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Cooking Channel will be debuting its newest star on Saturday: Lisa Lillien, the woman behind the incredibly popular Hungry Girl brand (the site’s email alert has 1 million subscribers). Hungry Girl is best known for transforming popular snacks and foodstuffs into lower-fat and -calorie versions and is perhaps one of the most polarizing figures in the food world.
One of the biggest criticisms against Lillien is that she shills for specific brands (often large conglomerates peddling processed foods). So it will be interesting to see how this crosses over onto television. Recipes on the Hungry Girl site clearly emphasize brand names, although those on the Cooking Channel site seem slightly toned down, only rarely suggesting specific brands (in large part because Scripps Networks prohibits brand-name products). Even labels will be covered in shots with food.
The kitsch will remain, however. The first episode of the series is called “You Wanna Pizza Me?” It begins with Lillien playing a judge overseeing a court battle to determine whether pizza should be banned from the diet. She then suggests alternatives to pizza dough, including a low-carb tortilla, a slice of eggplant, and a pounded chicken breast. Because pounded chicken is just like gooey, delicious, cheese-laden dough!
Love her or hate her, there’s no question that Lillien is a brilliant marketer, and this venture will probably only further her brand. Sandra Lee, it looks like you’ve got some competition on the small screen.
[Via Los Angeles Times]