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Paula Deen launching online network

Controversial celebrity chef Paula Deen is bypassing television and launching a subscription digital network in September that will feature both short- and long-form video.
June 12, 2014

Celebrity chef Paula Deen, who lost her Food Network show after controversy last year revolving around her admission that she used a racial slur in 1987, is now turning her back on television.

Paula Deen Ventures, a company that received approximately $100 million in private equity investment from Najafi Companies in February, is launching a paid subscription digital network in September that will feature unscripted, long- and short-form content, with Deen’s Southern-style cooking as the star.

Production for the Paula Deen Network began in mid-May at Deen’s new studio in Savannah, Ga., which was designed to resemble the set of her first television series, Paula’s Home Cooking, according to a release. Video content, all of which will be developed internally, makes use of a live studio audience with Deen’s friends and family brought on as guests.

According to Paula Deen Ventures CEO Steven Nanula, the chef “had several offers to return to broadcast television,” but decided to launch the Paula Deen Network in order to have greater access to fans and full creative control of the shows. Deen has 4.2 million fans on Facebook and 1.24 million followers on Twitter, Nanula says.

A preview of the Paula Deen Network will be shared at Paula Deen Live! shows in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. next weekend. While pricing for the subscription network hasn’t been announced, a 14-day free trial will be offered at the time of its launch in September.

(From Stream Daily)

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.