Publishing giant Random House is partnering with Food Network to create a television series based on the upcoming cookbook The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen. The series will be called Heartland Table and will star Thielen, a James Beard Award-winning food writer and former professional cook. The show premieres on September 14th, and the book hits shelves on September 24th. According to the press release below, the show marks the first time an author's cookbook and television show "have both been produced internally by Random House." (The book is published by Clarkson Potter).
Random House Studio — an internal division of Random House tasked with identifying and acquiring "performance rights for the full range of broadcast network, cable, premium-television scripted, and theatrical film formats" from Random House titles — will be partnering with Tavola Productions to produce this and other as yet unknown "food and cooking shows." Tavola Productions currently produces chef Lidia Bastianich's shows, and Bastianich is president of the company.
Unlike familiar Food Network faces like Giada De Laurentiis and Rachael Ray, Thielen is a relative unknown. With the launch of the show, it seems Random House hopes to drive sales of her cookbook by making her a television star. Bastianich is quoted in the press release saying that Thielen is "magic on camera." There are synopsis of a few upcoming episodes of the show on FoodNetwork.com, including an episode about butter, an episode about the outdoors, and an episode about Fargo, ND. Like the book, the show will be focused on midwestern cuisine.
Though Heartland Table will be their first television series, Random House Studio has produced two feature films based on their titles: Reservation Road and One Day. Clarkson Potter senior vice president Pam Krauss is quoted in the press release explaining the role of the studio: "Random House Studio is a fantastic in-house resource for our talent and we look forward to bringing many more authors to the screen." The full press release, below:
RANDOM HOUSE STUDIO, TAVOLA PRODUCTIONS, CLARKSON POTTER & FOOD NETWORK ANNOUNCE COOKBOOK & TV SHOW WITH FOOD WRITER AMY THIELEN FOR FALL 2013
New York, NY (August 19, 2013) Food Network along with Random House Television, a division of Random House Studio, in partnership with Tavola Productions, today announced a new television series, HEARTLAND TABLE, based on Amy Thielen's forthcoming book THE NEW MIDWESTERN TABLE: 200 HEARTLAND RECIPES, to be published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of The Crown Publishing Group, on September 24, 2013, in simultaneous hardcover and e-book editions. HEARTLAND TABLE premieres September 14, 2013, at 10:30a.m. ET/PT on Food Network.
The simultaneous launch of Thielen's television show, HEARTLAND TABLE and the publication of her first cookbook, THE NEW MIDWESTERN TABLE, marks the first time an author's cookbook and television show have both been produced internally by Random House.
In both HEARTLAND TABLE and THE NEW MIDWESTERN TABLE, Thielen will introduce viewers to the food, unique characters, and important traditions of the Midwest. Following her lead, cooks everywhere will fall in love with the Midwest's captivating flavors, the backbone for much of America's food heritage.
Thielen, a resident and native of Minnesota and a James Beard Award–winning journalist, spent seven years cooking professionally in New York under David Bouley, Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Shea Gallante.
Thielen said, "My initial excitement in coming home and rediscovering the rich, diverse food culture of the Midwest is equal to the thrill I feel now to be publishing this cookbook, and working with Random House Television, Tavola, and Food Network to share the stories and flavors of my home with cooks across America."
Random House Studio comprises Random House Films and Random House Television and works with Random House's editors and publishers worldwide, and its authors' agents to identify and acquire performance rights for the full range of broadcast network, cable, premium-television scripted, and theatrical film formats.
Tavola Productions is an Emmy Award–winning entertainment company founded by Lidia Bastianich.
Peter Gethers, president of Random House Studio, said, "We are delighted to have our first television series air on Food Network, and I am thrilled to be working with Amy Thielen. Her book is a fresh and exciting look at the food and culture of the Midwest and it's an honor to help translate her vision into a TV show. This series is a perfect example of how Random House Studio can work with a publisher—in this case the great team at Clarkson Potter—to expand our authors' audiences and help them branch out into different areas of the media."
"We're always looking for fresh new voices in the culinary world to offer our viewers," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network. "Amy's celebration of her Midwestern roots represents the kind of authentic, appealing, and accessible expertise that is at the heart of the Food Network brand."
Pam Krauss, senior vice president and publisher of Clarkson Potter, said, "Amy represents an important new voice on the culinary scene, and we are thrilled to be shining a spotlight on this often overlooked yet vibrant regional cuisine. Random House Studio is a fantastic in-house resource for our talent and we look forward to bringing many more authors to the screen."
Random House Studio is also pleased to announce its partnership with Tavola Productions in producing food and cooking shows. Tavola Productions' current productions include Emmy-winning "Lidia's Italy in America" and "Lidia's Italy," as well as the PBS prime-time series "Lidia Celebrates America."
Lidia Bastianich, president of the Emmy Award–winning Tavola Productions, is proud to join forces with Random House Studios in producing HEARTLAND TABLE. After twelve years of television production experience in front of, and behind, the camera, working alongside senior executive producers Tanya Bastianich Manuali and Shelly Burgess Nicotra, Lidia said, "We are thrilled to be able to produce and share with audiences Amy Thielen's abundant passion and magic on camera."
Random House Studio has produced and cofinanced the feature films RESERVATION ROAD and ONE DAY with Focus Features. In development with Focus are numerous feature films based on upcoming novels from Random House, including the much-anticipated LONGBOURNE, to be published by Knopf this fall. In addition to HEARTLAND TABLE, Random House Studio is developing several other unscripted shows and in the scripted area, has a first-look deal with Fremantle Media.
Clarkson Potter is the publisher of Martha Stewart, Giada De Laurentiis, Alice Waters, and Ina Garten. Clarkson Potter/Publishers is an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.