Is Alton Brown Bringing Back 'Good Eats'? In Spirit, Yes

The goofy, geeky Alton Brown of 'Good Eats' is making a comeback. Credit: Getty Images

Alton Brown just announced that a successor to Good Eats (at least a spiritual one) is coming soon, and the cooking show legend says it won’t be constrained by the rules of network television.

The announcement came from Brown’s Facebook page, where he also conducted a video chat with fans for the purpose of soliciting some ideas (fingers crossed for a cronut episode).

"The internet project that I will be releasing next year [officially to be titled A Cooking Show] is essentially a sequel/follow-up to a program called Good Eats that I made for about 14 years on Food Network," Brown says. "I want freedom to do what I want and say what I want and work with the food that I want without being concerned about what a larger corporate entity might or might not want from that."

In many ways, Brown heralded the current foodie landscape with his technical, details-oriented, and goofy cooking show, which debuted in 1999. An online-only return to the kitchen would give him room to expand on this style — with the kind of weird and adventurous cooking methods and foods that Food Network wasn’t into hosting.

Brown has been teasing in a not-so-subtle way that he’d be bringing Good Eats back in some form or another for a while. A year ago he told Eater we could expect something “like” the show one day. And with Brown bringing his own original video online, he'll deliver just that. Brown’s YouTube channel is already full of little vignettes that are Good Eats in everything but trademark, like this power drill and pepper mill monstrosity, or this champagne sabering video.

Even though Brown will never fully let go of his Mr. Wizard–styled food show, he’s said on more than one occasion he’s done with hosting it on network television. 

A digital-only format makes more sense to many of his fans anyway. People don’t want cooking shows these days so much as they want video recipes, and while Brown could fill hours of programming with interesting scientific models and historical anecdotes, not having to fit a 22-minute-episode model allows him the freedom to do it better.

That includes the ability condemn single-task appliances (which he hates), and to dive headfirst into methods and foods that the executives once vetoed. Those recurring characters Itchy and Twitchy, the lawyers that required him to contradict science because of liability? I doubt we’ll see as much of them online.

Brown will presumably continue to host the entertaining Cutthroat Kitchen on Food Network for a 13th year, but for him to get back to the true form of Good Eats — that's something we and so many of his fans have been waiting on for some time.

Time for another Saturday morning chat.

Posted by Alton Brown on Saturday, October 29, 2016