I received a tip this morning that Lifetime is set to debut an Atlanta-based reality show July 16 called "Catering Wars" featuring four local catering companies battling for business.
This doesn't appear to be a major priority for Lifetime.
The publicity department never informed me about it until I broached it to them. The show is not referenced at all as of Tuesday morning, July 9, on Lifetime's main website or its press site. The Georgia TV and film office spokeswoman as of this morning hadn't even heard of it.
There is a trailer on YouTube:
And someone wrote a press release dated July 3, which I didn't receive but is posted on the production company's website.
The four local catering companies are Atlanta's Finest,Hottie Hawg’s Barbecue, Pat’s Party Perfect and Ocean Catering. They bid on events, similar to the way the companies on A&E "Shipping Wars" vie for business.
Here's how the press release described each of them:
The four companies involved in the Catering Wars are Atlanta BBQ titans Hottie Hawg’s headed up by the eccentric white tuxedo wearing Boss Hawg aka Kyle Vaughn. Pat’s party Perfect, the lovable and tough outfit run by Pat and her two daughters. Ocean’s Catering, the fiery, brass knuckle wearing crew led by chef Shane McIntosh. And of course Atlanta’s Finest, the eighty-one family member machine, run by spitfire matriarch Lorie Bomar.
Lifetime had committed to six 30-sminute episodes but management decided to make it three hour-long episodes instead, two of the catering company operators said. Bray Entertainment, the production company, shot sporadically over the past eight months.
The modest three-episode commitment may have a lot to do with the modest marketing effort to date.
Teodora Nicolae, a spokeswoman for Ocean Catering, said Lifetime has been keeping "Catering Wars" "hush hush."
As a result, the catering company owners are doing their best to get the word out.
Bomar, owner of the family business Atlanta's Finest out of Winston, had already talked to the Douglas County Sentinel earlier this month hoping the show becomes the next "Cake Boss" or "Duck Dynasty." She told me she plans a big viewing party July 16 at the Douglas County courthouse with free food and drink and a big screen TV.
She has seen only three minutes of the show so far but she said she found it funny and energetic. "If it makes me laugh," Bomar said, "it'll make America laugh."
Vaughn, who runs Hottie Hawgs BBQ in Vinings, is the only one of the four companies who also has a restaurant. He said he came in third at the Atlanta Barbecue Festival and has won awards three years running at the Taste of Marietta. But he says his chefs can also cook other styles of cuisine beyond just barbecue. On the reality show, he said you'll see his 35-foot barbecue "squealer" rig and mobile kitchen with plasma TV screens and air conditioning.
Pat Jackson, who has owned Pat's Party Perfect catering since 1992, said she was solicited to do the reality show early last year from the production, which also shoots History's huge reality show "Pawn Stars" and VH1 show "Bridal Bootcamp."
"I literally ignored them because I was busy," she said. "But one of the producers kept calling me. They were persistent. They asked us to send them a video."
Jackson said the production company was searching several cities but they liked the Atlanta crews.
Production was arduous, she said. "The cameras are there so long, you forget they're there. That's where the drama begins," Jackson said.
But she thinks it will be worth the effort: "It's a level of advertisement I could never pay for."
Lifetime is currently airing two dramas shot locally: "Drop Dead Diva," in its fifth season, and the new "Devious Maids," which has seen ratings rise in its second and third outings, a good sign.
It also has two other reality shows based out of metro Atlanta. "Double Divas," featuring a Kennesaw-based bra-fitting company, has not gotten a second season nod just yet but is in production for the second half of a very long first season.
"Pretty Wicked Moms," which debuted last month and is a bit like a "Real Housewives" knockoff, has not pulled in impressive numbers for Lifetime, averaging 730,000 viewers over its first four episodes.
"Catering Wars," 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, Lifetime