Celebrity cook Paula Deen, whose career went off the rails after she admitted using the N-word back in the day, has decided to go digital.
Paula Deen Ventures, the new company created to assist her comeback, announced plans Wednesday for the creation of the Paula Deen Network, a paid subscription-based service due to launch in September, reports the AP. It will be accessible only by computer, smartphone or tablet.
The network will feature daily programming in an unscripted format with new recipes, episodes and cooking tools.
“We’re going to have so much fun being together and cooking up some wonderful new and classic dishes,” Deen said in a news release. “Y’all can get my recipes, tips and cooking anytime you want — this is for you. I can’t wait to crank up the oven and get cooking for the people I love: my family, my friends and my fans!”
Production for the network began last month at a new studio in Savannah that has been designed to look like the set of her first television show, “Paula’s Home Cooking.” The set was built to accommodate a live studio audience, and guest appearances are planned.
The announcement of the digital network is the latest step in Deen’s comeback strategy, which began in February with the announcement of her deal with the Najafi Companies, an Arizona-based private investment firm that’s putting millions into rebooting her public career.
Wednesday’s announcement comes about a year after a sworn statement by Deen that she had used racial slurs in the past became public. The Food Network and other corporate sponsors soon parted company with the culinary personality. Her offending comments surfaced during a court deposition in a lawsuit by a former employee making harassment and discrimination claims against Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers. The suit was settled in August.
Deen is currently on a cross-country tour with her 90-minute “Paula Deen Live!” show that features a mix of cooking demonstrations, games with audience members and personal stories. The shows in Piegon Forge, Tennessee, on June 21 and 22 will feature a preview of the Paula Deen Network.
In addition to the dishes Deen is known for, she’ll also include healthy and budget-friendly meals. The programming for the digital network will include both short-form and long-form content, including shows like “20-Minute Meals,” ”Paula Cooking Light” and “One Dish, Three Ways.”
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(Photo Source: AP)
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