Once a top-rated show, the Food Network has cancelled Emeril Live, the popular cooking show hosted by Emeril Lagasse. What’s the future look like for the energetic chef?
Lagasse was well known in the culinary world but became a household name when he began hosting The Essence of Emeril for Food Network in 1994. His enthusiasm, jovial style of cooking, and many catchphrases — “Bam!” “Kick it up a knotch!” — have become a part of popular culture.
Emeril Live followed in 1997 and the series won the CableACE Award for “Best Informational Show” that same year. The two shows helped to put the network on the map and Live became extremely popular.
Live’s popularity has waned over time though and, in June, the series was moved from its usual primetime slot to 7pm. Contract negotiations between Lagasse and E.W. Scripps (Food’s parent corporation) to continue the series broke down Monday, leading to the show’s demise.
Some insiders see Live’s cancellation as an indication that Food Network is heading into a different direction. A few months ago, the cable channel dropped chef Mario Batali and his Molto Mario series.
Lagasse will tape his final Live episode at NYC’s Chelsea Market on December 11th. Repeats of the show will continue to air for the foreseeable future. According to Food spokeswoman Carrie Welch, Essence of Emeril will continue in production and the energetic chef will appear on upcoming specials. She told Associated Press, “We love him, we support him and look forward to a long partnership with him.”
Of the cancellation, Lagasse reflected, “I am deeply appreciative to all the unbelievable staff — many who have been with the show since the beginning — and all the loyal viewers, and the many talented guests who have appeared on the show through the years. I look forward to continuing my association with the Food Network with The Essence of Emeril, and I have lots of new ideas cooking.” Stay tuned!