Big Daddy’s House Canceled?

Perhaps a better title for this post is “Food Network Nixes Big Daddy; Nixon Gets a Third Series” or even “Bob Tuschman Owes Me an Apology.”

Kelsey NixonThree years ago America watched as a young culinary graduate named Kelsey Nixon wiped the floor with the other contestants of Food Network Star 4.  America also watched as Aaron McCargo Jr. mumbled his way through an unremarkable performance on the same series.  The most common adjective for Nixon’s performance that season was “perfect” while for McCargo it was “uncomfortable.”

But in the cesspool that is “reality” TV Nixon was booted and McCargo won.  Season four of Star was so obviously rigged that you could smell it from the moon.  From day one Kelsey had established herself as the best contestant in the cast and every week she left the competition behind like Lance Armstrong through the Pyrenees.  As for Aaron, had he not won the only thing anyone would remember about him is that he seemed like a nice guy.

Rumors abounded on the Online about why the season’s outcome was rigged, some absurd, some were probably more accurate than anyone wants to admit.  And though there were numerous theories the prevailing opinion was that Kelsey should have won.  She ran away with the fan poll on the Food Network’s own site.  That was embarrassing.

To make amends Kelsey was given a web series alongside cheflebrity Spike Mendelsohn of Next Iron Chef 4.  The podcast is the purple participation ribbon of reality TV, a consolation prize.  The problem was that people actually watched Kelsey & Spike Cook.  The same cannot be said for McCargo’s series Big Daddy’s House.

When the Cooking Channel went online in May of 2010 Food Network finally had a venue for their Star finalists who deserved their own show.  Kelsey’s Essentials soon premiered and quickly established itself as one of the best new stand-and-stir shows in years.  A year later and Kelsey has been tabbed to host yet another Cooking Channel series, The Perfect 3 which has just rapped it’s first 13 episode run.

Although McCargo’s highly controversial win sparked a huge viewer turnout Tom Pizzicafor the premiere episode of Big Daddy’s House only people named McCargo saw the 60 episodes that followed.  Aaron was additionally given the opportunity to host a food/travel pilot called Outrageous Food.  The show tested well with audiences but the host did not as it went into production last year but not with McCargo.  Rather with a Star season 6 runner-up at the helm.  Tom Pizzica made the show a hit and only a pissing contest between Food Network and Page Productions over another show has delayed a third season.

There has been a new rumor floating recently that Big Daddy’s House has mercifully been canceled.  Intrigued, I reached out to see if the rumor had any teeth.  Aaron McCargo Jr. Big Daddy's House CanceledWell yesterday I received formal confirmation that Follow Productions who films Big Daddy’s House (as well as Down Home with the Neely’s and Paula’s Best Dishes) plans no future episodes of McCargo’s show.  The word came directly from the Food Network itself. I asked if there would be a new season of Big Daddy’s House.  The simple one sentence response on my question was, “No, the show is no longer in production.”

So to review the fallout from Star season four: Kevin Roberts (booted in week two) has a show on TLC/Planet Green that is up for a Taste Award, Adam Gertler has had two prime-time Food Network shows, Kelsey Nixon has three series and Aaron McCargo Jr. has been added to the ever-skyrocketing unemployment numbers.

Luckily Aaron was able to squeeze a book deal out of his 15 minutes so that should help as our economy continues to spiral towards third world status.  Additionally, we can expect to see Aaron guesting on ABC’s The Chew as it is produced by Follow Productions.  Aaron is also a regular guest on the Nate Berkus Show so I wouldn’t worry about him; plus he’s a great guy.  And though McCargo’s fan base is very small they are also very devout so I would not be surprised to find him with a new show one day on another network.

A quick review of FNS winners:

  1. Party Time with the Hearty Boys got six episodes then was canceled.  Was brought back for 13 episodes and then canceled again.
  2. Guy’s Big Bite is still in production after 120 plus episodes.
  3. The Gourmet Next Door got six episodes then was canceled.  Reportedly Food Network offered host Amy Finley 13 more episodes but she declined and moved to another country.
  4. Big Daddy’s House despite atrocious ratings was given 61 episodes before being canceled after five seasons.
  5. Ten Dollar Dinners has to date produced 32 episodes over three seasons.  Currently filming season four.  New episodes continue to air on Sundays while older episodes join the M-F daytime line-up beginning Sept. 26th.  The move to the daily line-up is a strong sign that Food Network plans to make many, many more episodes of Ten Dollar Dinners.
  6. Aarti’s Party produced 28 episodes over three seasons.  The ratings were quite good but Food Network has moved it to the Cooking Channel in re-runs only.  Aarti has a new show in the works.
  7. The Sandwich King premiered to great reviews and a second season is already in the works.

Just for the record, during season four I repeatedly said Nixon had star written all over her and that McCargo, though a very nice person, was not star material.  That makes it Stuart Reb Donald 1, Bob Tuschman 0.  I await my apology, Bob.  You’ve got my number.

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2 Responses to Big Daddy’s House Canceled?

  • jaykay1000 says:

    I'm really surprised about $10 dinners, who wants to feed a family of 4 for $10, you are already economizing and then to eat cheap nasty food. I only buy organic and I can't feed my family of 3 for $10. This show is a fake and a fraud.

    • I don’t think anyone “wants” to feed a family for only $10; it’s that they “have” to feed a family for only $10. It simply isn’t a choice. Two or three years ago it may have been a choice but now it is a necessity. And keep in mind that organic is meaningless if you the organic product in question is not local.

      If you live in North Carolina and buy organic produce grown in California you’ve just wasted a lot of money. That’s a money saver there – you may have a local farmer who doesn’t farm organically but his produce is better for you than organic produce that traverses the length of the country.

      Organic from more than 150 miles from home trumps factory farmed from more than 150 miles from home. Locally farmed trumps organic from more than 150 miles from home. Locally and organically farmed trumps them all. It doesn’t really matter how organically something is prepared if it travels a thousand miles to get to you it isn’t organic anymore; it’s a processed food.

      I too wonder sometimes if the dishes Melissa does could really be done for $10 but if it costs $12, is healthy and delicious I can forgive them.

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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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