Food Network eyes competitive eating

New series tentatively titled 'Eat the Clock'

It was only a matter of time.

The Food Network is getting into the competitive eating genre with a new series tentatively titled "Eat the Clock."

The show, from Pie Town Prods. ("Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels"), is described as a cross between an eating competition and "The Amazing Race." Two teams of contestants follow clues to various Los Angeles eateries and enjoy culinary treats.

Food Network says the show should not be confused, however, with the face-stuffing competitive eating shows where contestants consume mass quantities of food. Such shows have vaguely resembled a trend on cable during the past year, with G4's new scarf-'til-you-puke show "Hurl" and Spike TV airing a series of Major League Eating events. ESPN also airs competitive eating events like Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International
Hot Dog Eating Contest.

"Clock" will more resemble "Race," with the actual consuming of food being a relatively minor part of the show.

The "Clock" pilot is set to shoot soon. Food Network is eyeing a first-quarter premiere should the project get picked up to series.