05 May 11 Jamie’s kitchen nightmare: his US show is getting the chop
He crossed the Atlantic with a can-do attitude, a suitcase full of silly clothes, and the naïve conviction that a few flashes of that cheeky-chappy smile and some judicious use of Mockney would help him make it big in Hollywood. But, like so many other British stars, Jamie Oliver has discovered that American entertainment is a cut-throat business.
A year after he launched a “food revolution” that aimed to convince the world’s fattest schoolchildren to rein back their daily intake of burgers, pizza, chicken nuggets and chocolate milkshake, the Naked Chef’s career on US television appears to be collapsing like an overblown cheese soufflé.
On Tuesday, hours before this week’s third episode of Oliver’s latest culinary TV series was due to hit the airwaves, ABC announced that it had been pulled from its prime-time slot, because of disappointing ratings. In place of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, in which he was attempting to improve the calorie-laden diets of under-privileged inhabitants of Los Angeles, the network decided to air a one-hour recap of Dancing With the Stars.
Adding insult to that sudden injury, ABC said that Jamie Oliver will be removed from its prime-time schedules for at least a month. The final four hour-long episodes of his programme are now scheduled to be broadcast in June. Even then, they will be aired in what is widely considered to be a “graveyard” slot: nine o’clock on a Friday night.
The news leaves little prospect of there ever being a third series of the show that in the UK delivered such a wake-up call that Oliver was invited to Downing Street to tell Tony Blair what the Government ought to do about Turkey Twizzlers. America may be the most obese nation in the developed world, but it does not take kindly to being lectured about eating habits, especially by a foreigner…..