WASHINGTON, January 22, 2013 —Tonight, the most recent addition to talent-seeking reality shows, The Taste, premiers at 8 p.m. on ABC. This competitive cooking show has a format similar to current talent shows, but with food as the star and aspiring chefs as the contestants. Combine The Voice with The Iron Chef, and the result is The Taste.
Anthony Bourdain, Ludo Lefebvre, Brian Malarkey and Nigella Lawson will serve as judges and mentors for 16 hopefuls who make the cut by preparing a dish that will be rated on a single spoonful, thus the name, The Taste.
Following the choice of sixteen competitors, the judges will each mentor a team of four through a series of challenges and eliminations until only one is left standing. By now this formula is familiar with TV audiences, but the panel of celebrated judges promises to be anything but formulaic.
In recent years, the “foodie” movement has made stars of previously unknown kitchen wizards, and the judges on The Taste have proved to be among the most popular. Anyone who has watched any of the myriad of TV cooking shows knows chefs are often opinionated and critical, each with their own brand of colorful eccentricities.
This is what gives me hope that the usual contrived drama and manufactured controversy prevalent in today’s so-called reality shows will not be a part of the dynamics of The Taste. Anthony Bourdain’s withering witticisms on his show “No Reservations” has either made people a huge fan or an unforgiving critic. Personally I love the guy, so I look forward to seeing him on a national stage with his cynicism and snarkiness intact.
I can’t imagine any of these culinary giants surrendering their egos or their opinions to the machinations of well meaning producers, so I’m cautiously optimistic The Taste will avoid the tedious predictability of the current crop of talent shows. I’ll be watching and hoping The Taste raises the bar for all of them, but only time (and ratings) will tell.
All times are EST:
ABC: The Taste: (New) Part 1 of 2. In the series premiere of this cooking-competition show, 29 cooks audition for 16 spots by preparing a dish that will be rated via a blind taste test conducted by four celebrity chefs.
CBS: NCIS: (Repeat) A Navy lieutenant who recently returned home from the Middle East is murdered. Gibbs believes a friend of the victim, a Marine captain suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, may be the key to finding the killer.
FOX: Raising Hope: (New) Due to a history of irresponsible behavior, Jimmy balks at Frank’s idea for a bachelor party, but gives in when Sabrina persuades him to have fun. It’s too late to reconsider, however, once Frank’s true intentions are revealed.
NBC: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers: (New) Comedy never gets old! And Bob Harper guest stars.
CW: Hart of Dixie: (New) When George’s parents come to visit, they are thrown when they meet his new girlfriend, Tansy, and his mother devises a plan that forces George and Zoe to address their feelings for one another.
FOX: Ben and Kate: (New)Ben grows concerned about the future of Rail Mall when his new business partner starts bringing in more associates to expand their plan. Meanwhile, Kate learns that Will has started dating again; and BJ and Maddie go to a commercial audition as mother and daughter.
NBC: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers: (New) Nicole Richie guest stars.
CBS: NCIS: Los Angeles: (Repeat) Kensi and Deeks work undercover as a married couple to expose a Russian sleeper cell in a suburban neighborhood.
FOX: New Girl: (New) Nick suspects that one of Jess’ night-school students is hiding something; Winston and Cece have an embarrassing encounter.
NBC: Go ON: (New) Ryan feels threatened when the charismatic - and hot - Simone returns to the group. Piper Perabo and Terrell Owens guest star.
CW: Emily Owens, M.D.: (New) When Emily, Will and Cassandra compete against each other to be Dr. Bandari’s research assistant; feelings get hurt when they have to describe each other’s flaws.
FOX: The Mindy Project: (New) Mindy’s attempted one-night stand with Brendan hits a snag when his brother and Morgan drop by; and Danny goes on a date with Eye Patch.
NBC: The New Normal: (New) The gang puts their “gaydar” to the test when the sexuality of Rocky’s supposed boyfriend is called into question.
ABC: Private Practice: (New) Naomi returns for Addison’s wedding day; Cooper struggles in his role as a stay-at-home father; Violet starts a new project that has special meaning.
CBS: Vegas: (Repeat) When the son of a gaming-commission member is kidnapped, Sheriff Lamb suspects Savino, who has been angling for a special gambling license for the casino. Meanwhile, Savino’s wife arrives in Las Vegas to support her husband, who has promised that the family will be safe there, but the arrival of a Milwaukee hit man jeopardizes things.
NBC: Parenthood: (New) Season finale! Sarah’s forced to choose; Amber and Ryan discuss the future; Joel and Julia plan a family event.
New episodes of:
Dual Survival: Untamed at 8 p.m. on DSC
Dual Survival at 9 p.m. on DSC
Doomsday Preppers at 9 p.m. on NGC
Face Off at 9 p.m. on Syfy
The Sisterhood at 9 p.m. on TLC
Edge of America at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on Travel Channel
Chopped at 10 p.m. on Food Channel
Justified at 10 p.m. on FX
Diggers at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on NGC
Cougar Town at 10 p.m. on TNT
Snooki & JWoww at 10 p.m. on MTV
Real Husbands of Hollywood at 10 p.m. on BET
For movie lovers:
Gone in 60 Seconds on AMC
Dante’s Peak on ENC
Fantastic Four on FMC
In Time on HBO
A League of Their Own on REELZ
The Iron Lady on SHO
American Reunion on HBO
50 First Dates on MOMAX
The Pirates! Band of Misfits on STARZ
Blue Velvet on CINEMAX
Happy Accidents on FLIX
Source Code on SHO
Nurse Betty on SUND
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