Paula Deen, shown talking with Lou Lee of Albany at Deen’s introduction of her furniture line during a March appearance in Albany, is going digital with a subscription Paul Deen Network, the Albany native announced Wednesday. (Staff file photo: Terry Lewis)
Paula Deen Network
Hey, y'all! Albany native Paula Deen is launching her own digital network.
SAVANNAH — Paula Deen Ventures Wednesday announced plans for the creation of the Paula Deen Network, an interactive digital experience that will allow viewers to engage and access Paula and her Southern home cooking, anytime, anywhere — on computer, smart phone or tablet. Expected to launch in September 2014, fans can sign up now to receive updates at PaulaDeen.com.
Mobile users go here to see Paul Deen's video announcement.
“Guess who’s going digital, y’all! I’m so excited about my new online Network and can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been working on.” said Deen. “We’re going to have so much fun being together and cooking up some wonderful new and classic dishes. 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!” said Deen.
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The Paula Deen Network is a paid subscription-based online offering. Early registration will begin in July. Individuals who pre-register at PaulaDeen.com will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to Savannah to join the live studio audience.
A 14-day free trial period will be available to all users at the time of launch in September.
According to Paula Deen Ventures CEO Steven Nanula, “While Paula had several offers to return to broadcast television, she ultimately decided to launch the Paula Deen Network because it gives her a greater level of direct access to her millions of fans when it is convenient for them. In addition, Paula will enjoy full creative control of the shows, recipes and content, and be able to give her fans exactly what they love most about her. With 4.2 million fans on Facebook and 1.24 million followers on Twitter, it was clear to us that an interactive digital network was the way to go.”
In addition to access via computer, smart phone, or tablet, Smart TV compatibility will be introduced at a future date.
A preview of the Paula Deen Network will be shared at the first Paula Deen Live! shows in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on June 21 and 22. Tickets for the Paula Deen Live! shows, sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms chicken, are available at Ticketmaster.
According to Paula Deen Ventures investor, Najafi Companies CEO Jahm Najafi, “Paula has always been an innovator — from breaking ground with the creation of her company to being one of the pioneers of cooking shows on television. The Paula Deen Network is one more example of Paula doing things her own way and taking control of her brand to connect directly with her ardent fans.”
Production for the Paula Deen Network began in mid-May at Paula’s new studio in Savannah, which has been designed to closely resemble the set of her first television series, “Paula’s Home Cooking.” The set was built specifically to host a live studio audience and will feature a range of guests, family and friends, including appearances by Paula’s sons, Jamie and Bobby Deen, and her husband, Michael Groover.
“She was always bigger than a 30-minute television show and now she has the perfect medium to share her cooking, her personality and her life with fans anytime they want to watch. Whether it’s a quick delicious dinner or a family feast with games and guests, she can do it all - when and how her fans want it,” said Gordon Elliott, longtime producer of her cooking shows.
Programs for the Paula Deen Network will feature both short-form and long-form content. Fans will be able to cook step-by-step with Paula as she showcases tips, recipes, ingredients, and products. In addition to the dishes Paula is known for, she will also show viewers how to make simple, healthy and budget-friendly meals for the entire family.
Shows will follow themes for every day, such as “Leftover Mondays” and “Taco Tuesdays” as well as holiday-themed content. A sample of some of the specific shows includes “20-Minute Meals,” “Paula Cooking Light” and “One Dish, Three Ways.”