Fresh off its highly publicized loss of Anthony Bourdain-related television programs, the Travel Channel has greenlit a couple of new shows that will debut next year. One of these shows is hamburger expert George Motz's Burger Land, which already premiered its two-episode pilot earlier this year (it was picked up for an eleven-episode run).
Also included in the lineup: that rumored dueling critics show featuring Las Vegas food critics John Curtas and Al Mancini is indeed a reality named All Forked Up. And what are these Vegas-based critics going to be getting up to on their gimmicky-named show? A press release explains: "this culinary odd couple explores a new city by forcing each other to their latest wild food find that reflects their differences. The one that finds the dish that best reflects each city will win bragging rights and the loser has to pay up on a crazy side bet." Here's more on both shows:
TRAVEL CHANNEL GREENLIGHTS PRODUCTION ON SIX NEW PRIMETIME SERIES: "ALL FORKED UP," "BURGER LAND," "DIGFELLAS," "FORTUNE DIGGERS" (wt), "GEM HUNT" AND "MONUMENTAL MYSTERIES" WITH DON WILDMAN
CHEVY CHASE, MD (December 11, 2012) – Travel Channel has greenlit production on six new original unscripted series that represent a diverse range of travel entertainment programming. The new line-up of shows transports viewers to the far reaches of the world, guided by the most entertaining, original and knowledgeable experts in their given fields. The announcement was made today by Laureen Ong, President, Travel Channel.
"All Forked Up" pairs polar opposite food critics, Al Mancini and John Curtas, in a food feud, while exploring a city's unique culinary flavors, and in "Burger Land," viewers accompany host George Motz on his quest for the ultimate burger. "DigFellas" introduces relic hunters on a quest to excavate history-rich locations, while in the competition series "Fortune Diggers" (wt), three teams face-off with metal detectors to unearth valuable artifacts. In "Gem Hunt," gem dealer Ron LeBlanc investigates remote regions of the world searching for precious stones. Additionally, America's great landmarks are rediscovered with host Don Wildman as he reveals hidden "Monumental Mysteries."
"From the untold stories of our monuments and the buried history uncovered by our relic-hunters, to discovering some of our nation's most interesting places to chow-down, and even trekking the world in search of rare gems — our new shows prove we are the leader in travel entertainment," says Ong. "Our hosts are all authorities in their fields – and they take us along on their global thrill-rides, doing what they know best."
"Our 2013 series demonstrate the expansive directions we are taking travel entertainment. We're actively developing in our category with unique and fresh ways that are resonating with our audience, and attracting new, entertaining talent who offer expertise in their spaces," adds Andy Singer, General Manager, Travel Channel.
NEW GREENLIT SERIES DESCRIPTIONS:
"All Forked Up" (6x30) Produced by O'Malley Productions with Julie McCully as Executive Producer
Meet Al Mancini and John Curtas, renowned Las Vegas food critics who can't agree on anything to save their lives. Al sports a mohawk, John a bow-tie, and their differences don't end there. They are polar opposites when it comes to food. Al is right at home in a punk rock bar known for outrageous burgers or bacon martinis, while John would rather uncork a cult Cabernet for pairing with a perfectly dry-aged steak. Every week, this culinary odd couple explores a new city by forcing each other to their latest wild food find that reflects their differences. The one that finds the dish that best reflects each city will win bragging rights and the loser has to pay up on a crazy side bet.
"Burger Land" (11x30) Produced by Magilla Entertainment with Travel Channel's Julie McCully as Executive Producer
Host George Motz, author of the popular book, "Hamburger America," takes viewers on a road trip to meet some of the nation's oldest and most storied hamburger creators, tour their establishments and find out what makes their burger the best. Motz uncovers the history, people and secrets behind America's most iconic sandwich.
"Digfellas" (6x30) Produced by Kinetic Content with Travel Channel's Sean McKnight as Executive Producer
Relic hunters Bill Ladd and Howard Hewitt embark on a quest to find and preserve our nation's past. In each episode, the duo investigates, isolates, and excavates a history-rich location, in search of precious relics and antiques. Using their expertise and deep historical knowledge, they separate treasures from trash. At the end of every dig, the duo meets with historical experts to authenticate their findings. Their journey is about "passion over profit" -- the love of history and the adventure of uncovering it.
"Fortune Diggers"(wt) (6x30) Produced by Sharp Entertainment with Travel Channel's Sean McKnight as Executive Producer
"Fortune Diggers"(wt) follows three teams of America's best relic hunters, competing head-to-head-to-head in a race, armed with metal detectors, to discover the most valuable artifacts in a location – from forts to historical landmarks. Once on site, the teams must use all their resources and hustle to ensure their victory – and paycheck. At the end of the hunt, our modern day treasure hunters will have their finds evaluated to learn more about the piece of history they've uncovered and the price tag that goes with it.
"Gem Hunt" (7x60) Produced by NHNZ with Travel Channel's David E. Gerber as Executive Producer
This series captures all the intrigue, jeopardy and rewards of the world's gem trade, every step of the way. In each episode, viewers will follow veteran gem dealer Ron LeBlanc, geologist Bernie Gaboury and jewelry maven Diane Robinson as they travel to remote regions of the world in search of gemstones they can turn into a small fortune. A stone purchased for $4,000 at the source can instantly jump to $50,000 when it has been flawlessly cut, and by the time it hits the market, can be skyrocket to a quarter of a million dollars. Or, if botched during the cutting, can become practically worthless.
"Monumental Mysteries" (13x60) Produced by Optomen Productions with Travel Channel's David E. Gerber as Executive Producer
"Monumental Mysteries" scours the country for America's most extraordinary monuments and reveals the amazing mysteries hidden. From New York's iconic Chrysler Building that was once the site of a stunning display of an architectural chicanery, to a huge clock on the island of Hawaii where the hands are forever frozen in time – these are just some of the tales revealed. Hosted by Don Wildman, this series visits the statues, memorials, national parks, gravestones and sculptures which commemorate our nation's most notorious crimes, scandals, disasters and intriguing events of all time.