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Monday, August 3

Melissa D'Arabian's New Show: Ten Dollar Dinners

Melissa D'Arabian was crowned the winner on last night's finale of The Next Food Network Star. Congrats, Melissa!

Although her pilot was called something like "Kitchen Survival Guide," the powers that be must have modified that title (Sorry Alton!) along the way to come up with: Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa D'Arabian. The first of six initial episodes airs this Sunday, August 9 at 12:30pm ET.

What's Bobby T got to say about it?
"Week by week, Melissa proved she had the makings of a true food star," said Bob Tuschman, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production, Food Network. "Her expert technique brought sophisticated flavors and ideas to home cooking, and her bright, warm, and down-to-earth personality made her a viewer favorite. We're thrilled to share her wealth of ideas for making easy, delicious, and inexpensive meals."

Every episode promises the same deal: "four people, ten bucks, infinite possibilities."

Someone's giving Aunt Sandy a run for her budget cooking show money!

Will you watch?


I just got off a conference call with Melissa. She was very nice and seemed genuinely excited to start this new chapter in her life. I'll post more about the call later. Happy Monday!

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At 8/03/2009 3:04 PM , Blogger Bill Kos said...

I noticed on Melissa's promo video that they end by saying "Food Network in the kitchen," suggesting that cooking is not the only focus for the future. Expect to see my eating shows, or anywhere of the kitchen.

At 8/03/2009 3:04 PM , Blogger Alec Smart said...

Dude, you are so on the payroll at Food Network your routine in trying to maintain independence seems almost comical.
That said, I think this Melissa woman might work out well. That is if Herr Tuschman doesn't overexpose her like he does everyone else, especially The HedgeHog Fee-Eddy. Maybe you can explain "overexposure" to him in your next conference call Jake.

The premise of her program shows promise. Feeding 4 for 10 bucks will be a challenge and might be a foreign concept for many, but I know many that do it and are proud of their low grocery bills.

The thing that strikes me as funny is that Tuschelwipe will probably claim the idea of her show as their's, while most know D'Arabian brought the premise to FN.

I guess we won't be seeing too many $60 hunks of parmiggiano on her cooking segments.

At 8/03/2009 3:23 PM , Blogger Lord of Light AZ said...

Think of this as a double loss. We the viewers lose with another make cheap food show and we can expect that interesting food is not going to be on FN so FN will lose viewers. Bravo and PBS are the places to see the cool food stuff.

If we have to have this show, then let Sandra go back to her old ways and be "Semi home made"

At 8/03/2009 3:42 PM , Blogger Annemarie said...

I disagree with the last comment. It will be totally refreshing to see less gourmet and more everyday type recipes.
I'll definitely watch and am already a fan. I think this is exactly what the Food Network needed.

At 8/03/2009 3:43 PM , Blogger Bill Kos said...

Being RR ver 2.0, I can see product endorsements, a pix on the Ritz Crackers box, family friendly meals at the Olive Garden, a talk show, personal appearances, at home with Mel & fam, vacationing Mel, Mel does sensible shopping, not to mention a line of pots and pans, with still enough time to make 4-step poultry.

Ka-ching! Maybe even political aspirations.

At 8/03/2009 3:57 PM , Blogger Bill Kos said...

Hillary, watch out, this girl can cook, too!

At 8/03/2009 4:12 PM , Blogger Daniella said...

Ten Dollar Dinners, huh. Sandra Lee II - electric boogaloo. Snore.

At 8/03/2009 4:25 PM , Blogger Kym D said...

BORING BORING BORING - and that photo of Melissa with the pinky out is so ridonkulous! I'm switching to PBS and Bravo as well....Melissa/$10 meals - zzzzzzzzzzz

At 8/03/2009 5:38 PM , Blogger daniel said...

quoted from above

"You're not a judge. Also you have no idea what FN's marketing data looks like. Notice one of FN's VPs of MARKETING just happens to BE a judge! There is a reason for that.

Go ahead and hold your breath till you turn blue, its funny to watch.

Like Bobby said: "Jeffery has limited range" Well guess what? That really matters (in the real world) beyond how YOU feel about his cutsie smile! doh....."

now come on.. jeffery had better food and i am sorry but alot of my friends and people i talk to are boycotting it...
this women is another amy...

"i need to take care of my kids... i choose not to resign"

mark my words... mel had problems with seasoning food and she is just another racheal ray... the food network already hads a melissa and her last name is ray and does it better then she could ever do... come on 4 step chicken... she did not invent anything... i learned that 1st day of culinary school... come on... she just sucks and i will never watch her show... and many people i know will not eaither... she is another amy/ hardy boys... maybe 2 and done if not one and done.

At 8/03/2009 5:57 PM , Blogger Cristin Ashley said...

I'm not thrilled that Melissa is now doing $10 meals - I have liked her from the beginning, and now I feel like this is "cheapening" her (no pun intended.) Honestly, I hope she gets a travel show - it will let her personality shine.

At 8/03/2009 6:48 PM , Blogger Karen said...

The food network already has a melissa and her last name is ray

I'm sure the Food Network is hoping and praying that Melissa will be another Rachael Ray, who has made billions for them. It's unlikely RR will be back for another season of 30 Minute Meals now that her talk show has taken off, so FN is looking for a replacement, someone who can appeal to the same audience (and hopefully get the same numbers). I would have enjoyed Jeffery's show more, but when it comes to dollars, I think the FN was correct in picking Melissa.

However, I think Jeffrey and Melissa were both more talented and widely appealing than any of the finalists from last season (or the seasons before). So I wouldn't be surprised to see Jeffrey on FN - if they brought back Adam Gertler, they will definitely bring back Jeffrey.

At 8/03/2009 6:56 PM , Blogger Bill Kos said...

Jeffrey can make more of a splash on the Web, elsewhere. TV content costs too much to produce; need a whole lot more Red Lobster money. The FN Web site is getting worse day by day. Too many video ads, complicated layout, and questionable content thrown up on a whim by underlings.

TNFNS was the shark jumping moment.

At 8/03/2009 8:18 PM , Blogger AJ said...

I really wanted to see Jeffrey win. Melissa seemed fake and her smile seemed forced since day one.

At 8/03/2009 8:18 PM , Blogger Tedy said...

Infinitely unwatchable. Melissa has crazy eyes and is completely unappealing as a tv host. I won't watch. I will move over to the Create network and PBS for some real cooking.

At 8/03/2009 8:36 PM , Blogger ibcheft said...

Have you noticed that when ever your post is to negative on Bobs blog it gets deleted I have a hard time with that kind of censorship, I did not even swear at them all I said was

To all who said we could not find Jeffery’s ingredients how are you posting on the biggest shopping network in the world called the web then? There is anything and everything on here just a matter of looking for it, and this store has a search engines to find it for you. That has to be one of the lamest excuses I have ever heard. Jeffery would have done more for the food network in 6 weeks, well we will leave it at that, and what station is the PBS channel on ? that is where I will be Saturday mornings, I am really going to miss Anne Burrell maybe I can get the wife to DVR her on her TV.

At 8/03/2009 10:10 PM , Blogger Jim said...

My feeling is that if Melissa is even remotely successful, Aunt Sandy is as good as gone from FN. I always saw her Money-Saving Meals as a graceful way out... she's got a great life without having to pinch pennies on cable TV. Let Melissa do it now.

At 8/03/2009 10:14 PM , Blogger Malt said...

Oh boy, some more Sandra Lee-esque bargain cooking. Because I can afford cable, and have the luxury of watching television every Saturday morning; But gosh golly, I need to make my meals out of sawdust!

Can we have some more shows about ACTUAL COOKING? Sandra Lee, Melissa, RR, that RR ripoff that does 5 Ingredient Fix....too many shows about cutting corners.

It's a shame, I actually liked the show concept she did on the TNFNS finale.

At 8/04/2009 12:31 AM , Blogger pjd88 said...

I liked the original idea for her pilot a lot more. This is too limiting and 'game-show-ie." Money Saving Meals is a decent show but how many more original tips can they deliver? And the only advice Sandra Lee has given is to buy store brand (duh) and don't buy pre-chopped onions and garlic (oh really.)
5 Ingredient Fix could barely qualify as a 'money-saving' cooking show so I don't know why thats even being compared.

The only other show that can be compared is Good Deal with Dave Lieberman...which classically delivers tips on saving money without cheapening the craft of cooking or the meals. Its a real approach to saving money on meals that I hope will be shown in Melissa's new show. But because the title itself is limiting I don't see that happening.

PS: What happen to Dave and his show?
PPS: Maybe I'm biased because I have a crush on Dave.

At 8/04/2009 2:43 AM , Blogger Didereaux said...

'Ten Dollar Dinners'! If that isn't the worst show title in ages, I'm sadly mistaken...belongs in some 'Mad Ave Hall of Shame'.

quite apparent someone at FN is in dire need of a looooong vacation to recharge the creative battery. Worst part is that it will constrain Melissa d'Arabian whose cooking prowess was on Nest Star was shown to be quite broad.

Oh well...

At 8/04/2009 4:03 AM , Blogger Michael said...

I agree that you are so far in the tank for food network now, you would do anything to pull their line.

If you don't think Jeffery was far more Ina worthy than Melissa, then you are beyond bought! I'm a big fan of Melissa and was open to either winning, but the worst has happend. Another crap show about the lowest bar, because I guess all of us in the US can't cook. Very insulting.

Hope Jeffery takes meetings from PBS or Travel Channel. I suggest you change your header to Aunt Sandy as it better matches your point of view.

At 8/04/2009 5:05 AM , Blogger justathought said...

IMHO, I feel bad for the four little girls who are going to be affected the most by this. I was rooting for the guy.

At 8/04/2009 7:56 AM , Blogger femaile said...

what is to feel bad for the 4 girls? do you think they film 365 days a year. she will have shorter work throughout the year than most working mothers.

At 8/04/2009 2:48 PM , Blogger Muffy Willowbrook said...

I didn't mind Melissa on TNFNS; however, this concept of Ten Dollar Dinners just stinks of mediocrity. That show is going no where. They already have RR; which she has said she'd never turn her back on 30 Minute Meals because that is her "baby".

Melissa would have more longevity if they put her in an Ina-type show, or even Sara's old show format. I'd love to see some original cooking techniques that despite being a mother of four, a woman can still pull off - if she just had the knowledge! Not cheap shortcuts!

At 8/08/2009 1:00 PM , Blogger lensmanct said...

I have long wondered who would really eat at Red Lobster. Very likely, it will be the people who think that $10 meals for 4 is a really great concept for a Food Network show. I will watch the first episode out of morbid curiosity, but am unlikely to become a regular viewer.

At 8/11/2009 1:35 AM , Blogger komccarthy said...

FN doesn't need another show about cheap eats. Sandra Lee is bad enough. I will never watch this show.

At 1/30/2010 3:57 AM , Blogger Mista said...

Congrats to Melissa. I was rooting for Jeff to win. I haven't had the chance to catch it yet. I could DVR it but I'm not excited. Maybe one of these days I'll get to see it but I'm not pressed at all. Guy Feiri seems to be the Next Star "Golden Child" per se. I try to catch all of his shows when they're on. My fave shows right now Are Chopped,Goodeats,Unwrapped,Iron Chef America,all off Bobby Flay's shows,Tyler's Ultimate,all of Guys,The Neelys,Hey pretty much everything! Slowed down on Rache,Sandra and Paula but I'll watch because I'm a FN junkie!..See ya.

At 3/02/2010 1:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I jsut think food netowrk pushing melissa's show is not right at all.. he ideas are truley boring and I rather i go to csleep over and over I tried to grasp what she was trying to do and I am open person jeffrey should have won not her sheis a flop in my eyes maybe to her fans and friends can stomach her i can't cancel her dam show i rather watch sandra lee if want to know the truth but to each his own and i say slash melissas show while you guys have a chance


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