TORONTO, April 21, 2010 – Canwest Broadcasting today confirmed an agreement with NBC Universal to produce a Canadian adaptation of the international smash hit Top Chef and has joined forces with Canadian production powerhouse, Insight Productions, on the development of the series. The inaugural season of Top Chef Canada will premiere in spring 2011 exclusively on Food Network Canada.
Top Chef is the number one food show on cable in the United States and an Emmy and James Beard Award-Winning series for Bravo in the US. Since Top Chef’s premiere on Food Network in fall 2006 it has become a landmark program on the schedule, consistently ranking in Food Network’s top 10 programs. The series has continued to gain momentum with each new season and this past fall Top Chef: Las Vegas hit it big with viewers, setting an all-time audience high for the channel among 2+ and A25-54 for a single-viewing.
“Top Chef is a proven performer and audience favourite on Food Network and we are delighted to team up with NBC Universal and Insight Productions to launch the format in Canada,” said Karen Gelbart, SVP Content, Lifestyle Channels, Canwest Broadcasting. “Canadians are passionate about food and as our culinary landscape across the country continues to grow, so does the opportunity to showcase our wealth of talent ranging from amateur cooks to trained chefs.”
“We’re honoured to be onboard, working alongside Canwest and NBC Universal on the Canadian production of such a top-rated international series,” said John Brunton, President, Insight Production Company Ltd. “There is a strong pool of talent to draw from in this country and we are committed to discovering the best of the best and producing an outstanding program.”
“We are delighted to add Canwest to our growing list of international productions of Top Chef. The search to find the Top Chef of tomorrow has become nothing less than a phenomenon and its international success looks set to continue”, said Yvonne Pilkington, EVP International Format Sales, NBC Universal International. In other international markets, Top Chef has been recently broadcast by M6 in France to local acclaim, and local production rights have been sold to Fremantle in Mexico, Brazil, and India.
Staying true to the original show format, Top Chef Canada will not only challenge the competitors’ skills in the kitchen, but also uncover if they have the customer service, management and teamwork abilities required of a top chef. The intensity builds each week as the competitors vie for their shot at stardom and avoid elimination. Top Chef Canada will have audiences tuning in to watch the drama unfold as Canadians compete to determine who will be crowned Canada’s first Top Chef.
Details on casting and production will be revealed in the weeks ahead.
Food Network is a Canwest Broadcasting channel.
About Canwest Broadcasting
Canwest Broadcasting operates Global Television and 18 of the country’s most popular specialty channels, including HGTV, Mystery TV, National Geographic Channel, Showcase, History Television, Food Network and TVtropolis. Canwest Broadcasting is a division of Canwest Media Inc.
About Canwest Originals
Canwest is the proud home of the most diverse slate of Canadian Original programs across the Dramatic, Lifestyle and Entertainment genres. As a steadfast supporter of the Canadian production community, Canwest is dedicated to bringing the best of the country to audiences nationwide - including shows such as: Rookie Blue, Family Restaurant, Holmes Inspection, Ice Pilots: NWT, 16:9, Re-Vamped and Canada’s most trusted entertainment news show Entertainment Tonight Canada.
About Canwest Media Inc.
Canwest Media Inc. is a subsidiary of Canwest Global Communications Corp. (www.canwest.com), Canada's largest media company. In addition to owning the Global Television Network, operating 18 industry-leading specialty channels and having ownership in 5 specialty channels, Canwest is Canada’s largest publisher of English language paid daily newspapers and owns and operates more than 80 online properties.
About Insight Productions:
Insight Production Company Ltd, headed by John Brunton & Barbara Bowlby has become an industry leader in the creative development, financing and production of highly rated television programs and cutting edge multiplatform content for the global market in every genre. Since 1979, it has been recognized for its reputation for quality as the recipient of numerous International awards, including multiple Gemini’s. The company has created thousands of hours of groundbreaking television that continues to be broadcast over major networks worldwide. Broadcast Magazine International claims that "When it comes to adapting formats for Canadian audiences there is one producer who appears to have the Midas touch." Recent hits include Insight’s original new format Battle of the Blades, Canadian Idol, Canada's homegrown version of the hugely successful international format; the JUNO Awards, which plays a key role in the Canadian music industry; Project Runway Canada, hosted by International Supermodel Iman; and Deal or No Deal Canada, the hit primetime game show, which delivered The Global Television Network's highest ratings of all time for a Canadian program. For more information visit www.insighttv.com.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Jaclyn Atwood Senior Publicist,
Food Network, HGTV and DIY Network Canada