When Fast Company listed non-chefs Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz among the most creative people in food, we praised them for producing Top Chef. Now, says Variety, they’re getting their Just Desserts. The Top Chef spin-off, set to air
sometime in 2010, “will pit pastry chefs against one other in a weekly elimination competish”–Variety‘s abbrev, not ours–“similar to the original Top Chef.” Because if there’s one thing missing from cable, it’s dessert-reality shows, right?
Not quite. In recent months, Ultimate Cake-Off and Amazing Wedding Cakes have both found sweet success on TLC and WE TV, respectively. Food Network’s Ace of Cakes just had its seventh-season premiere. And with 2.3 million viewers a week, Cake Boss, a docu-series featuring Buddy Valastro, who heads a family-run Italian bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey, is TLC’s second most-popular program–right behind tabloid juggernaut Jon & Kate Plus 8.
Can cable stand another cupcake show? In general, Bravo has done a good job turning its hot properties into full-blown franchises. (See: Sheer Genius/Tabitha’s Salon Takeover, and all four incarnations of The Real Housewives.) And if dessert-reality is trendy right now, says Robert Seidemen, co-editor of TV By The Numbers, Top Chef: Just Desserts “seems like a logical extension of the Top Chef brand, and a smart move by Bravo.” Also, given the cheap cost of reality programming, it’s a relatively low-risk investment.
Here’s hoping it pays off–and that it deters other cablers from hawking desserts like these: