Friday June 7, 2013

Top Chef season six standout Bryan Voltaggio is set to compete on the fifth season of Top Chef Masters, making him the hit reality series' first-ever contestant to do so. Bryan was the runner-up of his season of the Bravo culinary competition, losing out to his brother Mike Voltaggio.

Celebrities set to make appearances as judges in season five include Mindy Kaling, Busy Philipps, Ali Larter and Kathie Lee Gifford.

Curtis Stone returns as the series' host, while Gail Simmons is the new head critic.

In addition to Bryan, the chefs competing in season five are listed below:

Franklin Becker, The Little Beet, NYC
David Burke, David Burke Townhouse, NYC
Lynn Crawford, Ruby Watchco and Ruby Eats, Toronto
Odette Fada, San Domenico, NYC
Neal Fraser, BLD and The Strand House, Los Angeles
Jennifer Jasinski, Bistro Vendôme and Rioja, Denver
Douglas Keane, formerly of Cyrus, Healdsburg, Calif.
Jenn Louis, Lincoln and Sunshine Tavrern, Portland, Ore.
Richard Sandoval, Richard Sandoval Restaurants
Herbert Wilson, Sushi Samba, Las Vegas
Sang Yoon, Father's Office, Los Angeles
Sue Zemanick, Gautreau's, New Orleans

Top Chef Masters premieres Wednesday, July 24 on Bravo.

 HBO announced today that Eastbound and Down will end after its next and fourth season.  The final season scheduled to launch Sunday September 29 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT).  In the third season of the show, which concluded in April 2012, Kenny Powers finally made it back to the majors and recaptured his former glory, only to fake his own death and run back home to his beloved April, the mother of his child. The upcoming fourth season picks up the action several years later and finds Kenny living the American Dream with his family in North Carolina.

According to Deadline, FX won’t be ordering more episodes of Brand X With Russell Brand, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said at a press conference today. The network will stay in business with the actor, picking up a scripted live-action comedy pilot starring Brand, which will be based loosely on his life in the vein of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.  I don't get the appeal.  Russell Brand?  Why?

Here's a list of 24 shows that you're allegedly supposed to be excited about.  You know how many excite me?  FOUR.

I caught up on The American Baking Competition  last night.  What a waste of time.  The casting was awful, the host is weak and doesn't make sense for a show on this subject matter and the judges are bland, at best.  I gave it 2 episodes and am done with this one.

I also caught the premiere of 72 Hours  last night.  Another waste of time.  The idea is interesting conceptually, but the way it plays out will not have me returning next week.  Three teams are dropped in the middle of nowhere on a quest to win $100k (to split between the three of them).  The teammates do not know one another, there is very little drama or intrigue as we learn next to nothing about them and the show feels like a combo of a Survivor  rip off mixed with Love In The Wild .  Not exactly a recipe for success.

I hope people are watching Men At Work  on TBS.  The show, in season 2, is actually well-written and makes me laugh aloud each week.  Great cameos last night including cast members from Franklin & Bash, Oz  and Grounded For Life. 

Yahoo's preview of Discovery's Naked & Afraid :

"Remember when Richard Hatch insisted upon frolicking naked on the beaches of Borneo during the first season of "Survivor"? Discovery Channel's kicking that idea up a notch with its new reality series"Naked and Afraid," in which all its participants will be going buck wild, while buck naked.

Each episode of Naked and Afraid will follow two adventurers — one man and one woman in each installment — as they're dropped into remote locations with harsh weather environments. Each duo will be given a map and a video camera, but no food, water, or clothing, and challenged to find their way to a planned meet-up point that's anywhere from one to 10 miles from where they land.

A camera crew of four will follow the pair — to film them and swap out the memory cards and batteries from their cameras — but the participants otherwise must find nourishment and shelter, and, lest the episodes be largely covered up by blurring their naughty bits, a way to fashion some DIY clothing along the way."

Jon Stewart's hiatus starts today.  I will feel a void over the next three months although I plan to give John Oliver a chance . . . .