Food Network and Travel Channel: The clone wars

Scripps Networks Interactive, the company that owns both the Food Network and Travel Channel, has taken unimaginative programming to new heights by running two sets of nearly identical shows on both channels.

“Food Wars,” on Travel Channel goes to different cities to try and settle different food rivalries. Who makes the best Philly cheesesteak? The best Texas barbecue? The best Buffalo chicken wings?

Meanwhile on Food Network, chef Michael Symon hosts, “Food Feuds,” which…pretty much does the same thing. Even some of the same restaurants and foods from the Travel Channel are featured.

I’ve watched both shows, and I find them both unsatisfying because I doubt that they will change anyone’s opinions about their favorite foods. The argument will never be settled. People are going to like what they like. And what do outsiders know about their regional food anyway? So everything on both shows feel extremely forced and artificial.

The second set of doppelganger shows is Food Network’s “Meat & Potatoes” and a special edition of Travel Channel’s “Man v Food” show called “The Carnivore Chronicles.” I’ll let the respective program descriptions speak for themselves.

Food Network:
“When it comes to meat, Rahm Fama of Meat & Potatoes means business. He’s tracking down the country’s best spots for the choicest cuts of beef, pork and everything in between.”

Travel Channel:
“On Man v Food: The Carnivore Chronicles, Adam Richman takes us on a culinary quest to find the meatiest meals this country has to offer. Adam gives viewers an insider’s look at the food, the chefs and their cities.”

I haven’t seen “Meat & Potatoes” yet, but from the commercials alone, it looks like Adam Richman has more personality in his pinkie that Rahm Fama.

Scripps is also repurposing old Food Network content for Travel Channel. The other day, I saw an episode of Rachael Ray’s “$40 a Day” on Travel Channel. I have no problem with this, but this particular episode was several years old. If you’re watching Travel Channel for the latest information, you could be led astray by this show.

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