- - Thursday, April 14, 2011

Michelle Obama, Jill Biden to guest on ‘The View’

ABC says first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joseph R. Biden, will be guests on Monday’s edition of “The View.”

The Associated Press reports they will be appearing live on the weekday talk show to discuss their campaign for national support of military families, ABC announced Thursday. Both women have been outspoken advocates for service members and their families.

Mrs. Obama previously has been a guest on “The View,” but this will be Mrs. Biden’s first appearance.

“The View” airs at 11 a.m. weekdays on ABC.

Emeril to serve up new Cooking Channel show

The Food Network and the Cooking Channel will unveil more than 20 new series, the networks announced Wednesday, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Headlined by chef Emeril Lagasse, “The Originals With Emeril,” premiering May 5, will pay tribute to iconic food establishments that have helped shape the country’s culinary landscape. “Originals” is among the Cooking Channel’s new prime-time offerings, which also see the network cover street food, pastry chefs and Spanish foods.

The Cooking Channel’s other new prime-time series include “Eat St.,” which premiered Tuesday; “Unique Sweets,” premiering April 24; “From Spain With Love,” May 27; and “Hook, Line & Dinner,” June 7. Daytime additions will include “The Perfect 3,” premiering in July, and “Baking Made Easy” starting in the fall.

Returning series include “Unique Eats,” “From the Kitchens of …,” “Chuck’s Day Off,” “Kelsey’s Essentials,” “Food(ography),” “Everyday Exotic,” “Bitchin’ Kitchen,” “Hungry Girl,” “[email protected]’s,” “Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day,” “Extra Virgin” and “Spice Goddess.”

The Food Network, meanwhile, will explore cake decorating with Ashley Vicos’ “Have Cake, Will Travel,” premiering April 26.

Other new original prime-time series set to join the Food Network lineup include the barbecue series “Best in Smoke” (May 8), “Crave” (June 20), “Heat Seekers” (July), “Tough Cookies” (July), “Chef Hunter” (August), “Sugar High” (Aug. 8), “Halloween Wars” (October) and “Supersizers” (January). Daytime additions include “Pioneer Woman” (August), a series from the winner of “Food Network Star” (August) and a series from Trisha Yearwood (September).

Returning series include “24 Hour Restaurant Battle,” “Chopped,” “Food Network Star,” “Cupcake Wars,” “Restaurant: Impossible,” “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” “The Great Food Truck Race,” “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” “Next Iron Chef: Celebrity” and “Worst Cooks in America.”

Wealthy men courted by new Discovery network

Discovery Communications Inc. is launching a television network for rich guys and their toys.

Called Velocity, the new network will replace the current network HD Theater in about 40 million homes on Sept. 25, Discovery officials said Thursday. The target audience of the new network is men with incomes of $150,000 a year and more.

“We just felt like this was a space missing in the marketplace,” said David M. Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications.

HD Theater was launched in 2002 with the specific purpose of showing high-definition versions of programs aired on other Discovery networks. The rapid adoption of HD by consumers and the addition of HD versions of a full network’s signal rendered HD Theater obsolete.

Discovery has tested a series of programs on HD Theater in recent months that will make the switch to Velocity. They include “Chasing Classic Cars,” “Cafe Racer” and “Mecum Auto Auctions.”

As those titles suggest, cars will be the “bull’s-eye” of Velocity programming, Mr. Zaslav said.

“Culturally, cars are so important for us guys in America,” he said. “We grew up dreaming about what the day would be like when we got our licenses and what cars we would drive.”

Velocity also will televise an upscale sailing race touching on five oceans, travel programming to upscale locations, adventure sports and “real-life adrenaline shows,” said Robert Scanlon, senior vice president of Velocity.

If done right, Velocity could be a magnet for advertisers, which generally pay a premium to reach an upscale audience.

There are no plans for a network to appeal to rich women. Discovery also operates the Oprah Winfrey Network, TLC and Animal Planet, networks with strong appeal to women, Mr. Zaslav said.

Kathy Griffin featured on ‘Drop Dead Diva’

Kathy Griffin is looking forward to causing trouble when she guest-stars on the Lifetime series “Drop Dead Diva.”

In an episode of the upcoming third season, Miss Griffin plays the sister of series regular Kate Levering’s Kim and clashes with Margaret Cho’s character, Teri.

Miss Griffin said acting as a total witch to her good friend Miss Cho is “the role I was born to play.”

Other “Drop Dead Diva” guest stars for the coming season include Wanda Sykes, LeAnn Rimes and Paula Abdul.

“Drop Dead Diva” stars Brooke Elliott as a shallow model who dies in an accident and finds her soul has entered the body of a brilliant, plus-size attorney.

Compiled from web and wire reports

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