I’ve always heard the expression good things come to those who wait, but as I’ve been waiting more than a few years I started to believe it was all a bunch of hooey…until now. I was in the middle of pounding out pork loin slices for cutlets the Thursday before last when my phone started to ring. I looked at it the same way a cat looks at you when you ask it to explain in detail Newton’s laws of motion. I didn’t recognize the number and like most responsible people would do I picked up the phone and hit “decline” set it back down and went back to beating my meat…as in cutlet people…oh, never mind.

The caller never left a message and after a barrage of constant harassment from The Cat I decided to call the number back. I heard a voice on the other end of the phone and was confused so like most people who are perplexed by something they just heard…I stuttered then stammered and then looked down at my phone searching for the end call button. No way in hell did that just happen. Feeling like an idiot and knowing caller ID technology being what it is, I knew I had to call back…did I really just hear what I think I heard? So with that I hit redial…

“This is Brooke,” said the voice on the other end of the line. Uhhhh….This is Pavlov. “Pavlov…I’m so glad you called back.”  You are? Who is this? Brooke Johnson, president of The Food Network. HA…Yeah, good one! I’d know that voice anywhere…sooooooo BROOKE I’m so glad YOU called…while I got you on the phone why don’t we go ahead and add some excitement to Cupcake Wars. We could combine the show with The Ultimate Fighter and put the contestants in an octagon and they could make cupcakes for one round, then the next round they could do a little ground and pound throwing elbows into each other’s faces! Whatta ya think…Kelly! *Dead silence………………………..*

“I understand you’re cynicism Pavlov, and that’s part of the reason for my phone call to you.” I got to thinking about what this person on the other end of the phone said, and then thought about the phone number I had redialed…it hit me like a ton of bricks. Holy Shhhhhh…is this really Brooke Johnson…Seriously?! Yes Pavlov…I read your email, and I have to tell you it wasn’t very flattering. Feeling like a turd in a punchbowl I started to justify the Email as more or less tongue in cheek and mostly for a…Let me just say you had some valid points Pavlov… Please…call me Pav was all I could muster behind what must be my now red glowing face.

Embarrassed but feeling a bit cheeky I asked her, “So you’re calling to take me up on my offer to be head of programming?” She laughed and doubted Bob (that’s Bob Tuschman VP of programming) would be game for that, but she did have a few ideas she’d like to toss around with me. You, want to toss a few ideas around with me? Yes, that’s the reason for my call, well that and to tell you I got what you were saying in your email/blog. She told me it was quite humorous and that she got a good bit of ribbing around the office after she posted it in an inter-company memo…What can I say, we got a bit cocky and lost a bit of focus. After the Email and reading your blog for a while, we decided it would be good to have a pair of fresh eyes.

We’d like for you to come to New York and give some input on a few projects in development. We would be willing to pay you as a consultant to give some input on these concepts and add few ideas of your own. I said I’d be happy to, when were you thinking you’d like to do this? She said she realized it was on late notice but if I wanted to, I could come as early as tomorrow. Well, I was going to make a Tuna Noodle casserole tomorrow, but I suppose I could push that back. She laughed then said perfect, I’ll put a meeting together, and I’ll have someone call you to put together some accommodations. I have been dying inside, wanting to talk about this for more than a week now!

It was an amazing day people and I have to tell you I’m really excited about some of the things that have been put together. It really looks as though they took their slumping ratings to heart and are really ready to focus on getting back their core audience. I can’t really go into what was discussed for obvious reasons, but I can tell you for the first time in a long time I may be tuning in again. I received permission only just this morning to talk about my experience provided I didn’t give specific details on the things that were discussed.

Brooke was a sincerely wonderful person with a rather dry sense of humor. The people there were very nice and I think we really made some headway towards fun and unique programming. I’ve been offered the opportunity to come down once a month to work on project development or on an as needed basis with a limited budget for my own travel and for “brainstorming”. So let me paint some very broad generalities about what types of show pitches are being looked into to wet your whistles! I’m sorry I can’t give more info but this was all I was cleared to talk about.

Cupcakes, for those of you who know me or who read my last post, will know I’m not what you’d call a big fan. But let me just say I’m really pretty excited about this idea in a way I never thought I could be. This one as it stands right now will include a live audience and a super talent heralding back to the “cooking instructional” days. (Yeah, really not allowed to use the dirty S&S nomenclature at TVFN…it’s a no-no) I know what you’re thinking folks, and I was skeptical about this one but really believe it’s gonna be fun and entertaining.

Convenience foods, I understood this to only mean what we think of when we hear the words Kwanza Cake, but this isn’t like that at all. This one will feature amateur talents, from grocery store to home with judges. I know this sounds vague, but believe me it’s gonna be a hit. I can’t believe nobody has thought to do this before but breaking new ground is apparently what TVFN is now embracing.

Pets are a big part of a lot of people’s lives and yet somehow they seem to be forgotten, or left to eating from a bag of this, or a can of that. Why shouldn’t they have good nutritious food as well? Well now they will…no, it’s not about just cooking animal food as I rolled my eyes at this idea as well. It’s more about cooking by the owner meets this’ll be good for pet as well. This isn’t just a cat n dog show… that’s all I’ll say about it.

The last pitch I was involved with will for me be the most exciting to see come to fruition. This one is a nod to “An idiot abroad” meets food. This will feature amateur talents eating outside their comfort zone but with a twist. Imagine being given a certain amount of money to travel with and at different stops the traveler can eat whatever they want…with foods they know and are comfortable with being expensive and crazy odd foods being relatively cheap…how long will the money last? That kind of thing… but you’ll have to wait to see the final result.

So all in all it was pretty darned exciting and I’ll let you all know what I can, when I can. In the meantime I won’t be posting as much as I’ll be fairly busy doing the types of things that consultants do which is to say…not much. I’ll be mostly be going places to get my creativity on and digging the scenes. I have a limited budget to do some travel and get some ideas for upcoming spitball sessions…but I can’t do it alone. If you have an idea, a place, or something I should check out leave a comment.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Brooke and The Food Network for giving me this opportunity to do what little I can to help them. It shows that some people CAN make a difference if they only take the time to step up and be heard. I’m really excited to see what we can do together as a team to rebuild the core demo that we (wow, sounds funny to say we…but that’s what team players do.) once had. Thanks to all of you for reading and taking the time to leave comments as I sincerely appreciate it. Without you, all of this would have been possible anyway…. But I’m really glad you were there for the ride.

One Love!


29 thoughts on “AT LAST…FOOD NETWORK!

  1. Tirsden…Sorry about your Allergies/Reactions to certain foods. Also, this story was meant to preceed another of my stories on purpose. Please read "No Virginia" if you get a chance…it'll be self explanatory…and sorry in advance! 😉 I'm afraid TVFN will most likely never have such a show as they tend (as I'm sure you well know) to dumb shows down to the lowest common denominator for broad viewership…. and even though I don't have said food "issues" It would be nice to see something like this to educate others. Thanks again for reading…it is greatly appreciated.Pav

  2. Congratulations! Wow, that's epic, glad you caught Food Network's eye. Hmm, one thing I've always wished Food Network had was a little nod towards people with food allergies… but then that's pretty much because I have severe food allergies and can't eat most of what's in an average grocery store. Which means most recipes are either lost causes or require a lot of ingredient substitutions.Always wondered if I wrote them, if they'd do a special episode of Emeril or Iron Chef America or something, where they're limited to the sort of ingredients list someone with my allergies has. No wheat, dairy, or migraine triggers (a long list all by itself). Teh gasp!But eh, I keep forgetting to write them and I'm not sure if it'd fly (who me, insecure? always). Drop the idea to them if you want, sadly I don't have cable so I probably wouldn't see a positive end result anyways. Good luck with all your Food Network related endeavors, and everything else too! ^__^

  3. Thanks so much for the work you have put into this post. I have this post bookmarked in Delicious and will refer back frequently over the next several day. Hi and thank you for a great article. I really just love your blog. I will bookmark it and come back for more.

  4. I believe in you Biz…as do so many good people in your life. You're gonna do it…you know it, and I know it. But if you wanna speed up the process, just come up with a show that combines Hockey and Food…I know someone who can help!

  5. OMG!!!!!! that's so much fun!!! Could I be your Assitant??? Every consultant needs an assistant…From my part… I think FN needs a VEGETARIAN/MEATLESS POV!!!! and according to you… even a Latin POV as well, besides Mexican food. I love Marcela Valladolid, She's my friend on FB. But there's more to Latin cooking than just Mexican flavors. That's my contribution of the day. Hope you help me champion those ideas to Brooke and the rest of the programming people. and GOOD LUCK!!! such an awesome move!!!

  6. Thanks Tupper, yeah can you believe it… I had to write for three whole months and two whole days to finally make something happen! I should have bitched years ago….guess the technology wasn't there!

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