Food and cooking shows on cable have been gradually getting more and more extreme over the past few years, as networks like The Food Network and the Travel Channel try to hook viewers with the promise of unique and edgy programming like Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives or Man Vs. Food. But nothing we've seen comes close to the raw "extremeness" of Epic Meal Time, the YouTube channel that will soon have its own television show.
While Man Vs. Food--a show that I love--showcases the various extreme eating challenges at restaurants around the U.S. (such as eating a 72oz. steak in an hour), Epic Meal Time goes one gigantic step further by creating food combinations that have never been heard of before. Like their recent Super-Bowl-themed video for The Sloppy Roethlisberger, which has half a million views (warning, the language is as extreme as the food, swearing will occur):
I first learned about Epic Meal Time after their big Thanksgiving 2010 video went viral:
They've amassed over 22 million views across about fourteen different videos, and every single video has gone viral (the Roethlisberger video is only a day old, and, at half a million views, is the lowest total of any Epic Meal Time clip).
While a lot of viewers are turned off by the sheer mountain of calories the Epic creations contain, there's no denying the view counts. These guys are hugely popular, so it makes sense that there would be some cable networks interested in giving them their own show. The language will probably have to be toned down, but I expect the food creations to remain totally extreme.
There's no guarantee the eventual show will succeed on television, of course. But this is another pretty big step for YouTube users. Justin Bieber is probably the rags-to-riches story talked about most often, but he's not likely to be the biggest or the last real-world star to come from YouTube. It's a legitimate breeding ground for talent now, and Epic Meal Time is just the latest example.
With the rapid advancement of web technology, the entertainment power is slowly leaking out from the select few to the masses. These days, a person can go from unknown to famous overnight, and no longer need an agent, a manager, a record label, and a PR firm--YouTube is all those things in one.