To Irvine, it was a smart — and necessary — choice.
“We’ve all got choices now. And our choices are very, very different from what they were 10 years ago, 20 years ago,” he said. “The television world has become so cutthroat, they’ve got to continue coming up with better programing.”
So shows like Sara Moulton’s easy paced “Cooking Live” gave way to frenetic competitions like “Iron Chef,” ‘‘Chopped” and “Rachael vs. Guy.” The switch from chefs to personalities, from information to entertainment, got ratings and advertisers, but triggered an MTV-style backlash.