March 14, 2006 12:49 AM by Joe Blackmon
NBC, Reveille and Sean "Diddy" Combs will ask culinary-minded stars to team with celebrity chefs including Wolfgang Puck, Cat Cora (Food Network’s "Iron Chef America") and Govind Armstrong (executive chef, Table 8, Los Angeles) to whip up an eventful new reality cooking competition series over the course of five consecutive weeknights from April 17-21 (8-9 p.m. ET) in "Celebrity Cooking Showdown," it was announced by Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment. Participating celebrities will be announced later this week.
" ‘Celebrity Cooking Showdown’ is going to be a unique high-energy take on the time-tested cooking genre that works consistently across the television landscape," said Reilly. "It’s about great food, terrific personalities and big-time pressure."
"Cooking shows have commanded huge ratings around the world, and we can’t wait to bring this exciting new competitive format to primetime network TV," added Ben Silverman, executive producer and Reveille CEO.
"The hottest trend right now is the art of cooking. There’s nothing sexier than preparing a beautiful meal for your woman or man," said Combs. "Celebrities competing in the high-pressure arena of the world’s top chefs will make great television."
"This show is like a dream come true, working with people who share the same passion, love, and excitement about food and cooking that I do," said Puck.
"Celebrity Cooking Showdown," from Reveille in association with Sean "Diddy" Combs’ Bad Boy Entertainment, will match three celebrity chefs to train side-by-side with nine celebrities. After one-on-one coaching and a culinary "boot camp," competition will play out in real time in front of a live studio audience as the stars race against the clock in this adrenaline-filled event to complete their world-class meal.
Each chef will train their assigned stars providing culinary tips and secrets to prepare their meal for the final presentation. As the audience cheers for their favorites, the chefs and celebrities must work together — a simple timing mistake, a forgotten ingredient, or a dropped plate could mean the difference between victory or defeat.
The format of each night’s show will evolve as the week progresses. On Monday-Wednesday (April 17-19) three different celebrities will compete each night. On Thursday, April 20, the three winners from each night will advance to don aprons for the final cook-off. Viewers will then have the chance to vote via online and text-messaging based solely on presentation. Meanwhile, the in-studio judges will be responsible for matters of taste and flavor.
On the week’s final episode on Friday, April 21, the results will be in, the winner declared and the audience will get to see the professional chefs in action. Then the tables will be turned in the "Chef’s Challenge," while choice unseen moments from the week’s competition are revealed.
"Celebrity Cooking Showdown" is executive produced by Silverman, David A. Hurwitz ("Fear Factor," "The Man Show") and Sean "Diddy" Combs (MTV’s "Make the Band," "Run’s House," HBO’s "Bad Boys of Comedy").