I have the Food Network listed as one of my favorite channels on TiVo, even though I’m a lousy cook. (People think I’m being funny when I say I can make myself ill with my own cooking.)
Food Network is kind of like VH-1 — somewhere you might want to stop by occasionally during a marathon of channel surfing between commercials. The only show I watch on Food Network is Good Eats, and sometimes I’ll take in an Iron Chef when Bravo, TNT and USA are Law & Order-less.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered I’m not the only 18- to 34-year-old viewer who watches Food Network. In fact, it’s surprisingly successful with that most envied of demographics.
I fall into the viewership who are more interested in the network’s personalities than the food programming itself. In my case, it’s Alton Brown — oh, the crush I have on that man!
Unlike other niche networks, Food Network manages to tap into programming trends without losing focus on the food. It’s got game shows (Iron Chef, Food Network Challenge), comedies (Ham on the Street, Good Eats), reality (Ace of Cakes) and a slew of non-fiction programming (Unwrapped, The Secret Life of …).
The only thing it doesn’t do is scripted drama — no syndication of Kitchen Confidential, thank you very much.
Does the Golf Channel or CourtTV offer the same kind of programming? I wouldn’t know because I watch neither one. I like the criminal justice system to a point, and I have no interest in golf. But everyone has to eat, and Food Network is essentially broadcasting people playing with food. Who wouldn’t like that?