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October 6, 2015

NBC okays restaurant reality show

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 18th 2008 4:43PM
Chef WhiteThere's more reality being served up by NBC: a food-based competition show in which couples vie to open a restaurant. British chef Marco Pierre White will be the judge. NBC has greenlit The Chopping Block for next season, calling it a sort of Top Chef meets Hell's Kitchen. Actually, it sounds like a twin for BBC America's Last Restaurant Standing. That one has nine couples competing for one restaurant with Chef Raymond Blanc as the judge. The NBC incarnation will have eight couples, and unlike Chef Blanc who has earned two Michelin stars for his restaurants, Chef White has three.

Okay, there are other differences, too. The eight couples chosen for the NBC series will have different challenges to complete, including decorating and designing the space, staffing, etc. In addition to Chef White, there'll be a panel of judges and real food critics -- like those on Iron Chef America? -- will review the restaurants. One couple from the worst-performing eatery will be sent home each week.

NBC failed to make it in 2003 with Mark Burnett-produced Rocco DiSpirito reality show, The Restaurant, although it did eek out two seasons. The success of Bravo's Top Chef, also part of the NBC Universal family, is driving the hope for this show, not to mention Fox's success with Hell's Kitchen.

A major draw for The Chopping Block could be Chef White, who replaced HK's Gordon Ramsay on the UK version of that show. He is supposedly a tough cookie, even more abusive than Gordon, if that's possible. NBC reality chief Craig Plestis said of Chef White, "He's the original rock-and-roll chef, and he made Gordon Ramsay cry, so he's going to make some of our people cry, too, I'm sure." Oh, goody -- tears! Can the blood and sweat be far behind?

The Chopping Block will be similar to an Australia show of the same name by the same producers. Plestis said NBC's version will be different because on the Aussie show, each episode is self-contained.

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uh... Last Resturant Standing on BBC anyone?

March 19 2008 at 7:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Alicia's comment

That similarity is already mentioned in the story.

April 02 2008 at 8:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was just about to say that too. I wonder if they'll even have a Dandy Warhols theme song :) ?

March 18 2008 at 11:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is a similar concept to an Australian show called "My Restaurant Rules" which aired for two seasons about three years ago.

March 18 2008 at 8:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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