ABC Orders Cooking Competition With Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson Anthony Bourdain - H 2012
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Nigella Lawson Anthony Bourdain - H 2012

ABC is moving into the kitchen. The network has tapped culinary personalities Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson to host a new cooking competition, and casting for contestants is already underway.

Sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter that ABC has ordered the untitled project from Kinetic Content to series, though it’s unclear exactly when it would bow on the network. ABC did not respond to requests for comment.

A casting call on ABC's website, dubbed only "ABC Cooking Show," says the series will "pit America's most skilled cooks against one another in a show unlike any other." An accompanying video starring Bourdain and Lawson says the series is open to both professional and amateur cooks.

The news comes just a week after Bourdain, who rose to international prominence thanks in large part to the Travel Channel series No Reservations, was departing his network of seven years for a deal with CNN. Bourdain officially starts working at CNN this fall, though his news series won't start until early 2013.

While Fox (MasterChef, Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares) has enjoyed great success with cooking and NBC has made similar attempts (the one-season America's Next Great Restaurant), this is a first for ABC -- though it has aired two seasons of  documentary series Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Culinary competitions have largely kept to cable networks like Food and Bravo -- where both hosts got their start.

Bourdain has starred in No Reservations and The Layover and even served as a judge on Top Chef. Lawson, arguably a more familiar name in her native U.K., has hosted cooking programs Nigella, Nigella Kitchen, Nigella Express and Nigella Feasts, among others.