DAVID BIANCULLI

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ERIC GOULD

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Save 50% off on 26 weeks of The New York Times Digital
 
 
 
 
1999: Food Network Adds 'Iron Chef'
July 9, 2017  | By TV WW
 
On this day in 1999, cable's Food Network added the Japanese cooking competition series Iron Chef to its lineup.

Launched on Japanese television in 1993, the series featured one of the show's resident chefs competing against a visiting chef, with each preparing multiple dishes using the episode's secret ingredient. A panel of judges determined which chef best utilized the featured ingredient.

The series initially made its way to America via a few UHF and local cable stations, and quickly built a cult following. (In March 1998, TVWW's David Bianculli, on Fresh Air, talked about watching bootleg copies of Iron Chef and lobbied for it to be picked up by a national network.)

After a highly-rated 2004 special that pitted the Japanese Iron Chefs against Food Network stars, the Food Network introduced its own version of the show, Iron Chef America, in 2005.
 
 
 
 
 
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

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