Food Adds to Reality Menu


Continuing to diversify its menu of reality programming, Food Network plans
to bow a trio of new series in the second quarter of next year.

As part of that group, Food will serve its first course of dating fare. The
half-hour Date Plate -- produced by the creators of The Learning Channel
cynosure Trading Spaces -- will match singles looking to cook up a little
romance. Each gets $50 to plan a menu that wins over a member of the opposite
sex, but the single being wooed doesn't get to meet the suitor-chef until show's

Meanwhile, the E.W. Scripps Co.-owned network is billing Food Fight as
Beat the Clock meets Iron Chef. This half-hour show pits two teams
that have nothing in common -- e.g. grandmas versus construction workers -- in a
culinary face-off. Teams have two hours from shopping to preparation to complete
regional dishes. Local experts will judge and award prizes.

Buoyed by last year's initial stab, Food will unveil a much more in-depth
look at the lives of nine new culinary students looking to graduate from the Art
Institute of California in the second-season of Cooking School

'Reality is a natural progression for us based on the popularity of our
cooking competitions like Iron Chef, US Barbecue Championship and
the Pillsbury Bake-Off, along with the positive response to the first
installment of Cooking School Stories,' senior vice president of
programming and production Eileen Opatut said in a prepared statement.

'This is clearly the kind of programming our audience craves,' she