Food Network taps Hannah Hart for youth appeal

The Scripps-owned network is looking to cash in on the digital generation's obsession with food with the help of complementary online content.
July 26, 2016

Inspired by the rise of digital and multi-platform content in the non-fiction world, the Food Network will get some help from YouTuber Hannah Hart in a new upcoming series.

Hart will star in an as-yet-untitled linear project which see her traveling to a new U.S. city in every episode where she will learn about the town’s food scene and dine out on a limited budget determined by the city’s average dining price.  The six-episode series will also feature an array of complementary digital content, such as behind-the-scenes features, extra footage and vlogs across the Food Network’s online and social properties, as well as on Hart’s YouTube channel. It is expected to premiere in Q4 2016.

The project is aimed at millennial viewers, who have proven two things over the years: they love digital content and they love food.

The food vertical has reached explosive heights online, with brands such as Tastemade and Buzzfeed’s Tasty reaching tens of millions of fans on social platform. It’s also resulted in the launch of niche new platforms, like YouTube co-founder Steve Chen’s live-streamer Nom and Twitch’s new culinary and social eating channels.

Influencers, and Hannah in particular, have tapped into an audience and developed a tremendous rapport and engagement with fans,” said Kathleen Finch, chief programming, content and brand officer for Scripps Networks Interactive (which owns Food Network), in an email to StreamDaily on the move into influencer-fueled programming.

Finch said the Food Network’s core demographic is between the ages of 25 and 54 years old, but “we also strategically target millennials.”

Hart, for her part, has been fairly prolific in the online food scene. She first came to popularity online via her series My Drunk Kitchen, which led to a deal for a book of the same name. She and fellow influencers Grace Helbig, Ingrid Nilsen and Mamrie Hart (no relation) were also recently tapped to promote the social networking and food review app Dysh.

“While I’m not a food expert… I do consider myself a food enthusiast. I love to eat and I love to travel, but, most of all, I love to share my experiences,” said Hart in a statement.

The project is produced by Morgan Spurlock and Jeremy Chilnick’s production company Warrior Poets, along with Hannah Hart and Linnea Toney.

Hart currently boasts 2.5 million subscribers and 245 million monthly views on YouTube. She is repped by UTA and is with the Kin Community multi-channel network.

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