Tag: Marco Pierre White

The Chopping Block debuts Wednesday on NBC

It seems like cooking/restaurant reality based shows are popping up on every network. You’ve got Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” on Fox, and Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Then, of course, there are The Food Network’s “Chopped” and “Ultimate Recipe Showdown,” among others. Now NBC is getting into the action, with their new show, “The Chopping Block,” set to debut this Wednesday at 8pm/7pm central. The premise is that renowned British chef Marco Pierre White will direct two teams of four couples each in taking a restaurant from the ground up, with one couple being eliminated per week and the grand prize winner taking home $250,000.

We must now be so enamored with crass British reality TV talent judges that we now have to build shows around them. Along with Ramsay, “American Idol’s” Simon Cowell also comes immediately to mind. But while White seems to have Ramsay’s values, he has Cowell’s soft-spoken delivery and looks more like Howard Stern. Regardless, we caught a screener of the first two episodes and the show, which takes place in the restaurant hotbed of New York City, is definitely entertaining. The restaurant business is pressure-packed enough, but add TV cameras and celebrity food critics as well as some volatile contestants, and you’ve got some great natural drama. If you like any of the shows mentioned, you’re going to love this one too, provided you have time in your busy reality TV-watching schedule.

TCA Tour, Jan. 2009: NBC newsflash

Angela Bromstad, President of Primetime Entertainment, and Paul Telegdy, Executive Vice President of Alternative Programming, just popped up on stage to offer the following tidbits of information, some of which were announced awhile ago but which we haven’t yet covered on Premium Hollywood:

* “Southland,” the new drama from John Wells (which was formerly known as “Police”), will premiere on April 9th, Thursday at 10 PM.

From Emmy Award winners John Wells, Ann Biderman and Chris Chulack comes a raw and authentic look at the police unit in Los Angeles. From the beaches of Malibu to the streets of East Los Angeles, “Southland” is a fast-moving drama that will take viewers inside the lives of cops, criminals, victims and their families. Michael Cudlitz plays John Cooper a seasoned Los Angeles cop assigned to train young rookie Ben Sherman. Cooper’s honest, no-nonsense approach to the job leaves Sherman questioning whether or not he has what it takes to become a police officer. Cudlitz and McKenzie are joined by other cast members including Regina King who plays Detective Lydia Adams. Adams lives with and is the primary caregiver of her mother. Her partner, Detective Russell Clarke (Tom Everett Scott) is an unhappily married father of three. Michael McGrady plays Detective Daniel “Sal” Salinger. Sal oversees fellow gang detectives Nate Moretta (Kevin Alejandro) and Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy). Arija Bareikis plays as patrol officer Chickie Brown, a single mom who dreams of being the first woman accepted into SWAT.

* They have ordered 3 more episodes of “ER,” bringing the season total to 23. The series finale will now air on April 2nd, with a one-hour retrospective preceding the two-hour finale. Why the additional episodes? “Why not?” asked Bromstad. She then clarified, however, that it allows John Wells time to get “Southland” ready.

* They have officially signed on for additional seasons of “The Office” and “The Rock”

* NBC has signed Don Cheadle and his company, Crescendo Productions, to a two-year, first-look television development deal.

* Due to its success up against “American Idol,” they will indeed be picking up another season of “Biggest Loser” for next season.

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