The Food Network has squelched rumors that one of its top draws—Guy Fieri, the over-styled host of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives— is leaving the network.
Buzz that the popular host would be departing began to heat up when a Minnesota production company, Page Television and Video Productions, Inc, filed suit against the food channel for firing them after the 12th season of the show.
David Page, the owner of the production company, said in court papers that he had been contracted for 39 episodes for seasons 12, 13, and 14 in 2007, but the cooking channel tossed him for next year’s season.
“After four years of Page Productions providing the Food Network with one of their biggest hits in years, the network told us to stop production in the midst of a three-season contract. As a result, we have had to lay off staff, and as a last resort we have had to turn to litigation to resolve this issue,” Page said in a statement. "We continue to produce another show, Outrageous Food, for the Food Network. And we have several projects in development and pilot with and for other networks."
Food Network would not comment on the specifics of any active litigation, but did release a statement saying that, "We look forward to continuing to work with Guy Fieri to produce future original episodes of his popular show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," said a spokeswoman in an emailed statement.
Fieri (pronounced Fee-eddy) has remained curiously mum on the issue.
The flamboyant foodie launched his television career after he won the "The Next Food Network Stars" competitive cooking show contest in 2006.
He went on to host Guy’s Big Bite and then Diner, Drive-ins and Dives in which he travels the country celebrating the regional variations on comfort food.
He also serves as a pitchman for Aflac insurance, TGIFridays, and Flowmaster exhaust auto parts.
His popularity has lifted him out of the kitchen and on to network television.
In 2009, he began hosting the prime-time network game show on NBC Minute to Win It.