While Bobby Flay has been a cable TV star for many, many years now, the chef is about to make the big leap to major network television as the host of NBC's America's Next Great Restaurant, set to hit airwaves next fall. Last week we heard that the new show (previouly referred to as "The United Plates of America") was casting all around the country, and on Friday afternoon, Variety got the full scoop.
The new show will be produced by none other than Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, the powerhouse team behind Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. It will be NBC's first foray into chef-based reality programming since 2003's Rocco Dispirito-starring flop, The Restaurant.
The basic premise seems to mix and match anything and everything that works on all the other big food TV shows: several aspirant chefs/restaurateurs will show off cooking skills and business proposals in a nation-wide competition, with Bobby ultimately picking one lucky team to open a restaurant with as investor and consultant. So, imagine a mix of Top Chef's cooking competitions, the master-apprentice drama of Hell's Kitchen, and a nuts-and-bolts expose of big city restaurant openings like on The Restaurant.
Flay won't be the only big food world star involved in the show. While he has been the only name mentioned so far, NBC's original statement mentions that other judges and investors will include "some of the most important names in both the dining and business worlds." We're guessing that The Donald might have a role here somehow, as well as maybe Martha or Emeril. But how great would it be if Jeffrey Chodorow came back to network television?
·All Bobby Flay Coverage on Eater [-EN-]