Food Network Can Survive as a 'Zone-Out Destination'
Don't aspire for greatness, think 'meh' instead: Opinion
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2013 6:32 PM CST
Food Network celebrity Guy Fieri of 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.'   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

(Newser) – At age 20, the Food Network is in the midst of a sharp drop in viewership. Time to think big, maybe venture back to shows about quality cooking rather than comfort food? Nope, writes Jesse David Fox at Vulture. He, for one, has returned to the network as a regular viewer precisely because it's become an "audio-visual" version of comfort food. That is, he can zone out while watching shows like Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives or give in to the "hypnotic embrace" of, say, a marathon of Chopped. "Establishing yourself as a zone-out destination is not a terrible business plan," he writes. "The ratings for HGTV—another network that many people spend hours on with little memory of—are only climbing."

Food Network execs, then, shouldn't think big at all. "There is always a place for something satisfyingly filling that you don’t ever plan for, you’re just happy it’s there. After all, Folgers is still the top-selling ground coffee in the US." Click for the full piece, in which Fox writes that the network helped create a nation of foodies, but "gave them the knowledge and skills to eventually turn their noses up at the network and move on." He was one of those who moved on—but now he's back.

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Showing 3 of 13 comments
K.KRANK
Nov 28, 2013 3:59 PM CST
They should start reviewing just fast food fast food joints. Like there's this chain near me that starts w/a "W" but doesn't focus on hot dogs, where they hire local gang talent from the area, & 1 time I went to the drive-thru & got a burger & was sick for like days afterwards. Guy & the Food Network could do a public service & increase their viewership by finding out which of those specific fast food restaurants is most likely to make you puke for half a week after eating lunch there hahaha
Ezekiel 25:17
Nov 28, 2013 3:47 PM CST
Guy has rolled through my town on numerous occasions. One place got so popular that the owners finally made enough for retirement and have closed and moved to Italy. That's better than what usually happens to the restaurants that Gordan Ramsey visits. Its good he makes them sign an indemnity clause because some have tried to sue him when they got into loggerheads over cleanliness. Remember, "Sebastion's." He closed, sued, and lost. Guy stops at these diners and consumes a lot of groceries, well, maybe just a bite or two. Man-v-Food is another animal and he's also pulled through our town and put some dives on the map. My preference is always Good Eats as he cooks and makes it fun. But I don't like his game show so much because its just plain mean when he walks up to a chef and tells them they have to cook everything on upside down pans.
$3586407
Nov 28, 2013 8:19 AM CST
I stopped watching because they stopped cooking (at least when ever I've turned on the TV). I call this the MTV effect. They chased ratings and lost what made them great. Now I can watch reruns of Good Eats on Amazon Prime and Gordon Ramsay's cooking shows on Youtube. Bye Food Network.