Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More Mario Batali Food Network Controversy

As many of you have read from my posts and from other things online, there was a bit of controversy over Mario Batali awhile ago. The issue had to do with a supposed disagreement between Batali and the Food Network over canceling his shows, Molto Mario and Ciao America that were in repeat loops. The articles released, stated that Batali was so upset by the action that he would no longer participate in the Iron Chef America episodes. It was also reported that Batali was leaving to work on a Spanish cuisine show with PBS.

I later updated from an official announcement stating that the Food Network had in fact canceled his shows. However, new episodes of the shows had not been taped in a number of years and it was a programming decision used to open slots for new shows. They also stated that Batali would continue to be part of Iron Chef America and that there was no disagreement between the two parties. They also noted that Batali would be starting a new show with PBS, but it was in no way an issue with the Food Network.

I thought I would give a little update on what I have noticed lately about the issue. For those of you that have watched the Next Iron Chef may have noticed the same peculiarity that I had. In the final episode of the mini-series, the Iron Chefs were judges for the last two contestants. I noted a strange peculiarity in the episode, while the Iron Chefs were present, one seemed to be missing, Mario Batali.

I tend to read into things too much, but wonder if this is exactly what they were trying to do. Using this supposed disagreement with Batali over the canceling of his shows, and then having him absent from this last episode may just have been a ploy to get us all to watch the Food Network more and see what is going to happen. Ohhhhh, will Batali be there next season? Will he have the newly designed Iron Chef coat on his back when it is gaudily revealed, you know the thing has to be gaudy. At least it won't be denim, I pray it won't be denim. Not all of us U.S. citizens wear denim.

What brought about this blog today you might ask. Well I woke up hearing the familiar Batali voice on the television the other night, but figured it was just an odd dream. I was then just flipping through the channels today and behold, Molto Mario has shifted over to the Fine Living channel, which just so happens to be owned by the same company that owns the Food Network. Other Food Network chefs have made the shift to the channel as well, such as Ming Tsai, Micahel Lomonoco and others. I again am not surprised, as I see this as all part of a ploy to get us to watch their channels more. They can have multiple reasons behind it, fans demanded it and we had to give it to you, or this was the plan all along and you should all feel like dolts for thinking the Food Network empire would ever get rid of Mario.

Conspiracy after conspiracy, oh how I love the drama of it all haha. I'm just happy to be able to see Batali on Fine Living, I really enjoy the shows on that channel. I also began to think of MTV today though and realized, hrm, MTV and VH1 are both owned by the same company. As MTV no longer plays music, and the Food Network no longer shows professional cooking; will Fine Living follow suit someday with VH1 and stop showing practical shows, I hope not. Fine Living started off as more of a lifestyle channel at any rate, so my worries are hopefully a moot point.

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