New reality competition will let you put the winner in your mouth

TNT has ordered an interesting new food competition series from Mark Burnett’s One Three Media called On the Menu: each episode’s winning dish will go on the menu at the next day. Here’s how TNT describes the show:

“Each episode of On the Menu will center on a different American food business — ranging from restaurant chains and stadium concession stands to amusement parks and cruise lines. Passionate home cooks, working in conjunction with professional chefs, will be challenged to create the business’ next signature menu item. The winning dish will immediately go on the menu, giving viewers at home the chance to go try the dish the very next day.”

There’s no way this show won’t feature heavy product integration via the “food business” being featured, and that can work (The Pitch) or be overwrought and annoying (Undercover Boss), so I hope that the sell to viewers is not too heavy handed.

But it’s a smart way to produce a show and provide something of value for both a sponsor and for viewers, kind of like what Fashion Star attempted, though it seems more difficult to convince viewers to buy clothes than to try a menu item. I like the concept a lot, so I hope the execution is as great.

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Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.