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Anthony Bourdain's K-town Episode Gets Great Ratings, Despite Fox Feud

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While L.A.'s Koreatown might not seem like an undiscovered gem to many of the city's diehard food fans, the three square mile neighborhood is elusive to some. So when the second episode of Anthony Bourdain's new CNN show "Parts Unknown" paid it a visit, people here got a bit excited. And apparently Angelenos weren't the only ones; ratings were stellar for the second episode, which featured Kogi's Roy Choi and artist David Choe as guides.

Says the Braiser:

CNN just released the latest data on Anthony Bourdain’s new show Parts Unknown, showing that the Koreatown episode brought in a 30% increase in viewership from its premiere week — and twice the number of viewers than its time-slot competition on Fox and MSNBC. (Sorry, Fox.) The best part of CNN’s press release, though, was the data on the various ways Parts Unknown beat the pants off of Bourdain’s old show, No Reservations: “On social media, the premiere received 9,000 social mentions, up from last year’s 2,000 mentions for the No Reservations premiere on the Travel Channel.”

Some, however, aren't so stoked on the success of the show. Hollie McKay wrote a critique for Fox that says that CNN is using Bourdain's foul mouth to gain ratings.
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“CNN is clearly deflecting families away from their programming, and doing so rather proudly,” media expert Angie Olszewski told McKay. “It’s sliding down a slippery slope of classless unprofessionalism.”

But is it really classless? It's not like they're allowing Bourdain to swear. They just silence the profanities. And it's certainly better than trying to put a muzzle on the guy, like they did with "The Taste" on ABC. (We all saw what a snore that can be.)

For Bourdain, the goal of the show isn't that much different than what he's done before with the Travel Channel. The idea is "to travel the world on my stomach and to look at the world through the eyes of someone who cooked for 30 years," he said in a recent video interview with Anderson Cooper.

And as a traveling chef, picking Choi as a guide through K-town is a natural choice. (You can see a map of the places they visited for the show here.) Choi told LA Mag:

Zero Point Zero Productions (ZPZ) called me and said Tony wanted to go deeper into L.A. and Koreatown. Tony has many Korean friends and there are a few Koreans that work at ZPZ as well. We all knew there was a strong storyline and the platform that CNN was giving him provided a chance to tell it. It was humbling that they really wanted to know about me, our town, and the riots.
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Fox can say whatever they want about people watching for the profanity, but we're just proud of K-Town. The more love for L.A., the better.