Martha Stewart is joining Food Network’s Chopped as a judge for its next season, and Kate Gosselin is returning to TLC with Kate Plus Date, on which she will eat dried fruit—I mean, give us “a fly-on-the-wall look inside the hectic world of dating as a single mom of multiples,” according to the network.
Those were among the announcements today at Discovery’s upfront presentation to advertisers.
After Discovery Communications acquired Scripps and its networks, it became Discovery, Inc., a conglomerate that now includes 19 networks in the U.S. alone and calls itself “the new global leader in real life entertainment.”
Those networks: HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, DIY, and Great American Country in addition to the original Discovery portfolio: Discovery Channel, TLC, Science Channel, OWN, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, American Heroes Channel, Destination America, Discovery Life, Discovery Family, Discovery En Espanol, Familia Discovery, and Velocity (which will soon be renamed Motor Trend Network).
That’s a lot of reality TV, yet in this full list of shows in Discovery’s press release (some of which have been announced separately, like this new Mythbusters spin-off) there are very few I’m truly excited about. It seems like mostly predictable, middle-of-the-road, eh, okay, reality television.
The new, combined company means there will be crossovers, including:
- HGTV star Drew Scott’s marriage to Linda Phan will be a TLC special, Drew and Linda Say I Do.
- Buddy vs. Duff, on which “Food Network’s Duff Goldman and TLC’s Cake Boss Buddy Valastro will go head to head in a battle for the ages,” according to a release.
But the networks will also continue to be themselves:
- Besides bringing Kate Gosselin back, garbage central TLC is planning Mama Medium, another phony talk-to-the-dead series.
- Food Network Star will be back to choose another person to not get their own show but just show up as a judge on their other shows.
- A Boyz II Men member will flip houses in Hit Properties with Nathan Morris on DIY.
- Animal Planet is planning Hanging with the Hendersons, which is not, alas, about a family that lives with Bigfoot, but instead about a family that runs an animal hospital in Colorado.
- Khloe Kardashian will produce a series for ID about sisters who commit crimes called Twisted Sisters.
As to Martha Stewart’s new role on Chopped, there are few details, just that she’ll join this year and be “bringing her food expertise, impeccable credentials and discerning critique to the judges’ table,” the network says.