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Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution: A Nutrition Reality Show? Cancel or Keep It?

Jamie Oliver's Food RevolutionABC recently debuted a new reality show with an unusual focus — nutrition. Will it catch on or end up in the dumpster with yesterday’s french fries?

In Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, chef and TV host Jamie Oliver travels to Huntington, West Virginia — otherwise known as the unhealthiest city in America. His goal is to educate the residents about nutrition and to change the community’s eating habits. In doing so, Oliver hopes to start a grass-roots revolution that will lead the whole country to eat better.

The series debuted with a special premiere on Sunday, March 21st. It attracted a 2.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 6.13 million total viewers. That put the debut in third place in both categories and it only retained about 60% of the Desperate Housewives lead-in audience.

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ABC reran that episode on Friday night at 8pm and it attracted a 1.6 and 5.42 million. That was followed by episode two of Food Revolution, which garnered a 2.6 rating and 7.47 million viewers. That was a better performance than its Sunday night debut and put the show in second place for the timeslot. It was also a significant improvement from previous occupants like Ugly Betty and Shark Tank.

For last Friday’s third episode, the numbers tumbled to a 1.5 in the 18-49 demographic and just 4.31 million viewers. That’s a terrible drop but the whole night’s ratings were actually down. On a positive note, Food Revolution outperformed its lead-in (Wife Swap) and tied for first place in the all-important demo.

This season of Food Revolution is made up of just six episodes so ABC will certainly air all of them. The network will likely wait until all of the episodes have aired before deciding if it warrants another season. If it continues to outperform ABC’s other Friday night reality programming, a renewal is likely. Theoretically, Oliver would simply move onto another town.

But, what do you think? Is Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution a compelling show or are you bored with it already? Should it come back for season two? Cancel or keep it?

 

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly August 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm

In other words ABC, get behind Jamie and provide him with a heavy hitter list of teammates and invest in America’s kids! Have people come along in each state such as Micheal Pollin, work with state food management to produce marketing materials for healthy choices in eating and sports pros who influence the kids. Have Jamie visit the state house with other pro-health chefs/professionals to ask that all kitchens be supplied with equipment that enables fresh-food cooking, not giant walk-in freezers for tater tots. Hold a week of cooking classes for parents and kids, not just one family. Have Jillian (The Biggest Loser) give away a fitness membership and personal training in a given city. Have Arnold and Maria come out and join the show in California to promote that healthy eating is one-half of the fitness/health regimine. Have an event where the school soda machine is donated to the auto-mechanic/metal work classes and challenge them to make something out of it by the end of the week or to a junk-yard and have them watch it being crushed remotely as a part of their commitment to eat fresh/local foods. Have cameras shoot every aspect of the challenge to make Jamie the center but show the other pro-health peeps working their magic. Only have healthy food and sports equipment sponsors – Kashi, Sobe Water, health food bars, raisins, etc. Can you tell I’m passionate about a course correction for our kids? I don’t have children but have some relatives young and old who suffer the effects of unhealthy lifestyles. Instead of building cancer centers, we need to multiply the number of Jamie’s there are in the world and get behind this with full force! C’mon ABC – you can “GO ALL THE WAY”!

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Molly August 26, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Jamie Oliver’s show is an amazing concept with the most amazing chef however, the producers/writers could be better prepared so Jamie isn’t ambushe by stick-in-the mud thinking on food service and following the “US food guidelines (whatever that is). To be more comprehensive, why not go to every state house (and meet with the Governor, HHS Secretary, and relative state and city officials to encourage their support before going into the schools and shocking the food service workers. They should be predisposed to a change in thinking/delivery by their own state and city leaders. Working with preventive health/pro-health professional and legislative decision makers is the only way the state’s will change their food service quality and health factor. Having a team of people showing up as a team instead of Jamie being the lone guy from the U.K. starting a movement in obese America is a better approach. Heck, hand the show over, I’ll line up the right teams in each state and start a real revolution. I work in preventive health PR/Marketing.

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Em August 10, 2010 at 4:59 am

I’m loving this show, i’m from Singapore and watches this show online. It’s probably one of the most meaningful shows ever. Please bring it back for a Season 2

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Carmela Tafoya May 15, 2010 at 11:16 am

Of what choices there are in TV for programming that is life changing, Jaime Oliver’s show deserves the air time, the question remains whether the junk food companies will win, over the future health of our children?

That’s the vote the network execs should best consider…

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Sue May 12, 2010 at 8:48 am

Bring it back for a season 2. Please.

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Sue April 30, 2010 at 7:24 pm

There are very few worthwhile, educational shows on network TV. Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is one of them. I hope the show is not canceled. The public needs to be made aware of what children should be eating.

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Sheri Keane and Christine Keane April 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm

I was looking forward to watching Jamie Oliver tonight (Friday, April 30th) and was very disappointed to not see it aired. Jamie Oliver’s show is so inspirational, educational, and fun that even my 7-year old daughter couldn’t wait to see it on Friday. I know that a lot of elementary teachers were talking about the show in a very positive way at my daughter’s school. Could you please not cancel this show? I think Jamie Oliver is really onto something positive happening with this generation and this country. He is really making nutrition seem “cool” to the younger generation. We seriously have a health problem with the younger generation that needs to be addressed. Who better to address this issue than Jamie Oliver?

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Surfer Girl April 24, 2010 at 7:06 pm

My husband and I are hooked on this show. We enjoyed watching every episode. We have started eating healthier because of it. I want a food revilution in my daughter’s elementary school. I wish Jamie would come to our town. Please do not cancel this show. We are ready for a revolution. Why start in Huntington and then stop? That would be so disappointing.

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Julie April 20, 2010 at 10:05 pm

My family and I have become addicted to watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on Friday nights. Not only is it inspirational and educational but entertaining too. With so much negativity in the news and mainly crime dramas or mean-spirited reality shows on TV, Jamie’s show is a refreshing change of pace.

I hope that ABC renews this show for next season and that the show’s purpose continues to be well-received across the country. If people are worried about healthcare costs in America this show teaches us one way to reduce them for future generations.

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Cat April 19, 2010 at 4:29 am

Im from England and obviously dont get the channel this is aired on, but I came across it and downloaded the first episode to see what its about, I have to say Im abit hooked on it! I think Jamie is doing a great thing, and hopefully what he and the others have started will make a change for the good…if one life is saved from what started in huntington, then its all been worth it! And if making another series in another town means Jamie can continue the work, I say give him a few series! Its doubtful he can change everyone opinions and habits, but if he can make a change for some thats wonderful! Hes not asking everyone to eat tasteless lettuce or a rubbish salad, hes making tasty food that doesnt take too much effort to cook, which in my opinion tastes better than any processed foods can! Back in the UK jamie is one of our top chefs and I hear his restaurant in london is amazing, they are lucky hes taking the time to reach out and help them, this is not about him because jamie doesnt need wealth or fame, otherwise he would stay in england, but hes got a good nature and wants to help!

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Alley April 18, 2010 at 2:19 am

They need to keep this show going, its inspirational to all who watch and filled with good information to keep people learning and thinking about healthy eating and the issues of eating the way they do. I know many people who are in total denial about what their kids eat and in most cases the parents are obese and have been eating the same things. I know one mom who gave her son Vanilla Flavored Soy Milk for two years and never gave him regular milk, he is now 4 and never drinks milk, i am not sure what is better, all the sugar he got as a baby from the flavored soy or the lack of calcium the kid gets now that he isnt getting any milk. One think for sure, he loves chicken nuggets and FF and lives on them and uses an unbelievable amount of salt because he watches his parents over use salt. The Food Revolution is the best way to reach kids and families a like

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linda April 16, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I’m SO sick of them teasing us with saying Wife Swap which I love is going to be on and then giving us this stupid annoying Jamie show! I want my Wife Swap Back!!!

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jason August 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm

linda, are you kidding?

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CR April 13, 2010 at 2:35 am

This show has every element of a successful show…it’s an informative, interesting, thought provoking reality show hosted by a guy who has a flair for theatrics. He’s likeable, funny, comes complete with a brit accent and is easy on the eyes!

Cooking shows still seem to be all the rave – and how great that he’s teaching people how to cook HEALTHILY – with a twist!

Every week he’s got challenges full of antagonistic people trying to sabotage his goals. We get to see him convert the naysayers over… and see true transformation in people lives…

Even for those viewers who don’t ‘get it’, would still like it for the same reason they have to rubberneck at an accident or look at roadkill – just for the ‘wow, I’m glad that’s not me’ factor.

People love the underdog and theoretically this show has every element of success… which is why it probably WON’T get picked up… because it has value and is a smart show..

I see so many shows go the way of loud mouthed twenty-somethings going to the gym, getting tans, wearing slutty clothes and talking potty mouthed to each other… (more roadkill). Now that’s entertainment…

Anyway, there must be a world of cancelled shows out there somewhere, that I could live in very happily.

Somewhere, over the rainbow…

Please don’t cancel this show – I’ve already lost Ugly Betty, Pushing Daisies, Arrested Development, Shark Tank, Day Break and so many more…??? I’ll have NOTHING to watch!

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udy April 12, 2010 at 11:51 am

I believe that this show is probably one of the most important shows on television today because it has conviction and its mission is to end an epidemic that has swept our nation, obesity. More people need to be educated on what they are putting into their bodies – we only get one (body).

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epices6 April 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm

While I don’t know what dramatic elements could be used in a second season/another town by Jamie Oliver, the current show is more than entertainment – it is a public service in an area that is costing this county billions in losses of health and life. TV companies are not too interested in the public good a show can do but in the revenue it brings in. For that reason, I hope that the viewership numbers will make it financially worthwhile for ABC to continue the show. Mr. Oliver is a very charismatic proponent of improving what we (and especially our children) eat and luckily, he is doing this when interest in improved nutrition is schools is a big political issue (see the current debate of the child nutrition act). Go Jamie!

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