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No surprise...NBC axes The Chopping Block

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 27th 2009 11:15AM
marco pierre whiteIt cannot come as a big surprise that NBC's reality series The Chopping Block has been chopped after three episodes. The show started poorly in the ratings and have sunk lower in the subsequent two broadcasts.

Ratings alone aren't the reason for The Chopping Block being sent back to the kitchen, or thrown down the garbage disposal, or any other food euphemism you might want to suggest. The Chopping Block was dumped and deservedly so because it was not a good reality competition show.

The idea itself was a variation of theme more successfully executed in other series. It was taking the idea of restaurant wars from Top Chef, blending in the team concept from The Last Restaurant Standing (shown on BBC America), and then concocting it all around the large -- presumably charismatic presence -- of a head chef named Marco Pierre White. White was supposed to be the real catch; bigger than Gordon Ramsay, as intimidating as Donald Trump, a real European eccentric who would wow American audiences. He had a track record on TV, too, having starred in ITV's Hell's Kitchen before Ramsay.

So, on paper, all this looked like a potential winner. But you know what? Some souffles just don't rise. This was flat and extremely undramatic. The teams were not particularly interesting and throwing them into restaurant wars from day one was just inane. We didn't know them yet, how could be have a rooting interest? Ultimately, though, Marco was a bust. He is a world class chef, but his TV schtick didn't play. Sitting in a big chair and spouting doctrine about how to create a restaurant, how to organize a kitchen, how to serve a baby chicken, was just pompous and pretentious.

Mercifully, NBC has shelved the remainder of this series. In it's stead, good old Law & Order: Criminal Intent (the new episodes with Jeff Goldblum) will fill the bill.

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I am kind of annoyed -- if they're all filmed, why can't they just show the rest of it? I'm not addicted to the show but now that I don't know who won, it's going to annoy me.

March 28 2009 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Melissa's comment
T.Y. Singer

It's NBC. They never finish what they start. Left hanging again. The show did stink, though, compared to HK, etc.

April 24 2009 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Leonardo Diaz

The rest of the shows are on NBC's website

May 02 2009 at 5:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

White came across more pompous than Gordon Ramsey, and not near as likable. I think they made a poor choice choosing a chef that was virtually unknown in the US.
I think the plain and simple fact is that this show wasn't as entertaining as Hell's Kitchen, and not as smart as Top Chef.

March 27 2009 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was hoping for something like Last Restaurant Standing, which I love, but this show was just not worthwhile.

March 27 2009 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

are there going to be any more episodes of knight rider? was the show officially canceled, I think knight rider was a better fit for wed. then the chopping block.

I also almost tried out for this show with a co-worker, glad I decided against it(not that we had a chance of being picked). I really enjoy watching Last Restaurant Standing and had hoped that this show would have been like that. Maybe some day we will get an American version of that show. They could use any one of the number of successful chefs that do business in America, the list of guest judges from Top Chef would be a good place to start, I think Eric Ripert would do a good job.

March 27 2009 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob Walley

The show was underwhelming and I will not miss the remainder of the series.

Correction: Marco Pierre White did not host ITV's Hell's Kitchen before Ramsay. Ramsay hosted the UKs first season and MPW took over in the second and subsequent seasons.

March 27 2009 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rob Walley's comment

To amend your correction, Gordon Ramsay headed the first season, the second was fronted by Gary Rhodes & Jean Christophe Novelli and the third was done by Marco Pierre White, who for Allison's information is an English chef, not a European one (yes, there is a difference).

The real problem with the chopping block stemmed from the producers of the show completely ignoring the things that made the original bbc show (The Restaurant) interesting and instead deciding on a badly cobbled knock off of the other competitive cooking shows with marginal use of marco.

March 28 2009 at 8:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I won't miss it
I prefer Hell's Kitchen / Kitchen Nightmares
and a BIG yay !!! for the return
of L&O : CI that one is my fave of the 5

March 27 2009 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watched the first show, because I adore MPW, it was boring and I didnt watch the next one or the next one, they were on my "to watch" list on HULU, but everytime I logged on to watch them, I ended up watching something else, even reruns of shows i Had already seen.

I wish nothing but the best for MPW, I know there is a show out there that can feature him the way he should be, but this wasnt it.

March 27 2009 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watched all three episodes that aired and indeed the show was flat. Too Bad.

March 27 2009 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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