buddy, Chandler Bing who was producing the show, based on his wife Monica.  Or they could dramatize cases from the files of the Los Angeles Homicide Division, but seen from the perspective of celebrity caterer Vinnie Piatte (a friend of the Chief of Homicide, Amos Burke.)

And there could be a bio-pic about a once-famous celebrity chef like Randy Robinson, better known back in the 1970s as "The Giddyap Gourmet".  (Perhaps there was a tell-all book written about Robinson by his identical cousin Jose Chung, who was better known for his sci-fi novels.)

Whenever a new, fictional TV show dedicated to cooking and celebrity chefs is created in an episode of an actual TV show, I'm just going to add it to the line-up of the Cuisine Channel......

  • 'Diagnosis Murder'
  • 'Fame'
  • 'Hannah Montana'
  • 'The Good Wife'
  • 'Sanford And Son'
  • 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'
  • 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman'
  • 'Fairly Legal'
  • 'Arnie'
  • 'Matlock'
  • 'Still Standing'
  • 'New Tricks'
  • 'Murder, She Wrote'
  • 'The X-Files'
  • 'T.I. & Tiny'
  • 'Friends'
  • 'Joey'
  • 'Burke's Law II'
  • 'Bones'
  • 'Columbo'

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