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December 20, 2014

TLC wants to master the barbeque grill

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 29th 2009 11:33AM
TLC_logoYes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but this a bit much. TLC has given the greenlight to BBQ Pit Masters, a new food show about American barbecue competitions. Does Bobby Flay, Mr. Food Network grill master himself, know about this? I can see him getting as red as his hair when he reads about it.

So, TLC is saying that this new show, a documentary about the über-competitive world of competitive grilling, will run for eight hour-long episodes commencing December 2. How this will be different from similar food competitions on other networks -- like Food Network -- remains to be seen.

Still, to me it's all starting to look like one net ripping off another. TLC has also renewed Cake Boss and Ultimate Cake Off. Both of those make me think of Ace of Cakes.

TLC president Eileen O'Neil told Daily Variety that the network is doing more food shows because they've neglected that category of programming. Yes, they've been all about Jon & Kate. Then she mentioned refining the TLC brand, but if all the food shows remind viewers of Food Network, are they on the right path? I'm just asking because O'Neil can point to the numbers. They're good. Cake Off (not to be confused with Cake Boss) averaged 2.2 million viewers and Ultimate Cake Off more than one million.

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