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Emeril Lagasse Launches Show on Ion TV

Weekly hour melds cooking and celebrities in front of studio audience

"The Emeril Lagasse Show" will be the first original non-scripted series for Ion Television. The news was announced Wednesday on "The Martha Stewart Show." (Pictured, from left, Emeril Lagasse, MSLO’s Charles Koppelman, Martha Stewart and Ion’s Brandon Burgess)

The hourlong weekly primetime series, which will tape in front of a live studio audience, premieres Sunday, March 28, at 8 p.m.

On the show, Lagasse will welcome celebrity guests, musicians and entertainers to break news and break bread with him. It also will have field pieces shot in and around New York City, where the show will be taped. The show will have a house band, playing live music and interacting with the chef as well as his guests and audience.

Karen Katz and After Five Productions, which executive produced Lagasse’s long-running Food Network series "Emeril Live," will be executive producer of "The Emeril Lagasse Show."

The show will include innovative marketing opportunities meant to appeal to advertisers from a broad range of categories.

"We are excited to bring Emeril’s ‘Positively Entertaining’ persona and larger-than-life superstar-chef status to Ion Television. His brand will be a dynamic addition to our general entertainment network and a treat for our audience," Brandon Burgess, Ion Media Networks chairman-CEO, said in a statement.

"Emeril is a terrific talent whose passion for food coupled with his natural showmanship will attract a broad range of viewers," said Charles A. Koppelman, executive chairman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which acquired the assets related to Mr. Lagasse’s media and merchandising business in 2008. "This new show is an important step in further extending the Emeril Lagasse brand."

"I’m excited to be live on ION Television nationwide, bringing the high energy, interaction and everyday celebrations to audiences across the country. I look forward to sharing my passion for interesting people, fascinating places, good music and, of course, great food," Lagasse said in a statement.

Lagasse is the food correspondent for ABC’s "Good Morning America." His show "Essence of Emeril" can be seen on Food Network, and "Emeril Live" appears on both Fine Living and Food Network. His recent appearance on "Super Chef Battle: An Iron Chef America Event" was Food Network’s highest-rated, most-watched night in Food Network history with 7.6 million viewers. He also hosts "Emeril Green," an original series exploring fresh and seasonal ingredients on Discovery’s Planet Green.

Lagasse also has a live call-in radio program, "Cooking With Emeril," which airs twice weekly on Martha Stewart Living Radio on Sirius XM.

Newcomer Ion Television concluded 2009 with record year-over-year growth in households, adults 25-54 and adults 18-49, posting 49%, 65% and 74% growth in those demographics, respectively. Ion is one of the fastest-growing U.S. television networks, taking the Q4 2009 top spot among fully distributed broadcast and cable networks.