Tuesday, March 18
We're not given much details in them other than the host, Sunny Anderson, is a REAL Air Force Vet (I hope they ran that past the JAG verification system), a REAL DJ, and that she likes REAL good food.
One thing's for sure, this show could be a REAL change for the network.
Some people have e-mailed me saying they don't like the title, saying it implies the rest of the cooking on the network isn't "real." Others are worried this might be another show for "real" women (the ones Sandra Lee thinks she's reaching out to) with shortcuts, packaged products, and the like.
Having not seen the show, I can't really comment on the cooking focus. As far as the show's title, I think it was chosen primarily for its ability to pair-up nicely with plays-on-words. All of the press for the show indicates things are about to get real. Paging Dr. Phil.
I've received a bit more info on the show's focus which may help a bit:
"With an understanding of the need for uncomplicated dishes with affordable, easy to find ingredients, Sunny offers real food, for real life combining her approach to classic comfort foods along with her passion for unique flavors inspired by her many travels."
Well, that doesn't sound like much of a "real" change, but it's what works for the network so I'm not surprised.
The other obvious REAL change is the fact that Cooking For Real will become the newest African American-hosted show on Food Network. Over the years there's been some complaints in regards to the lack of diversity on the network. In response, Colombia-born Ingrid Hoffmann's show Simply Delicioso was launched in 2007 and married African American couple Pat and Gina Neely's Down Home with the Neelys premiered in February to record-breaking numbers.
Clearly, there's room (and a big need) for diversity on the network. A show's success is almost always proven by the host's ability to connect with their audience, though. In the cable TV game, it's about ratings. I'd like to think that the host's race doesn't affect a person's desire to watch or not watch a show. It certainly doesn't for me.
So what do you think? Is Food Network in need of REAL changes?