New Summer Foodie TV: Four Season Openers, One Spin-Off, and One Super-Shameless Rip-Off From Food Network

Oh, TV, how did you get so smart? Just when the temperature starts to rise on another fiery Phoenix summer, you go and give us a bunch of new and returning foodie shows to keep us safe from sunburn, hanging out with you in air-conditioned bliss. Plus, yesterday's launch of the Cooking Channel (later post to come) is like you and the Food Network just had a baby and we get to come over and watch it spit up -- whee!

So what's the scoop? Returning shows include season three of Cake Boss, Gordon Ramsay keeps up his verbal flogging of bumbling chefs for a seventh season of Hell's Kitchen, a new batch of hungry-eyed hopefuls compete for their own cooking show on the season six premiere of The Next Food Network Star, and The Best Thing I Ever Ate picks the pros brains, returning for its third season.

Answering the question, "What's left for him to eat?", Andrew Zimmern goes from freaky to (possibly, but probably not gonna happen) fatal in the Bizarre Foods spin-off, Dining With Death.

And the summer TV shamelessly stolen idea award for a "new" show? That would go to the Food Network for Food Feuds. Explanation and sneak preview taping (what's up Michael Symon?) after the jump.

With the premise of settling disputes between two local eateries and the iconic dishes that make their towns famous, interviews with fans, and the blind taste test, Food Network's Food Feuds is basically just like strangely similar to Food Wars on The Travel Channel. Maybe FN was thinking Michael Symon would make folks forget about this sad excuse for a new show with his awesome hosting abilities. You be the judge on that one.

Now here's this week's foodie TV schedule so you won't miss a thing:

Tuesday (June 1)

(Season 7 Opener!) Hell's Kitchen: "16 Chefs Compete." The 16 chefs vying for a slot in chef Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in a London hotel are introduced, split into teams (men vs. women) and, for their first challenge, must prepare their signature dishes. Then comes dinner service. Chef Ramsay guarantees that it will be completed, and that means even more pressure than usual for the contestants, one of whom is eliminated. 7 p.m., Channel 10, FOX

Chopped: "Fired Up!" A grilling challenge has the chefs cooking striped bass and strawberries. 10 p.m., Food Network

Wednesday (June 2)

Throwdown With Bobby Flay: "Hot Dogs." A hot dog cook-off in Brooklyn is featured. 9 p.m., Food Network

Dinner: Impossible: "Disney Dilemma." Robert heads to Walt Disney World to prepare a gourmet meal for 400 people in celebration of Family Volunteer Day. 10 p.m., Food Network

Top Chef Masters: "Improv." Humor is served up when the four remaining culinary standouts travel to the Groundlings improv-comedy club. They must then display their improvisational flair to create dishes based on three words. 10 p.m., Bravo

Thursday (June 3)

Good Eats: "Grillus Domesticus." Tips for grilling chicken. 8:30 p.m., Food Network

Friday (June 4)

(Season Premiere!) Food Feuds: "Feuds on a Roll." Iron Chef Michael Symon heads to Chicago to settle a debate over who makes the city's best Italian beef sandwiches in the premiere of the series that explores regional food rivalries. Later, a heated battle over hot dogs is discussed in Detroit. 10:30 p.m., Food Network

Saturday (June 5)

Mexican Made Easy: "Seafood Grill." Shrimp burgers inspired by Puerto Vallarta street food are made. Also: grilled-avocado-and-scallop salad; corn with jalapeño butter. 9:30 a.m., Food Network

Down Home With the Neelys: "Walkin' in Memphis." Prepared: grilled halibut with BBQ butter; black-eyes peas with bacon and pork; cornbread; and grilled-watermelon sundaes. 11 a.m., Food Network

Paula's Best Dishes: "Get Grillin'." Paula and Bobby Deen prepare grilled bacon-and-cheese jalapeño poppers; grilled beef-tenderloin-and-Vidalia-onion skewers; grilled cheesy olive bread; and grilled pear cobbler. 11:30 a.m., Food Network

Unwrapped: "Fire It Up." Barbecue foods are the focus. Included: KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce; B&G Foods baked beans, Bar-B-Q Fritos; Cookshack smokers; and smoked meats from Sadler's Smokehouse. 8 p.m., Food Network

Sunday (June 6)

Grill It! With Bobby Flay: "Wild & Crazy Wahoo." Prepared: grilled wahoo with puttanesca sauce; wahoo sandwiches; warm spinach salad with grilled rum pears; and crostinis with caramelized plums, ricotta and black pepper. 10:30 a.m., Food Network

Big Daddy's House: "Good Day for Grilling." Grilled pork chops with lemon-shallot chutney, served with white-bean salad and grilled-eggplant roulade with goat cheese and pine nuts. 1:30 p.m., Food Network

Food Network Challenge: "Toy Story 3 Cakes." Toy Story 3 inspires four cake artists to create elaborate confections that "come to life," just like the toys in the film. 8 p.m., Food Network

(Season 6 Premiere!) Next Food Network Star: "Welcome to Los Angeles!" Twelve hopefuls arrive in Los Angeles and begin vying for their own cooking show in the Season 6 premiere. The first on-camera test has each competitor preparing a meal that best represents who they are. Later, they're tasked with creating a power lunch for celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. 9 p.m., Food Network

(Season Premiere!) Dining With Death: "Sea Creatures." Andrew Zimmern samples potentially poisonous fish in the premiere of the series that has him traveling the globe trying dishes that could be deadly if not prepare properly. "Creepy Crawlers." The host eats insects that are considered delicacies in some parts of the world. "Snakes & Toads." Andrew dines on snakes and toads. 9 p.m., 10 p.m., and 11 p.m., The Travel Channel

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